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Association of Caribbean Media Workers elects new leadership

Trinidadian broadcaster, Dale Enoch, was elected the new President of the
Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) at the organization’s Third Biennial General Meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados, on November 4.

Enoch is the former President of the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago
(MATT), and a broadcast journalist and head of the News and Current affairs
department at Trinidad’s independent radio station, i95.5FM.

Enoch was elected unopposed by journalists and representatives of media
organizations from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti,
Jamaica, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and
Trinidad and Tobago.

He takes over from Wesley Gibbings, who will serve the next two years as
General-Secretary of the association.

Outgoing President, Gibbings, warned the assembled delegates about the
dangers of censorship and attempts to control the media. He said, "The continued
existence of politicians who insist it is their right and their right alone to
dispense information and opinion is as anachronistic as it is a danger to the
public good."

Gibbings also called on Caribbean journalists and national media workers’
associations to do more to protect media freedom. "The reality is that in the
Caribbean, we do not have societies that are willing to fight for the right for
the press to be free," warned Gibbings.

During the meeting, a handbook for Caribbean journalists on covering climate
change issues was launched, and the ACM distributed "The Looming Storm," its
state of the Caribbean media report for 2005.

Peter Richards (St Lucia/Trinidad) and Bert Wilkinson (Guyana) both retained
their posts as First and Second Vice Presidents, respectively. Veteran
journalist, Nita Ramcharan, was elected Assistant General-Secretary.

Accepting messages of good will from members of the ACM listserve, Dale Enoch outlined his
philosophy, saying "We need to guard our freedoms. Constitutional guarantees do
not necessarily become reality. Threats to such freedoms exist in just about
every country in the region. Some of those threats are subtle, while others are
blatant and dangerous. We need to recognize them and deal with them."

Haiti was represented at the Barbados meeting by Jean-Claude Louis of Panos