The meeting is held at East Villa Restaurant, East Bay Street on Wednesday, February 3, 2016. Mr. Newbold was accompanied by Press Club executives Anthony Capron, First Vice President; Lindsay Thompson, Secretary and Vincent Vaughan, Treasurer.
Mr. Newbold stated that the main ideal of The Press Club is to promote the highest standards of journalism and mass communications in the country.
In this vein, The Club is seeking to devise a Code of Ethics to govern the profession, particularly those members of the organization. And, to advocate for the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.
Dating back to the early 1970’s there have been numerous tries at establishing an association of the press corps in The Bahamas. The most successful of which began in 1996.
“Let me say that the press club is not a union,” said Mr. Newbold, who is Special Projects Coordinator at the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (ZNS). “The purpose of the club, to borrow from the National Press Club in Washington, D.C, is to encourage friendly intercourse among news practitioners and everyone with whom they have contact, in the pursuit of the profession; to promote the interests of those employed in the media; to ensure public access to information, and of course, to guarantee as much as possible the accuracy of that information, and to cultivate literary tastes.”
Furthermore, “we endeavor to promote and uphold the highest ideals and standards of journalism, while providing for the exchange of ideas and experiences and the offering of professional development opportunities.”
Despite the promising start in 1996, after 2002, The Club remained dormant until August of 2014, when Mr. Newbold led the effort to revive it. Of the 65 invitations, 20 persons signed up, with an additional five signing up since.
“My disappointment, not enough of those signed up are part of the under 30 group of young journalists. We continue to work on them, but you can’t want something for someone more than they want it for themselves.”
He said however, that their involvement is critical, because they make up 90 percent of today’s press corps.
“And, while they may have some formal training, they lack experience and the knowledge and wisdom that comes from that experience, which does not stop them from being tenacious and mercenary in some cases, taking no prisoners in the process.”
While the editors make the final decisions, it helps, tremendously if they have something to work with, he said.
Mr. Newbold noted that media now includes the traditional press corps as well as those involved in social media – usually non journalists and talk show hosts – both unregulated and both bringing a whole new wrinkle to how news is communicated and received.
“All of this demands a discerning and engaged public,” he said.
To Rotarians, he admonished that all have a role to play in what happens with this country and how it happens.
“And, if there is a time for all of us to play our roles, the time is now. It is no longer acceptable, if it ever was, to just be a spectator!
“One of my favourite sayings is, if you are content to just throw rocks from the sidelines and not get in the ring, I have no time for you!”
According to Mr. Newbold, the state of this nation today, demands the involvement of all, as there are too much uncertainty and ambivalence about those foundational institutions that have anchored the society.
In stressing the role of the press, a profession, which he’s practiced for more than two decades, Mr. Newbold, quoted the Venerable Ellen Hume, presently an Annenberg Fellow in Civic Media at the Center for Media, Data and Society, at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.
There are four essential roles, she says, that a free press serves:
1. Holding government leaders accountable to the people,
2. Publicizing issues that need attention,
3. Educating citizens so they can make informed decisions, and
4. Connecting people with each other in civil society.
Hence, other roles of the press are, being the watchdog of the people, holding government leaders accountable to the people, connecting people through various forms, informing and educating.
Mr. Newbold pledged to continue to push for the cohesive development and training of young journalists and the coming together of all media because not only does he believes there is strength in numbers “but it is one way to ensure that institutional knowledge is not lost.”
One way of enhancing the profession is recognizing the work of meda during the Bahamas Press Club Awards Banquet, held November 21, 2015, which is again set for November 2016.
He also envisions a permanent home for The Press Club, where its members can assembly and enjoy facilities to further enhance the profession.
Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis
By Sherrica Thompson
#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.
In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.
He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.
“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.
Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.
And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.
The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”
Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.
“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”
Will US President Biden deliver on Climate Change funding?
By Dana Malcolm
#USA, October 1, 2022 – US President Joe Biden has reiterated his promise that low income countries, which are also low carbon emitters will receive increased climate aid from the US to the tune of $11 billion per year.
The President was speaking at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly recently where he maintained his administration was working with Congress to get the funds which would ‘help lower-income countries implement their climate goals and ensure a just energy transition.’
The plan was announced in September 2021 and is a reflection of the USA’s part in the 2010 global pledge made by developed countries to give $100 billion annually in climate financing to developing nations each year. Biden has indicated that the plan will be in effect by 2024.
While he stressed at the UN that the need is ‘enormous’ the President is having trouble convincing lawmakers at home. So far the funding which must be approved by Congress has not materialized. The United States Congress is known for having a particularly tight hold on the national purse in regards to climate change funding.
In fact congress dedicated only a little over $1 billion to climate change this year according to Bloomberg. The US also has a history of promising funding for climate change but not delivering on those high priced promises.
Whether this $11 billion will actually get to nations like those in the Caribbean region is yet to be seen.
This year, the General Assembly heard from 190 speakers, including 76 Heads of State, 50 Heads of Government, four Vice-Presidents, five Deputy Prime Ministers, 48 Ministers and seven Heads of Delegations according to General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi as he summed up the first in-person General Debate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hurricane Ian impact on Cayman Islands
By Sherrica Thompson
#Cayman, October 1, 2022 – The Cayman Islands experienced fierce winds and high seas from Hurricane Ian on Monday, as the storm passed offshore, causing little lasting damage.
Some areas on the island experienced flooding as low-lying condo complexes and some residential back roads were inundated with water. Almost 4,000 homes were without power on Monday; however, most had electricity restored by the evening.
There were also no reports of any injuries, deaths, or serious structural damage. The country started its restoration process on Monday afternoon, clearing debris from the roads, surveying the damage and providing support to residents where needed.
“While we have been very fortunate to have been spared the worst of a potentially very serious storm, I’m extremely pleased to have seen the efforts made by the Caymanian public to prepare for ‘the worst, while praying for the best. In this situation, this is simply the safest, most strategic thing to do,” the Premier said
Despite the all-clear being issued on Monday evening, the Ministry of Education announced that government schools will remain closed to students until Wednesday, 28 September.
Meanwhile, in Cuba, authorities have declared emergencies in six areas, with forecasters warning of storm surges on the coast along with flash floods and mudslides.
Tens of thousands of people were told to leave their homes and seek shelter. Cuba could see up to 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Ian.
Hurricane Ian dramatically intensified and is blamed for at least two dozen deaths in Florida; where the storm struck with near category five force winds and a near 20 foot storm surge.
Over 700 rescue operations were activated in Florida in the aftermath of the storm, which is still wreaking havoc in the U.S.
Cayman photo credit: RC Cord
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