The Prime Minister’s Attache, Nancy Charles, has asserted that media persons have an obligation to exercise due diligence and report the facts.
Charles spoke in the aftermath of the widely reported incident involving HTS Television reporter, Rehani Isidore and Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.
Speaking to the Times, the PM’s Attache recalled Chastanet saying that he expects propaganda from the opposition, not reporters.
She reiterated that it was the Governor General’s office that was coordinating activities for the visit here in November of Britain’s Prince Harry.
“When the Governor General’s office put out a statement about two weeks ago, Coco Palm being a private entity and having a huge marketing base in the UK put out an advertisment regarding the arrival of the Prince, the headline was that Coco Palm rolls out the red carpet for the Prince,” Charles said.
Coco Palm is managed by the sister of the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister’s Attache asserted that the United Workers Party (UWP) both in opposition and now in government has enjoyed good relations with the media.
Charles noted that all the media houses have her contact information along with that of the Office of the Prime Minister and the newly appointed Senior Communications Officer, Nicole Mc Donald.
She said if clarification was needed, a call could have been made to them or to the office of the Governor General.
“What we are disappointed in is that no other media house chose to carry that story because that was just a social media thing and that particular television station (HTS), chose to carry the story – they did an e-poll and it was something that CocoPalm had clarified, retracting the statement, so there was really no need for the question,” Charles told the Times.
She however observed that was not the issue.
According to Charles, the issue arose when the HTS reporter asked the Prime Minister whether he would like to clarify the issue of the visit of Prince Harry and Coco Palm.
She said the Prime Minister asked the reporter whether he had spoken to Coco Palm to clarify the matter.
Charles said the reporter answered in the affirmative.
She stated that Chastanet asked the reporter what he was told by the resort, whereupon he responded that the hotel said it had no comment.
“That is when the Prime Minister indicated to the reporter that he was not telling the truth, because had he spoken to Coco Palm they would have told him that the hotel would be closed for that period of time during renovations. The hotel that had retracted the statement would never had said ‘no comment’” Charles declared.
She denied that the incident would sour relations with HTS.
“Not at all – we have good relations with the media house in question. There will continue to be that open door relationship – the Prime Minister has indicated that he is open to clarify and to speak on any matter. All the Prime Minister is saying is ‘listen, you need to have a little more respect for the Prime Minister of this country that if you are going to ask a question let it be a question that is not meant to malign the name or the reputation of the Prime Minister; let it be a question asked in good faith’, Charles told the Times.