Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:04 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Williams heads new Matt executive
The Media Association of T&T (Matt) has a new executive headed by Trinidad Guardian’s energy reporter Curtis Williams. Williams received 34 votes, three votes more than his nearest rival WIN TV’s Sheldon Yearwood, when elections were held yesterday. He said training and development for journalists will be top of the agenda for the newly-elected executive and hosting the Matt awards is another area that will be explored.
Williams said Matt had to become more self-sufficient. He said he did not think there was a conflict of interest if NGOs wanted to assist Matt but there must be a clear understanding that the association was not beholden to any organisation. The elections were held at TSTT’s offices on Independence Square in Port-of-Spain and at St James Street in San Fernando. The two locations were linked via TSTT’s video-conferencing technology.
In all, 53 ballots were cast in Port-of-Spain and 21 in San Fernando. Although 25 journalists were nominated for the seven positions, three withdrew—Francesa Hawkins, Ira Mathur and Kristee Kalisingh. CNC3’s reporter Khamal Georges was elected vice-president. Akash Samaroo, a 23-year-old reporter at i95.5FM became secretary by default since Mathur was the only other contender. He still received 60 votes.
On his victory, Williams congratulated his opponents—Yearwood and Anil Goorahoo. He said, “I want to also thank Sheldon Yearwood and Anil Goorahoo for the race that they ran and I hope that they will continue to be available to the association into the future because we will be calling on everybody to be on board if we are to really build on this organisation and take it forward.”
Williams has been a journalist for more than 21 years and for the last decade and a half has written extensively on the Caribbean energy sector. Asked about training, Williams said he had already spoken to several veteran journalists who expressed willingness to provide training. “Only this week I was asked by the president of Methanol Trinidad if there were journalists that I thought would benefit from training sessions in the energy sector and certainly, I think there are lots of opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Georges said, “Today is really the beginning of what will be a very tough journey going forward in re-establishing the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago as the organisation that should be representing the interest of media workers and really setting itself out to provide the necessary training and mentorship.” The members of the new executive are:
• President—Curtis Williams
• Vice president—Khamal Georges
• Treasurer—Carla Bridgelal
• Secretary—Akash Samaroo
• Assistant secretary—Omatie Lyder
• Floor members—Richard Charan and Jabari Fraser
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