THE President of the Media Association of St. Lucia has indicated that he is at his wit’s end with members of the association who refuse to contribute to the organisation’s goal of unity, growth and strength.
Miguel Fevrier spoke to The VOICE shortly after the association toured Maria Islands in Vieux Fort on Sunday.
Although the tour, which was scheduled to be followed by a clean-up of Sandy Beach, had been discussed and organised among association members one month prior to Sunday, under a dozen members showed up to take part in the excursion.
Fevrier said: “You spend forever trying to organise this thing, you have WhatsApp where you are in contact with a lot of people, but people just don’t want to be cooperative.”
He went on to say: “I will continue to register my disappointment of the turnout and the lack of interest shown by a number of members of the media who are otherwise vocal on other issues. I think this is one of the things that has been plaguing the media association for a while, just a lack of unity among membership, the unwillingness to commit to a cause.”
Fevrier said he has personally felt like giving up; however, he continues to look at the bigger picture, which is the improvement of standards for media practitioners regardless of their professional level — be it editor, media owner, reporter or anyone who works within the media fraternity.
Fevrier said: “I think from here on, unless our activities committee can’t organise these things, I’m just going to focus on the other issues which are plaguing us, including issues concerning insurance, the discussion of a formation of a secretariat, a subvention from the Government of St. Lucia — not the Prime Minister but the Government — and other areas like medical and property insurance, other benefits for media workers and training opportunities. That’s what I’m going to be focusing on from henceforth and, hopefully, by the end of the year, we should be able to show a list of accomplishments from this executive.”
Speculation arose after the media tour coincided with a planned protest which was organised and conducted by concerned citizens in opposition of the planned DSH project due to take place in Vieux Fort. The Association was accused of purposely working alongside the protesting group.
In response to that suggestion, Fevrier said: “This trip to Maria Islet was planned over a month ago, and from my understanding, the protest date was finalised within a week or two ago. My idea of the tour, which I brought to the executive, was for us to have not just a clean-up and chill afterwards, but something fun and educational. Maria Islands have been mentioned in the media as of late, admittedly, but how many of us are reporting on the islet has actually seen, visited or even experienced it to form our own opinion or basis for our reports on the islets?! How can you report on the Whiptail if you haven’t even seen it in its natural habitat and look at the conditions in which it lives? I just think it’s a good idea for media workers to see it for themselves instead of going by ‘one side said this and the other said that’.”
He added: “I figured that we should do more than just a clean up this time and make it a fun activity for members of the media to build this camaraderie for which I’ve been begging for so long.”
Although the event featured a clean-up of Sandy beach, time constraints, high population and the extreme heat on the day did not allow the second planned activity to take place.
Fevrier expressed special gratitude to the Reef Restaurant which provided food and refreshments for the group at a reasonable cost, as well as the National Trust, which went above and beyond to accommodate the group on the last day of the open season for visits to the island.