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Tuesday 21 May 2019
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CoP defends blasting media: It’s constructive criticism

Commissiner of Police Gary Griffith 

Commissiner of Police Gary Griffith PHOTO SUREASH CHOLAI

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith this afternoon stood by earlier remarks criticising media houses for "biased" coverage. He said it was intended as constructive criticism and to raise the standard of reporting in TT.

Newsday spoke with Griffith. who said the reports from some media houses showed favouritism towards criminals.

"I want the media to see it as constructive criticism. If you see when we did the operation on the Beetham last Thursday, the only people this media house could get to interview were two fellas at the corner that were obviously affiliated or had a sense of loyalty to certain persons of interest.

"Nowhere else in the world does the media give so much prominence to persons of interest. This is a war we are involved in, the more the media gives criminals credibility. My concept is to explain to the media that not everything means that you must have a balance."

Asked for the government's stance on Griffith's remarks, Stuart Young, Minister of National Security and Communication, said, "He is more than capable of speaking for himself, as Minister of Communication all I can do is encourage our media to continue to be very responsible. You all know your duties and responsibilities quite well and how important is that responsibility."

This afternoon, a release issued by the police service quoted Griffith as saying that while he appreciated every sector has a job to do, giving attention to criminals would do more harm than good.

"At some point we must understand that giving prominence to persons of interest, only adds to the perception and ‘glorification’ of the ‘gang-mentality,’" he said. "At some point the global public interest must be placed as paramount, rather than comments and stories for the purpose of sensationalism.”

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