Hoyte: Adopt ECPC Code of Practice
December 3, 2004
Hoyte: Adopt ECPC Code of Practice

Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Press Council (ECPC) Management Committee, and president of the Nation Publishing Company in Barbados, Harold Hoyte, has underscored the importance of self-regulation in attaining a high standard of professional media practice and ensuring success in the region. {{more}}

“The premise of standards is based on responsibility and accountability – that whatever we do, we should do from a perspective of responsibility. Because, ultimately, we are responsible to the public of our country,” Hoyte stated.

Hoyte’s comments came last Friday at a workshop in Kingstown, organized by the ECPC, to make journalists familiar with the code of practice for Caribbean media.

The ECPC chairman said that the media is not subject to recall in the same way governments are. He said that government is accountable to the public during its period of service for the way it conducts itself and the way it spends the taxes.

“By the very nature of our being in the media, we do not have such recall. But, what we have is a process of endorsement. Ultimately, if we in the press fail to do what the people of the country regard us as responsible for doing, they can recall us.” Hoyte said the public votes for us by going to the vendor, putting his hand in pocket and saying they endorse what we are doing.

“When they withdraw that endorsement, it is like having a no-confidence vote by the people of the country who say they no longer want you,” he said.

Hoyte said there are several examples in the Caribbean and elsewhere where people have withdrawn their endorsement from media houses because those media houses have failed to do what was expected of them.

Hoyte told the local media practitioners that unless we attach value to what we do then we are wasting a lot of people’s time. He appealed to journalists to understand that their role is critical to the future of the country and that it must not be taken for granted.

Hoyte also said that because of the importance of what we do and the significance of the media as the fourth estate of the realm, practitioners in the print and electronic media must recognise the important role in educating and informing the public.

The ECPC chairman emphasised that those who adhere to the standards in the code of ethics will be following a strict guideline of journalistic practice which is established internationally.