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Thursday, August 18, 2022

A New Day: Watson to Take His Turn at the Podium

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Clint Watson, Prime Minister Philip Davis’ new press secretary will seek to begin with a clean slate on Wednesday as he addresses members of the media on governmental affairs for the first time, since imposing stringent rules for the media in his appointed position.

The Office of the Prime Minister posted a reminder of the press briefing on its social media page. Watson will address the media in a live briefing at 11 am.

This comes after Watson caused dissatisfaction among members of the media when he sought to implement restrictive guidelines for the press as the newly appointed press secretary.

Among other things, the new rules stated that only accredited journalists and staff will be permitted into Cabinet and OPM briefings; accreditation forms should be filled out by media houses and submitted to the Office of the Press Secretary for approval; a press officer will indicate the final question toward the end of the briefing and no further questions will be asked thereafter; and reporters requesting specific responses to issues should communicate with the Press Secretary Office by 6 pm the latest, before the briefing.

When criticized by the media, Watson sought to explain the rules and accused the press of “manufacturing a controversy.”

Watson is a former journalist and news director and is now the new government’s mouthpiece, providing updates on the government’s activities.

Social media users have been critical of Watson in his new role.

   

The position of press secretary is an American tradition and would make the second time that a government attempted the use of a press secretary. The Free National Movement was unsuccessful in its attempt.

It remains to see how much of the new rules Watson will implement and how the media will receive him in this position.

 

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