Licensing of Journalists
Wesley Gibbings, ACM President
The CARICOM Secretariat is proposing that Caribbean governments agree on a model legislation that will have the effect of imposing a licensing regime on journalists and other media workers.
The move is actually part of an attempt to ‘regularise’ the status of professionals in a wide range of disciplines in the context of the CSME, in a move that is calculated to improve the ‘marketability’ of Caribbean professionals.
Apart from this being a false premise, there is the dangerous suggestion that the licensing of journalists will help lift standards, especially if minimum training and other conditions are met.The Model legislation is entitled the ‘Model Professional Services Bill’.The subject was raised by a CARICOM official in a rather routine manner at a CSME workshop in St Lucia on October 12.
I immediately advised that this matter is not subject to negotiation and that it will have to be contested and withdrawn as a proposal with any impact on media workers.
Read full official press release (pdf): ACM’s response to MPS Bill (2008)