The Parliament Office has teamed up with the Canadian High Commission, the Guyana Press Association (GPA) as well as the Caribbean Association of Media Workers (ACM) to host a training workshop for local journalists to sharpen their reporting skills of parliamentary affairs.The two-day media training on parliamentary coverage is being held in Parliament ChambersThe two-day media training commenced on Saturday and aims to improve the media’s knowledge of parliamentary practices and procedures, improve the media’s understanding of its role in an evolving democracy and consider the tenets of journalistic ethics vis-à-vis parliamentary coverage.Speaking at the opening of the workshop, President of the GPA Nazima Raghubir, recognised the training as necessary, critical and important for paving the way for the media to be a responsible force in a growing democracy.“We the media have a major role to play in the development of this country as well as ensuring that the democratic processes and channels are intact. To do that, to play our role, to do our jobs we must be informed, we must be knowledgeable and most importantly, we must be responsible. I see this training, over the next twoAt the head table: GPA President Nazima Raghubir; ACM Executive Member Wesley Gibbings; Canadian High Commissioner Lilian Chatterjee; and House Speaker, Dr Barton Scotland at the opening of the media training on Saturdaydays, the beginning of a long overdue conversation and a critical conversation that we, the media and the Parliament including Members of the Parliament, needed to have,” she posited.Raghubir went on to say that this training opportunity should be used to understand respective roles and also to listen to each other so that the average citizens would benefit in the long run. The GPA President encouraged the participants to engage and have frank discussions during the workshop.Among the facilitators of the training session is Executive Member and former President of the (ACM), Wesley Gibbings, who underscored the importance of the Parliament and the media in a democracy. He noted that these two institutions are indispensible to the democratic process.“…We have these two institutions of Parliament and of the media because their chief functionaries comprising essentially journalists and politicians are two groups of people who love to hate each other. So we have these two groups of people who are in a perpetual station of contestation for different things. And the impact on democracy is that tensions between these two groups of people ought to be creative tensions that would lead us to a path of democracy and because of that democracy, on a path of a development,” the ACM Executive noted. Also joining Gibbings on the facilitator panel is Editor-in-Chief of Trinidad’s Newsday and former parliamentary journalist, Judy Raymond.Meanwhile, Canadian High Commissioner Lilian Chatterjee too highlighted the importance of such a training session, while reiterating her country’s commitment to supporting such initiatives.“In our democracies, the media is a fundamental part of political life. Their role is to investigate and examine facts to ensure that power is checked and that decision-makers are held accountable. The Parliament is the pinnacle of democracy and the media is the channel through, which the deliberations and the legislator are communicated to the people… Today, our task here is to improve the links that bond the people’s House with the people,” Chatterjee stated.On the other hand, House Speaker, Dr Barton Scotland in brief remarks expressed appreciation to media operatives for participating in what he describes as forum to strengthen the relationship between the Parliament and the media.The training will conclude today.