BARJAM president: Have greater respect for media workers

IT is time for media houses in this island to provide continuous training and a higher level of salary for journalists.

President of the Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers (BARJAM), Emmanuel Joseph, made this clear on Sunday night’s The People’s Business program.

“I want to see more training and a better, greater respect for media workers on the job, and I would like to see media employers and media owners have a different and more positive attitude toward media workers in terms of their pay. I know it has to do with earnings, but at the same time you are having additional workloads put on you, but you are getting the same pay. That cannot work,” he said.

Stating the world was changing and therefore the field of journalism had to reflect this in order to remain relevant, he pointed out media houses are losing young journalists due to low pay.

“The young media workers who come into the business now are very well educated and they do not want to settle for just anything and the salaries that they are paid really do not say anything in terms of the nature of the job they are doing, so we need to look at that,” Joseph stated while answering a question on the challenges being faced by the media fraternity.

Insisting BARJAM was actively working on advocating these issues, Joseph also said the same regarding the proposed Freedom of Information Bill, which successive governments have given assurances to making law, but yet have failed to do.

Saying he had been in contact with former Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and current Attorney General Dale Marshall on when the bill will be introduced into Parliament, he admitted, “I do not know if it has reached the stage where it can be introduced as yet, but I have been on his case and will continue to be on his case regarding that bill, because it is a critical piece in any democracy.

“There is something called public interest and we are here to serve this and to make things easier for us to access information… It is important to have that legislation in place to free our arms a little bit more, so we can go forward and contribute to the democratic process,” he added. (JMB)

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