The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago’s (MATT) executive committee has named the remaining members of its committee to investigate the media body’s role in an incident at the Trinidad Guardian which led to the resignation of three journalists.
The investigative committee is chaired by veteran journalist Tony Fraser and now also includes radio personality and ex-MATT president Dale Enoch and RBC Communications Manager and former journalist Paul Charles. Court protocol officer and former Guardian editor-in-chief Jones P Madeira also “agreed to advise the committee when necessary.”
The committee was given until October 12 to deliver its report to the MATT executive, which will then be presented to the general membership at a meeting on October 19 at a location to be determined.
MATT, via a release, stressed that the investigation: “will not be centered on whether there was political interference at the Guardian but rather the way information was disseminated by the former Executive and protocols to guide future executives.”
“The Committee is expected to report on the processes used and recommend structures and protocols to be put in place to avoid a recurrence of a similar situation,” stated MATT.
In July, the MATT executive, which was then led by president Suzanne Sheppard and vice-president Judy Raymond, told the public that political pressure was being exerted on Raymond over editorial policy. Raymond is the Guardian editor-in-chief and Sheppard is also a member of the newspaper’s editorial staff.
However, MATT later reversed its position on the matter.
Columnist Dr Sheila Rampersad and journalists Denyse Renne and Anika Gumbs-Sandiford all quit the Guardian during the confusion and have since joined the Trinidad Express newspaper.
MATT, which is now led by president Curtis Williams, also announced a sub-committee to seek funding for a permanent home for the media body through international grants. This committee will be chaired by former diplomat Mark Regis and includes veteran journalist Lennox Grant and President of the Energy Chamber Dr Thackeray Driver.
Wesley Gibbings, President of the Association of Caribbean Workers, will serve as an advisor to this committee.
MATT will update its members on further developments at next month’s general meeting.