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Local media undergo training on parliamentary reporting

first_imgThe 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.last_img read more

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Proposition 103 finally near to the end of a long road

first_imgBut the 18-year journey to implement the entire ballot measure involves one of the longest delaying tactics ever seen, said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. Stern said it was a huge surprise when voters passed it in the first place because of the intense opposition by the insurance industry, which mounted an $80 million campaign against it. The legal battle continued afterward in what Stern compares to the tale of David and Goliath. “The problem is that David slew Goliath in a much faster way. It didn’t take 20 years,” Stern said. “But things moved quite faster in the old days. And Goliath did not have car insurance.” Advocates still hesitate to say the war has been won, because insurance companies could still appeal a court decision over regulation. But the rules are in place and people are already beginning to see some signs of relief. The Automobile Club of Southern California agreed in 2006 to base rates on a driver’s history instead of ZIP code, the first company to do so. Some rates ticked up about 5 percent, but most saw rates decrease by 7 percent, an annual savings of about $134, spokeswoman Carol Thorp said. Over the course of the next year, customers of other companies will see the changes, said Doug Heller, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. “Sometimes the only thing worse in the delay of justice is to give up the pursuit of it,” Heller said. “Here we have resolution. Finally the peoples’ word will finally take hold. It’s taken a darn long time though.” In the end, California has dropped from one of the most expensive states in the nation for auto liability insurance to No. 20, according to a 2004 study from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Policy holders pay an average of $832. New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and New York are the top three contenders for priciest rates, paying an average of $1,192 for liability insurance. If you’re looking for cheapest, you’ll have to move to Idaho, South Dakota or Iowa, where the average cost for liability insurance is $585. How do your car insurance rates fare? What are your thoughts about mandatory insurance and regulation? Tell our blog at www.insidesocal/alongfortheride. sue.doyle@dailynews.com (818) 713-3746160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It’s been a 20-year battle fraught with court challenges and millions in legal bills, but California drivers should emerge victorious in a contentious battle for fair auto insurance rates by August 2008. By then, insurance companies have to be in compliance with state rules that say your driving history matters more than where you live when determining rates. We’re nearing the conclusion of the long, drawn-out battle over Proposition 103, which was approved by voters in 1988 and imposed stringent regulations on the insurance industry. “I was only 37 when I wrote this, and I’ll be 55 next year,” said Harvey Rosenfield, author of Proposition 103 and founder of the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. “In a way, I’ll tell you, it reflects very poorly on our government and judicial system.” Of the state’s 23 million motorists, those with good driving records should eventually see some relief when their car insurance bills arrive in August 2008 or later – in particular city dwellers who have fumed about paying more than suburbanites simply because of their ZIP code – a practice commonly referred to as redlining. Some have already seen changes. But what makes the savings even sweeter is the triumph over a mega-sized industry that fought to keep the rules in their favor. Car insurance became mandatory in California in 1970. And it didn’t take long for motorists to become angry and frustrated with insurance rates – emotions that led to the birth of Proposition 103. A main component of the measure – a 20 percent rate reduction that forced insurers to refund more than $1.2 billion to policy holders – took hold in 1993. And the call for an elected rather than an appointed insurance commissioner was also answered, along with greater regulation of home, auto and business insurance. last_img read more