Barbados central bank tries to backtrack on newspaper ban

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The Central Bank of Barbados has tried to backtrack on a letter Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell sent last week to the chief executive officer and publisher of the Nation newspaper, Vivian-Anne Gittens, stating that Nation/Sun staff will not be invited to any future press conference or media event hosted by Worrell as governor of the central bank.

On Monday, the Central Bank issued a press release stating that the bank respects and embraces freedom of the press and the importance of the dissemination of timely and accurate information and as such has not banned the Nation Corporation.

The bank assured media practitioners in Barbados as well as the public at large that it will continue to keep all media houses fully abreast of all developments on economic and other pertinent matters which fall under its purview, including the Nation Publishing Company, as is normal.

“The Nation Publishing Company will receive all press releases and other communications issued by the Central Bank, and all media houses and the general public have free access to the Central Bank’s website, where all our statements, reports, data and speeches, and all other publications are posted,” the release said.

However, the release did not specifically address or rescind the express ban on invitations to any future press conference or media event hosted by the governor of the central bank contained in Worrell’s letter last week.

An emailed request for clarity that Nation/Sun staff will now continue to be invited to such future press conferences or media events went unanswered by the Central Bank.

Similarly, no explanation was forthcoming as to why it was necessary to write to the CEO and publisher of the Nation newspaper last week informing them that Nation/Sun staff will not be invited to any future press conference or media event hosted by the Governor of the Central Bank.

Furthermore, the bank did not provide an explanation as to why it was necessary to state the obvious that “all media houses and the general public have free access to the Central Bank’s website, where all our statements, reports, data and speeches, and all other publications are posted.”

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