Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, left, and journalist, Sheron Garraway. (File photos)

A journalist from the privately-owned, sole terrestrial television station in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Monday reminded Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves that the media house is not a government entity obliged to broadcast all state information.

The pronouncement by Sheron Garraway of SVG Broadcasting Corporation came during a press conference in which Gonsalves again accused SVGTV of having a bias against his Unity Labour Party (ULP) administration.

“Sheron, by the way, what I said about SVGTV ain’t intended for you, you know,” Gonsalves said when it was Garraway’s turn to ask questions.

“No,” Garraway responded, adding after a pause, “That is not the point. I work with SVG Broadcasting, so I am a part of the entity.”

“Yes. But I am just telling yo,” Gonsalves said.

“Alright,” Garraway responded.

“So that–” the Prime Minister began to say, when Garraway added:

“I do not agree with what you say, that is your opinion, Prime Minister. I have been criticised before.”

“Well, I tell you something, Sheron. If anybody does an objective analysis of SVGTV broadcasts, they will come inescapably to the conclusion that I have come to,” Gonsalves said.

Garraway responded: “Well the thing is, if we do carry all government work, then we will be called a state entity.”

The Prime Minister said he is not expecting the station to carry all government work.

“You are a private entity and I wouldn’t expect the National Broadcasting Corporation to carry government stuff.”

He apparently meant SVG Broadcasting, since the National Broadcasting Corporation is indeed a state entity, whose newscast are heavily focused on government information.

Gonsalves said that Garraway had done an interview with him, which was never aired.

The reporter, however, said that the interview will be aired as part of a series of interviews with leaders in the country for March — Heritage month.

Garraway said that as part of the series, she has also done interviews with lawyer Bayliss Frederick, Coast Guard Commandeer Brenton Cain, and Leader of the Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace.

Garraway said that the media house plans to have sponsorship for the programme.

“With great respect,” Gonsalves responded, “When you interviewed me, it wasn’t for that. It was for something to be carried immediately because it was in part to redress the imbalance of the SVG news for the previous news. Because what you and I spoke about has nothing to do with heritage. Don’t mamaguy (deceive) me with that.”

Garraway told the Prime Minister that the television station has a responsibility to report on what is happening in the country.

“Prime Minister, we have a responsibility to carry things — if there is a protest in town, we cannot pretend it is not happening.”

“I am not saying you are not to carry protest,” Gonsalves responded.

“We must carry issues that affect the country, and we do come to you and find out your perspective. I must say, respectfully, we were turned away. We were turned away after you told us you would not be talking to us,” Garraway said.

“Absolutely, because you came to talk to me after you have carried all your biases,” the Prime Minister told the journalist.

Garraway also said that the Supervisor of Election has refused to speak to SVGTV. She said that the station has continually tried “to have two sides to the story”.

Garraway then began to ask a question about the geothermal project.

As she was asking the question, Gonsalves said, “You all must change alyo bias up there.”

In asking her question, she noted that the Opposition Leader has said that the project should not be a priority now in light of the falling oil prices and asked for the terms and conditions.

The reporter asked for Gonsalves response to the Opposition Leader’s view.

Gonsalves said he had outlined the terms and conditions during his press briefing.

“And let me say this, if the Leader of the Opposition wants to ask me something, he can come to Parliament and ask me. I’m not answering the leader of the opposition through the medium of you. Let me make that plain.”

He continued:

“But what I can say is this, I have said before, that the business plan was based — I’ve said it in the House, I have said it outside the House, I’ve said it on radio — that the business plan, the numbers we had put forward are based on the 2014 price for fuel and that the business plan also contains provisions for if the price of oil goes up or falls. And, clearly, if the price for fuel falls, the extent of the viability of the geothermal project, if those prices were to remain at those levels for infinity, well, then you will have to recalibrate your calculation…”

11 replies on “We’re not a state entity, TV journalist tells PM Gonsalves”

  1. Jeannine James says:

    Amazing. Reckless entitlement. If he got himself set up again, it seems to be getting easier and easier. As the hip folks say “check yourself before you wreck yourself PM”. This reporter tried hard to navigate around him but he would not quit. ‘Scrise, man. What is it that you need so bad?

    Just imagine. A leader within the noble Caribbean civilization looking to bully a reporter and pick a fight with her with the confidence that his tantrum will be endorsed by the whole country. Cha!

    1. Jeannine, again you “missed the boat”; what’s up with you, really? Did the PM cause some travesty in your life, that brings you here always with THIS?
      In other words if you had listened to the Press Conference you might not have said one word, because the PM would have been in the right; something you’d have resented, yes? The PM being right? No way!
      On the other hand as always in your case, you’re just reacting to trickled down info,in other words ole’ talk, far removed from the truth of the matter. ‘Yo luv s…it talk. nah tru?.

    2. Jeannine, this Gonsalves guy had no class, has no grace, has nothing but bombastic and empty rhetoric. When you enter the public arena of party politics, you have to develop a thick skin and respectfully yet resolutely reply to the press, something this insecure yet arrogant man could never learn or understand.

    3. Jeannine James, seems like Vinciman is always out to discredit you. Fact is you seem to be at a much deeper level than he can go so he does not understand you. He must be a product of the “Education Revolution”.

  2. Ms Garraway , in my opinion was very Rude , and confrontational . The people at SVGTV
    may not like the Prime Minister , but EVERYONE , and that includes Ms. Garraway must respect the Office that the Prime Minister holds .

    Let us suppose that Ms. Garraway , and the Company that she works for , are banned from
    future , Press Conferences , they will howl about that . What I found very interesting is that she had no response to what the Prime Minister stated regarding the interview that consented to
    give her which he was under the impression that it was going to be aired quickly ; obviously her excuse was already preplanned .

    I have no idea whether this is true or false , but my understanding is that some people in SVG
    seem to have formed the impression , that SVG TV is not an even handed medium for News in SVG . Ms Garraway & those at SVG TV , need to understand that it aint about liking or not likinf Ralph Gonsalves , it is about Respecting the Office that he holds in SVG . It is also very rude to interrupt the Person who you are asking questions, is speaking doing that clearly
    demonstrates a lack of Etiquette . This is a Prerequisite especially for those in Ms Garraway’s
    Profession .

    1. Obama and other politicians are interrupted and pointedly challenged all the time in press conferences. The spineless and mindless sheep most of our own media people are should take a lesson from Ms. Fare away and Mr. Kenton Chance on how to interview politicians. This is not about being rude; it is about asking tough questions and challenging mealy-mouthed replies.

  3. Gonsalves sure is arrogant. Full respect for Ms. Garraway! We can all see that Ralph demands we all worship him and if the press does not do things his way, then he will have all his people refuse to talk to them. No negative criticism is allowed! “You will worship Ralph and you will love it”!

Comments are closed.