Trainers Lisa Essex (left) and Wesley Gibbings (GPA photo) AS media workers continue to prepare themselves better, to be able to objectively monitor, question and report on Guyana’s coming oil and gas sector, several turned out on Saturday for the commencement of a two-day “Oil and Gas Training for Media Workers,” held at the Herdmanston Lodge.
The event was organised by the Guyana Press Association (GPA), in collaboration with Exxon, with training facilitated by international journalism trainer, editor and writer Lisa Essex and Journalist and Former President of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM), Wesley Gibbings.
A section of the audience at the training on Saturday The event builds on a previous two-day seminar held in May that dealt with oil, gas and energy transparency matters. That was also organised by the GPA Last weekend’s event was attended by representatives from most media houses in the country, including the Guyana Chronicle, Stabroek News, Guyana Times, Kaieteur News, Prime News, the National Communications Network (NCN), Nightly News, Capitol News, News Source and News Room, among other entities.
Some of the objectives of the event included training on How oil prices work; Factors which influence prices; How to write an energy story; and The Code of Ethics in oil Journalism,” among others. Attendees were also given an opportunity to share some of the issues that they hoped to see addressed during the two-day workshop, and these were incorporated. The importance of fact-checking and objectivity were particularly stressed by Essex and Gibbings, as they opened the session. They emphasised to media workers their role in ensuring that factual information gets out to the public; this, in an age where disinformation and misinformation abound and is further proliferated via social media. “With the vast explosion of social media and channel for users information, we have to reside in that landscape and continue to establish ourselves as the place people go to verify their information,” Essex noted.
Gibbings delivered a presentation on “The Process of Verification”; he stressed the importance of being objective, and unbiased in reporting
“In your personal life you will have a bias, a preference, a belief system, [but] what you think about an issue is perhaps the least important part of the story,” Gibbings warned. The media workers were given a chance to role-play and act out scenarios covering hypothetical situations in covering oil and gas news.
LINK ORIGINAL: Guyana Chronicle