OECS - General Manager of Grenada Broadcasting Network censors coverage of staff protest
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned to learn that the general manager of one of Grenada’s leading broadcast networks ordered the network’s journalists to withhold any reports on a protest news staff carried out against her. The Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG) has urged the country’s Information Ministry to investigate the incident as a violation of press freedom.
The Grenada Broadcasting Network’s (GBN) general manager, Odette Campbell, returned to her position on September 17 after a year-long leave, only to face a coordinated protest from some GBN employees who had a list of grievances leveled against her. Campbell was known to mistreat network employees through abrupt firings, underpayment, and disrespecting union agreements. To conceal the news of this protest, Campbell barred GBN journalists from airing any report on the incident. GBN owns several radio stations and broadcast news channels, and is the only media house in Grenada that provides coverage throughout the entire nation.
“Preventing an entire newsroom from carrying out its journalistic responsibilities is unethical and unacceptable, especially in a country that is committed to expanding and protecting its democratic institutions,” said Margaux Ewen, Director of RSF’s North America bureau. “The reporters at this network must be able to report the news, even if the story is critical of the network itself. RSF stands with the Media Workers Association of Grenada in urging officials to investigate this press freedom violation to the fullest extent.”
In an official letter, MWAG President Kern S. Jules Mason asked the Information Minister to formally investigate the matter, and the the two subsequently met to discuss the issue on September 21. Details of their meeting remain undisclosed.
The OECS region, of which Grenada is a member state, is ranked 35th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2017 World Press Freedom Index.