Almost two weeks after suffering a severe tongue lashing from the Caymanian Tourism Minister McKeeva Bush, there is support coming from the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), for Reporter for the Caymanian Compass, Olivia Scott.
Speaking during the fifth Caribbean Media Exchange being held the Almond Beach Resort in the North of Barbados, President-elect of the CHA Berthia Parle told editors in a “sound off” session that they must stand behind their Journalists.“You should encourage your journalists to ask the question that should be asked of the politicians. Too often they get away with murder,” she noted.The outcry comes after Minister Bush verbally attacked Ms. Scott in front of an audience of approximately 250 people after she posed a question during the morning sitting at the Cayman Islands’ Annual Tourism Conference.For an event which was held under the theme “Tourism, Stronger Together”, aimed at promoting the Islands and its friendly people, the conference revealed another side of Minister Bush.The attack came when Ms Scott asked the Minister and Director for Tourism, Mrs. Lania Rittenhouse, “On various occasions this year both of you have agreed that there needs to be a balance between cruise and air arrivals, yet we’ve recently seen the introduction of cruise ships on Sundays and next year 2.3 million cruisers are expected. What are we doing to create this balance that you both agree is necessary?”As reported by Cayman Netnews, one witness stated that Mr. Bush “went ballistic when she asked that question…He shouted ‘You’ve asked that question before, and you’re beating it into the ground. We’ve already said we’re working on it and that no decisions have been made.“Mr. Bush also reportedly launched a personal attack on Ms. Scott in front of the country’s US public relations firm, US Marketing Agency and representatives from the UK, Canada and other US tourism offices, stating that what “peeves” him is when certain reporters have “political agendas” and “twist the facts” to make articles say what they want them to say”.At that point, Ms Scott reportedly walked out and did not return.To date, Ms. Parle noted that there has been no real support or any requests for an apology from the Minister coming from Scott’s employer, the Caymanian Compass.“If the media houses allow people to disrespect their journalist then there will be no respect coming from the public, especially Government Ministers, for local journalist. Had this been an international journalist they would not have been treated in the way Olivia was.”