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MATT queries PNM policy regarding post-Cabinet meetings

Changes in the format of the post-Cabinet press briefing announced by the Honourable Maxie Cuffie, Minister of Communications, have understandably raised questions by journalists.

Photo: Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie.
Photo: Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie.

Over several administrations, the post-Cabinet press conference has been used as a forum where ministers of government made themselves available, on rotation, to answer the media’s questions on a range of issues related to the sectors under their purview.

In the new format, the Minister of Communications alone reports primarily on decisions taken at Cabinet meetings. Journalists are uncertain whether this is an interim arrangement and whether alternative arrangements have been made for regular press briefings with ministers of Government.

The press briefing is an important mechanism for Government transparency and accountability, two principles that this Government has promised to expand. The format offers the public an opportunity to assess ministers’ depth of knowledge on specific issues and to gauge the responsiveness of public officials to a range of questions.

Further, the open press conference format offers journalists equitable access to ministers of Government and provides an important additional opportunity for journalists to seek answers in cases where earlier requests have been ignored.

It is the work of journalists to seek answers from ministers and other public officials in the public interest.

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. (Courtesy Jyoti Communication)
Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
(Courtesy Jyoti Communication)

The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago calls for further clarification on the Government’s policy governing communication with the media.

About MATT Executive

The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago is the authorised representative body for local journalists in all formats.

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121 comments

  1. Lasana
    Did you hear Minister Cuffie this morning on CNC3? HE outlined the policy on after Cabinet meetings. He also stated that Ministers are available to the media and have been making themselves available. So why continue with this issue. I am seeing a concerted effort to derail the government. Of course that is not going to happen. A long 5 years indeed!

  2. he cannot even speak properly,does be reading and it seems like he does be trying to break up the words to figure out how to say them

  3. Not a good way to start at all. Was Ignatius Sancho serious?

    • Instead on focusing on whether an MP called out another for having an odious orifice or about whether another made allusions about an MPs sexual orientation, the Media framed the parliamentary debate away from this to what ought to be the issue: the Last administrations expenditure and commitment to the rest of us. It is what a budget debate ought to be about. Why trust the media if it is about this frivolity?

    • If it was not for the media exposing things from Section 34 to Reshmi to LifeSport, the People’s Partnership might have still been in charge and Al-Rawi would never have gotten his hands on those documents.
      Even our imperfect media, in other words, has played its role.
      But people have short memories. So let the media watch Parliamentary Channel seems like a sensible response.
      And such short memories is why governments change every five years.

  4. Lol. I worked with Maxie Cuffie at three different publications Ignatius. I know him a lot better than you do. And, as an editor, he would never accept what his Govt is now asking the media to accept.
    Unless, of course, there is an alternative to those post-Cabinet meetings. And that is the whole point of the release here.

  5. This is why Maxie Cuffie, when he was running “The Mirror”, was able to turn it into the weekly that it is, from the example of Yellow Journalism that it was under Ken Ali, with the story of this decade about Section 34 before anyone else in July and NO OTHER Media house was able to get the story. A lot of you need other people to tell you your job instead of “maccoing” on the Internet.

  6. I can see we are heading down a road here… Lemme buckle up yes!

  7. Mr. Sancho whomever he is – demonstrates clearly does not understand the news media.

  8. Kendall Tull and Fayola Bostic, do have a look at the suggestion here by Mr Ignatius Sancho: