In May this year Governor Delisle Worrell issued a directive to ban the Nation newspaper from participating in press conferences hosted by the Central Bank of Barbados. His action provoked wide condemnation from every corner within in civil society. The Governor and Central Bank obviously yielded to the pressure and public expectation reverted to the Governor having his routine press and Q&A sessions or so we thought!
It was a surprise therefore when the media was informed that the regular press conference to cover the six month economic performance review was to be cancelled. To date Barbados Underground has not discern the same level of outcry in response to the decision by the Central Bank compared to when the Nation newspaper was banned. Which is to be condemned more, the short-lived ban imposed on the Nation newspaper OR the cancellation of the press conference that denied the Fourth Estate from interrogating the banker of government at a time when we have more questions than answers.
The feeble excuse offered by the Central Bank and supported by leading media practitioner David Ellis that all press briefings are posted to a website is unacceptable. At a time when a greater level of public engagement is the desirable option, the Governor has chosen to retreat and is happy to limit his public appearances captured in the press to attendance at crop over events.