Last update: 29-Jul-2014 11:16 pm
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Media snubbed at UWI fete
The event co-ordinator of last weekend’s UWI Development and Endowment Fund fete (Brasil 2014), Dennis Ramdeen, has apologised to members of the media who were denied food and drinks at the event, which was held in the grounds of the principal’s residence at UWI’s St Augustine Campus.
When members of the media arrived at the venue on Sunday, their accreditation wristbands were removed and they were not given a replacement to allow access to the food and drink stations. As such, many of them left the venue disgruntled and some have taken to Facebook to voice their concerns On Monday, Ramdeen acknowledged the incident and said there had been a miscommunication.
He said: “There was a glitch in the system where the media is concerned. It was a system we had implemented at the processing points of entry to the venue. The people with those bands were to just get entry to the event. “There was a glitch in that people who were to get another band, including the working media, didn’t get them. In all, about 40 people were affected. We actually catered for about 500 people like security and bar attendants.
“I took personal responsibility for that. Afterwards, I went on Facebook and apologised to the media. I am very sorry for the error.” Party promoters have different methods of catering to the working media at events. Some give complimentary tickets while some promoters now post the names of media personnel covering their events at the door, instead of providing invites carte blanche to media houses.
Upon arrival, journalists are required to produce their press passes, which are then cross-referenced with the names on a list to gain access. Most promoters treat members of the media covering the event exactly as they treat paying patrons and allow them access to food and drink stations. Former Old Hilarians chairman Ann Marguerite-Moore said: “The working media get the same privileges like everybody else. Entertainers and guest artistes have a different-coloured wristband, though, but also receive the same courtesies.”
Island People Mas director Dane Lewis, producer of Amnesia, added: “We host the media properly. The media has always been entitled to everything, just like all paying patrons. There is no difference.” Dexter Charles, a member of the Trinity College Soka in Moka party, said: “We issue media passes. We used to have names at the door, but we had issues with that system. “Once the person has a media pass he is entitled to all the courtesies extended to all paying patrons.”
Dean Akin, owner of Ultimate Events, producer of Tribe ICE, Stumped and 1 Fete, said: “As a general rule, all approved media is given full access to all food and drinks at our events. “With the advent of social media we receive much more requests, but we accommodate the traditional media.
“For workers and contractors, at large events, you can have about 300 people working, so it becomes very critical, especially for all-inclusive events, to give access to all contracted workers. We give these people a different-coloured wristband to control things.”