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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Several local media practitioners are crediting a recent workshop, organised by the CARICOM Secretariat, for widening their grasp on regional issues, particularly how they can market their skills in the various territories.
  • The media workshop was staged under the CARICOM Trade and Competitive Project (CTCP), with a focus on improving information flow in the region.
  • A main session at the event, held at the Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa, in Kingston, dealt with the legal rights of nationals through the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Several local media practitioners are crediting a recent workshop, organised by the CARICOM Secretariat, for widening their grasp on regional issues, particularly how they can market their skills in the various territories.

The media workshop was staged under the CARICOM Trade and Competitive Project (CTCP), with a focus on improving information flow in the region.

A main session at the event, held at the Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa, in Kingston, dealt with the legal rights of nationals through the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Outlining the aim of the event to the more than 20 media professionals drawn from both private and public outlets, Coordinator for the CTCP, Wanya Illes, said the project “is a testament to ongoing efforts by the Community to further complete, and make the Single Market arrangements more accessible and business friendly.”

For News and Current Affairs Manager at the Mandeville-based Northern Caribbean University (NCU) Media Group, Nadeen Campbell, “the workshop has been an eye-opener…it has helped to highlight gaps in my understanding.”

“There is recognition that CARICOM is not just a market, and an economy, it is about the people. We are now able to move around within the zone to do business,” she told JIS News.

Ms. Campbell said the liberties and the rights that “we now have, I wasn’t fully aware of them as I am now. I will be able to pass on my new found clarity to the many young people with whom I interact on a regular basis,” she said.

News Editor at the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ), Glendon Atkinson, said he got empowering information that he will be using to further his development, and noted that although being an “informed” person, “there was so much that I did not know about the CSME.”

“I got exposed to the broader scope of the Single Market and Economy, and to see my place within it, and how I can utilise that in bridging the gaps between nations within the Caribbean, and helping to foster stronger bonds of economic ties, as well as cultural exchange,” he told JIS News.

Mr. Atkinson said the workshop was very instructive, and the presentations  simple and easy to understand.

He added that based on information given on the CARICOM ‘Certificate of Recognition of Caribbean Community Skilled Person’, which is obtainable at the Ministry of Labour, “I can expose myself to a bigger market, and get more options for employment, education and training.”

Another media practitioner, Tamara McKayle, who is a Writer and Presenter at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Television Department, said the workshop has deepened her drive to “look at the human interest of things, and to look more at CARICOM nationals, and their experiences.”

“A lot of the legal side of things was cleared up for me. That knowledge will help me to impart in a creative way to the public, and just being able to carry out reporting on those issues in a clearer and comprehensive manner,” Ms. McKayle said.

Meanwhile, the CTCP Coordinator told JIS News that her office is engaging the media and the schools across the region to channel communication on the opportunities available to persons in CARICOM.

“I like the responses we received in Jamaica. The participants will help with the message of the Single Market…to share the benefits as well as the challenges,” Ms. Illes said.

It was underscored at the workshop that persons who are denied entry in any of the 13-member CARICOM states, must be given written reasons, and they must get the opportunity to consult with an attorney or family member.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, while outlining the rights of media workers to practise in CARICOM states, noted that the CSME serves “to develop greater trade and economic cooperation with our traditional and non-traditional partners within and outside of this hemisphere.”

The CTCP is funded by the Canadian Government, and that country’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Robert Ready, said the funding was provided to “promote a more integrated Caribbean Community, in order to increase opportunities across the region for the average CARICOM citizen.”