General Elections Are On January 25
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 24, 2010 (CUOPM)
The Editor-in-Chief of SKNVIBES, Mr. Stanford Conway has expressed his outrage over a statement made Friday night by Chairman of the Peoples Action Movement (PAM), Mr. Sydney Osborne at a public meeting that the party held in Newtown.
Mr. Conway said that on Friday between 8:30 and 8:45 pm while at home editing and posting a number of articles on the website, he received telephone calls from seven persons stating that Mr. Sydney Osborne said at a public meeting that one of SKNVIBES reporters and himself reported seeing Glen “Ghost” Philip this (Friday) morning in the Electoral Office with a man, whom both claimed was there for the purpose of registering for the upcoming election.
“I would like to categorically state that I have never had any conversation today with Mr. Osborne about Mr. Philip or anyone. I am therefore demanding an immediate public apology from Mr. Osborne and would like him to desist from dragging me into his political cesspool,” Conway said.
Mr. Conway however explained that Friday morning he was present in the Electoral Office while Philip was there, but his visit was to find out from Mr. Knight the total amount of persons registered to vote in each Constituency.
This (Friday) morning, one of my reporters and I visited the Electoral Office with the aim of legally acquiring the number of people registered to vote in each Constituency. While there, I saw Mr. Glen Philip and we greeted each other with a handshake and briefly shared a few words as old acquaintances.
“I never enquired of his presence or that of the other 10 or so persons in the Office. If Mr. Osborne’s intention were to gain political mileage by assuming Mr. Philip’s presence was to surreptitiously and illegally gain another vote for the Labour Party on Monday, and that I, as a professional journalist, could be used to add fuel to his propaganda machinery, I am kindly asking him to desist from causing me more stigmas. However, if it were a fact that Mr. Philip was engaged in such an act, isn’t it logical that I would have already had an article posted on SKNVibes?
“From as early as the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and the People’s Action Movement commenced their political campaigns, they have been sending press releases to be posted on our website. Many of them were posted and some did not, which caused representatives to not only label SKNVibes as a supporter of either party, but also me. I was told by some Labour representatives that I’m a “Pamite” and Labour representatives said that I’m a “Labourite”. I am neither a member of any political party in the Federation nor am I against them.”
In his explanation as to the reason why some of the press releases from the two political parties were not posted on SKNVibes website, Mr. Conway said that on many occasions his reporters would have already covered the same issues or events, or they would have written articles from them after investigating.
He further explained that some press releases do seem to contain libelous materials and it is better not to publish them, rather than being taken to a court of law.
Every media house has policies by which it operates, but yet they encounter problems that border on libel. SKNVibes also has its policies and was being guided by them until in the recent past when management, in an effort to please both political parties on St. Kitts, published all press releases and had to apologise or remove them from the website.
Therefore, from this perspective, as the Editor-in-Chief, I have decided that only after thorough investigation of the contents of a press release, which may seem to border on libel, will I allow its publication.”