MATT: Griffith should be more temperate in choice of words

The Media Association is calling on Police Commissioner Gary Griffith to be more temperate in his choice of words so that he would not appear to be against freedom of speech.

The statement comes in response to Griffith's comments on The Morning Brew Monday, in which he challenged the media's decision to interview people and family of people he said were not on the right side of the law.

MATT says it is not in a war with the police.

The association issued the following statement on Monday:

"The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago would like to put on record that the duty of all journalists is to report all sides of a story not just selected viewpoints.

While the Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, is free to express his opinion on how journalists conduct their duties, MATT would like to remind the CoP that freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy.

Mr. Griffith has repeatedly used his right to freedom of speech to sarcastically refer to media houses and journalists he does not agree with.

To the Commissioner we say it is your right to question any report in the print and broadcast media.

However, MATT suggests the Commissioner be more temperate in his choice of words so as not to create the impression he is not in support of a free press.

MATT’s recent conversation with the police commissioner was one we felt positive about and we take the opportunity to remind him that he is not at war with the media nor is the media at war with him or the police service. We support the good work of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and will continue to report on their fight against crime.

Likewise, the journalists of Trinidad and Tobago will continue to highlight the views of persons who may disagree with the manner in which police conduct their duties.

The press will not muzzle these people. If the Commissioner disagrees with the views expressed, we will report on that also.

Having said that, MATT reminds reporters and journalists of the need to be fair and balanced in all reporting."

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