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MATT: Griffith must be more temperate; media cannot only report selected viewpoints

The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago would like to put on record that the duty of all journalists is to report all sides of a story not just selected viewpoints.

While the Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, is free to express his opinion on how journalists conduct their duties, MATT would like to remind the CoP that freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy. Mr Griffith has repeatedly used his right to freedom of speech to sarcastically refer to media houses and journalists he does not agree with.

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.
(Copyright Ministry of National Security)

To the Commissioner, we say it is your right to question any report in the print and broadcast media. However, MATT suggests the Commissioner be more temperate in his choice of words so as not to create the impression he is not in support of a free press.

MATT’s recent conversation with the Police Commissioner was one we felt positive about and we take the opportunity to remind him that he is not at war with the media nor is the media at war with him or the police service.

We support the good work of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and will continue to report on their fight against crime. Likewise, the journalists of Trinidad and Tobago will continue to highlight the views of persons who may disagree with the manner in which police conduct their duties.

The press will not muzzle these people. If the Commissioner disagrees with the views expressed, we will report on that also.

Having said that, MATT reminds reporters and journalists of the need to be fair and balanced in all reporting.

About MATT Executive

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

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  1. Hate to say this because the media is very important, they try hard to do their best in difficult circumstances, they are attacked by political clowns, and they are not paid as much as they deserve, BUT got to say there is a widening gap between what the media think the people want, and what the people actually want, especially in the case of the CoP and the Police Service.

    Not attacking the media, we must ensure they are free to do their job, but they got this one wrong.

    We need the media to excel in their critical role in sustaining democracy in T&T, and also focusing on the issues affecting the people. .

    In any business, your customers will criticize; in most cases, it is trivial or they are wrong. In some cases, they are right.
    I think in this running feud between the media and the CoP, the media has got SOME of it wrong.
    They should pause, step back, analyze, and then change where necessary.

  2. Those who willingly standby as the rights of others are trampled upon and who unwittingly seek to give up their own rights in an effort to appease the pursuit of objectives, by those in authority…. MAY one day awake to find out that all that they once had and benefitted from and foolishly gave up, they may now have to fight for. A FREE PRESS is the cornerstone of free and democratic society AND a man, woman or child whether they be black, white, yellow, purple or brown or rich or poor…is PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL proven guilty.

  3. freedom to make bias and false comments. without any sense of responsibility.

    • That’s true of the CoP as well. I wish him well though my strong suspicion is that he will never prove victorious because attacking a snake’s tail never works to one’s advantage. Until the financial heads are dragged out their lavish upscale homes with the same crude manner meted out to small men on d block, Gary will remain a footnote.

  4. Allyuh too darned two-faced when allyuh ready.

    Ever thought that the stupid media is being used to weaken a COP that is finally getting some results?

    When allyuh ready, allyuh always complaining how the media is using gore and suffering to sell extra papers and now they’re suddenly innocent?

    What gets me is those who are being used as tools don’t seem to have much more brain matter than air on their brains. Use the brain matter instead!


  5. I keep hoping that Mr. Griffith does not get caught up and misled in his own Self Aggrandisement.

  6. He’s a bully hiding behind a badge……scumbag

    • Malik Johnson you know the man personally? Have you ever met him? Had a conversation? Any interaction at all?
      To use the word “scumbag” would indicate such.
      As for him being a “bully behind a badge”, consider in this little Trini space 11yr olds are bullies with German & Russian h high powered weapons, grenades et al.
      When you meet the real bullies, hope you’re able to recognise them as such and leave the experience with your Life.

    • Rachel Price I know that he had an avenue to discuss the matter and outline his points…instead he chose to talk over and attempt to intimidate the interviewer as though she was personally culpable for the media’s shortcomings……he came across as an aggitated, bully who in hindsight doesn’t seem to have a real plan to deal with the issues at hand. As for using the term scumbag it was solely to indicate my displeasure with the manner in which he conducted himself …. I’m not privy to your interpretations of my interpretations. I saw this as an opportunity lost rather than an opportunity to repair a relationship that can help him in the future. The same anger that motivated you to defend the man against my opinion of him is the same one that motivated me to name him as such.

    • poor you… to even harbour the idea that anger motivated me to defend Gary.

    • Lol poor me? Listen I just wanna bad talk d man in peace ….I wanted to hear what was on his mind but I didn’t like how he spoke to the presenter it was condescending….not a fan of dem kinda lyrical presentations

    • Malik Johnson tbh, I saw a post with a screenshot by the same ‘reporter’ stating gang leaders to be held.
      If that post was true, and posted prior to the exercise, I think it was irresponsible.
      I also think it is irresponsible to turn to Bakr for comments on social issues.
      In as much as we may hope for the CoP to take down the aggression, in this instance, I am sure he felt justified.

    • Nerisha Mohammed I think a case can be made for aggression …..just as a matter of where and when and if what you’re saying is true….I agree…..

    • Nerisha, ignoring Abu Bakr doesn’t mean he ceases to exist. It’s not about doing PR for him. But there are issues where it could be informative to know his thoughts.
      In 1990, he caught the government by surprise by starting a coup for “social reasons”.
      Maybe if the press had interviewed him in the lead up to that we would have gotten a clue.

    • Malik Johnson you just wanted to bad talk d man in peace? Well, in a democracy you have the democratic right to bad talk d man, but that comes along with the subsequent democratic right for others to bad talk you.. especially if you choose a public forum for your bad talk…

    • Lasana Liburd he already gave some insight, for eg, as to why we have runaway crime.
      There are too many gangs, no one gang leader, unlike in the past so there isn’t anyone to control them.
      There was also a very insightful interview with Vice.
      Let’s be real here. Even if we presume there is a social aspect to interviewing him, that insight can be offered into the social climate, what good does it do if nothing is done to address it?
      Darius Figaro (spelling?) Has been preaching for years about infiltration of certain elements in the crime situation. Did we do anything to protect our boarders?

    • Nerisha so you’re asking the media to consider what before interviewing someone? If the Commissioner of Police likes him/her? Or the National Security Minister?
      You really see nothing wrong with that?
      Jack Warner is on Interpol’s most wanted list. Griffith called him a friend. So can media interview Warner? A man who was the keynote speaker at TTUTA awards recently?
      Or are we going to now try to say that people charged of “certain” crimes should be stripped of their rights but not others?
      But whatever crime you name there would be persons with charges in high society too.
      What about the young man that Young mentioned on the UNC platform? Should the media refuse to mention his name or ask him questions because of his arrests?

    • The media’s job is to get as balanced a view of each situation is possible. And that is bound to include the view from the streets, even if they are told ‘he is a good boy and didn’t do anything…’
      That’s the role of the media and it is the same in any progressive country that you can name.

    • Andreas Stueven you’re confused…..you think I care about your opinion (or anyone else’s for that matter)……my stance remains the same about how he conducted himself in the interview and the fact that it’s a missed opportunity to alleviate some of the pressures. I’ve seen the media f**kup first hand (Fox news) but if he came to do an interview then he had a plan…..pretty sure that didn’t work out.

    • The irony in this thread is gargantuan.

    • Lasana Liburd I believe the issue GG had, and I agree with, is that the media seems to be going to the other extreme.


    • Lasana Liburd I’m just here to observe “Pricey” try to lecture to Malik about the use of pejoratives to describe those we don’t know, never met, interacted with, or conversed with.
      The very definition of hypocrisy.

    • It’s called my opinion and though recently subject to criticism by those who disagree with it…it remains unaffected and unretracted. A shame you had to waste the lecture …archive it for future usage ……

    • Nerisha Mohammed isn’t Gary’s job hard enough without wanting to be editor in chief for the entire media as well?
      Look around the world today for the leaders who rail at the press and look at what they have in common.

  7. “What is the purpose of truth and facts and news in a world of disinformation, where lying at the top has become normalised? The slippery concept of ‘balance’ needs to be rethought. Serious politicians and real experts cannot be ‘balanced’ by obscure talking heads whose main qualification is a university degree in blarney.”


  8. What a muppet this clown is. A walking caricature of a “Third World” cop, with his tactical gear, automatic rifle and camouflage and what not.

  9. He was unhinged this morning on that interview

  10. The CoP loves the press when he is posing like Rambo with a gun in yet another police outfit but becomes a bit unhinged and loses his composure if his actions are questioned in any way. The media aren’t causing his problems.

  11. Free speech and Free press is great, but we also have a responsibility to the society in which we live, and responsible journalism is just as important as free press

  12. More to come , lots more , wait for it , wait for it , wait…………..

  13. 100% in agreement….free speech…free press…the all important fourth estate