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EDITORIAL: A gracious welcome

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

EDITORIAL: A gracious welcome

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All’s well that ends well. It may be a cliché but we sincerely hope that its application to our two-week-old impasse with Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr DeLisle Worrell remains always appropriate.
On Friday, May 9, 2014, Dr Worrell, in response to an inappropriate DAILY NATION headline the previous day, sent correspondence to this newspaper stating that because of what he viewed as our “lack of professional integrity” NATION employees would not be invited to future Press conferences or other events put on by the bank.
Clearly, the governor was upset by our choice of headline and the clarification we offered in the next edition did not assuage his anger. However, our stated position from the beginning was that we were not prepared to allow the governor or anyone else to prevent us from discharging our professional responsibilities – our civic duty.
Within hours of receiving Dr Worrell’s letter the management of the Editorial Department took a decision that, with or without an invitation from the governor or the bank, we would be attending public events at, or organised by, the bank in a manner consistent with how we would normally conduct business.
On Monday of this week we received notice of what we believed would have been the first opportunity to see if our stated position would bring us into direct conflict with personnel at the bank.
The occasion was yesterday’s opening of the annual meeting of regional central bank operations managers at the Grande Salle of the Central Bank, at which Dr Worrell was slated to give the welcome and opening remarks.
For the record, we believe it is appropriate to state that the invitation for coverage came from the Public Affairs Unit of the governor’s office.
Additionally, we also believe that the record should reflect that the NATION’s news team was warmly received at the bank yesterday and that no less a person than the governor was there to extend a hand of welcome. We compliment the governor on his change of heart and express the hope that his initial burst of anger is now history.
We therefore take the governor at his word as said on May 12 after we made public our position on his stance: “The Central Bank of Barbados respects and embraces freedom of the Press and the importance of the dissemination of timely and accurate information . . . .”
We now consider this unfortunate matter closed. The NATION has always enjoyed cordial relations with the bank and its governors and we will continue to promote such relations – but always with the clear understanding that there are times when our positions will come into conflict, and when they do we will not turn our back on the journalistic principles we are sworn to uphold.
We also give the governor, and Barbadians generally, the assurance that we recognise that the impasse of the last two weeks has placed us and how we perform our duties under greater scrutiny and we must hold ourselves to the highest possible standards.