Following the largely successful execution of the inaugural “Comms Convos” Conference hosted by the Public Relations Association of Trinidad and Tobago (PRATT) on Wednesday 6th September 2023, the Executive has taken a moment to clarify the facts regarding important contributions made at the event that are of public interest.
In a feature address delivered by the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senator The Honourable Reginald Armour S.C., he noted that, since 1823, the three arms of government – the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary – have been held accountable by the media, which is widely considered to be the fourth arm of government.
Reinforcing that the government works “for and of the people” on the values of trust and professionalism, he further outlined that the fourth estate was of critical importance as a shared responsibility that we as a collective must all accept as citizens.
According to release from PRATT, the AG also noted that “the freedom of the press, which is guaranteed by Section 4K of our Constitution, carries with it the responsibility of the Fourth Estate to be truthful, to be factual, and to be responsible in how it deals with holding the other three estates accountable and holding power to account.”
“As a point of encouraging open and transparent dialogue on good governance to the audience, he also asked the question “to whom is the media accountable”. Our Executive wishes to confirm that at no time during his statements did the Attorney General assert that the government or any other stakeholder body should act in a capacity to regulate the work of the media or to operate with interference. To state this would not only be erroneous, but also a misrepresentation of the tone, scope and intent of these meaningful contributions.
The release further stated: “At the Public Relations Association of Trinidad and Tobago, we understand the power of effective communication and the vital role it plays in shaping perceptions, building relationships, guiding industry growth and driving success. With our core principles, our Executive has always advocated that journalistic integrity is an important facet of understanding the place and space for storytelling and reporting. Equally important to this fundamental reality, however, is also understanding the evolving roles that shape the landscape, which has broadened these responsibilities that work together to meet the needs of the public that we all continue to humbly serve as communicators. With the advent of digital communications and its rapid advancement in our daily lives, it is the reason our Executive has progressively worked to widen the net of professionals who are welcomed as PRATT members to promote excellence, foster collaboration, and advocate for the value of our craft, while meeting the needs of the public.”
“As we continue to value these contributions from other associations as indispensable stakeholders to the development of the Public Relations and Communications industry, the Executive of the Public Relations Association of Trinidad and Tobago takes this opportunity to welcome and continue the dialogue that started at the recently concluded Communications Conversations Conference. Partnership will always be a key cornerstone of our mission and vision. We invite existing bodies and thought-leaders to collaborate with us on future events, such as breakout sessions, by sharing the knowledge and information that amplify synergies and will make a lasting impact in our dynamic, exciting and evolving industry.