The media blackout instituted by former Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr DeLisle Worrell has officially come to an end.
In a statement today the Bank formally thanked members of the media for participating in its recent off-the-record briefing with the Acting Governor Cleviston Haynes and members of its management team.
“We appreciate your feedback and candour with respect to our proposed plans to strengthen media relations, commencing with the resumption of our quarterly economic press conferences on May 9, 2017,” the statement said.
As part of its new format for engagements with the media, the Bank informed that preceding next Tuesday’s 11 a.m. news conference, there would be an off–the-record briefing hosted by its Director of Research and Economic Analysis Michelle-Doyle-Lowe at 9:30 a.m. at which the official press release on the performance of the economy would be issued.
After a public disagreement with the Nation newspaper over the accuracy of its coverage back in 2014, Worrell immediately moved to put a halt to his quarterly engagements with the media, which were traditionally held the day after the press release was issued.
This situation persisted for well over two years.
However, with Worrell’s sacking back in February from the helm of the monetary authority at the height of a bitter impasse with Government over monetary and administrative policy, the blackout has been lifted.
And despite his aversion for meeting with the media while in office, the ex-Governor strategically turned to select journalists this week to issue the first in what is expected to be a series of economic letters on the state of the national economy.
In his first letter released last Tuesday and entitled It’s Worth the Effort to Save Our Dollar Peg the Governor said Government would be “well advised” to seek the assistance of the International Monetary Fund “without delay”.
He also called for immediate cuts to the public service against the backdrop of a worrying economic situation highlighted by dwindling foreign exchange reserves, which fell precariously from $1.4 billion in 2012 to $681 million by the end of last year.