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Happy New Year from the Media Association of Saint Lucia!

New Year's message from the President of teh Media Association of Saint Lucia, Clinton Reynolds

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

On behalf of the Executive of the Media Association of Saint Lucia (MASL), it is my pleasure and honor to extend greetings to you as we stand on the cusp of 2015.  I am humbled, once again, to open another new year with you as the President of this unmatchable organization that has faced numerous challenges but realized many a success in the past year.  As we approach 2015 we do so with the pragmatism that it will not all be smooth sailing for us as an association or as individual media practitioners, but we have the hope that we can use our skills and abilities to surmount every challenge to achieve greatness.

2014 has been an interesting and pivotal year for us as an organization and for individual members of our small fraternity.  We witnessed the ascension of a new executive committee to lead the MASL into its second biennium with members deciding that I should continue at the helm.  I thank you for your vote of confidence.  Treasurer, Glen Simon and P.R.O./ Assistant Secretary, Maria Fontenelle were also retained in their positions.  We were happy to welcome four new executive members to advance the work of the MASL: Vice President, Dale Elliott; Secretary, Stan Bishop; and Floor Members - Medalise Breen and Kendall "Scady" Eugene.  They have shown a great measure of enthusiasm which we expect to utilize fully. Unfortunately, we lost the services of Stan Bishop as Secretary to familial and additional work commitments, but he continues to support the MASL diligently, as a member.  I want to express sincere thanks to him for his service and continued support.  A priority for us in the new year is filling that void so we can be as effective as possible in addressing the needs of our members.

Also, I want to take this opportunity to thank the former executive for giving yeomen service to the MASL in its formative years - former Vice President, Delia Dolor; former Secretary, Richmond Felix; and former Floor Members, Jerry George and Alisha Ali. You have served with distinction, and for that, we owe an eternal debt of gratitude.

Our engagement with members, potential members, media managers/owners and friends was evident in the past year and we hope to continue our dialogue in 2015.  Also, we solidified relationships with the Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers (ACM) and the International Press Institute (IPI) and we hope to see the fruits of those relationships manifest early in the new year.  We will continue to provide training opportunities for members as those become available and we implore you, our members, to take advantage of these opportunities. Media practitioners continue to provide invaluable service to their publics by providing information, entertaining and being the conduit between the public and newsmakers. I applaud you for your efforts, sometimes, under very difficult and trying circumstances. We hope to build on our success in the 2014 Inter-commercial Basketball tournament and participate in other such recreational and team-building activities going forward.  We were very proud of our 3rd place finish in the tournament out of 15 teams and we salute the team and coach, Andy Santesteban for their efforts.

While I do not wish to focus on the negatives, it is important for us to reflect on some of our challenges to prepare us better for the future.  A great number of our members continue to be subjected to intimidation, threats and harassment about which we are gravely concerned.  We insist that our greatest strength lies in our ability to come together, so we encourage you to play an active role in your organization. Do not allow the forces of government, business, religion or of any other group, organization or agency to deter your from your role as the purveyor of critical information to the public.

In 2015 the MASL will continue to build on our relationship with media practitioners designing programs and activities in areas of mutual interest. We will continue to explore avenues to attract more members and continue our focus on professional development.  Our discussion with members on pertinent issues will be intensified. We are not oblivious to the prospect of a general election as early as this year, so we urge member practitioners to prepare themselves for the peculiarities and stresses that accompany political campaigning.  Be careful to arm yourself with the right information and knowledge of the standards that govern our professional so you will be able to stand the tests that will present themselves.  I encourage you to maintain your integrity and independence and do not allow yourselves to be used by partisan political interests in the execution of your duties.

I wish you all the best in 2015 and give you the assurance that the Media Association of Saint Lucia will continue to stand with you to protect the independence, integrity and the role of the media in our society.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

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