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Journalists to be trained as financial watchdogs

Published:Monday | February 22, 2010 | 12:00 AM

AN UPCOMING workshop on business and financial reporting will provide journalists, as well as communications personnel at regulatory agencies, with critical research and reporting skills to put public and private companies under the financial microscope.

The workshop, which runs March 9-10, is being presented jointly by the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Paula Marcelle-Irish, ACCA Northern Caribbean manager, says the workshop is two-fold. It aims to equip participants with the research and analytical techniques involved in investigating the financial operation of businesses, as well as to critically examine the financial statements of companies.

The course is designed for journalists who cover the areas of business, finance, utilities or Parliament. The training will also benefit research and communications personnel in business/ financial regulatory agencies, including the Bank of Jamaica, the Financial Services Commission, the Office of Utilities Regulation, as well as the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Workshop participants should have a minimum of one year's experience in their specialised areas.

PAJ President Byron Buckley said the workshop was "critical in developing the role of media practitioners as effective watch-dogs of accountability and transparency". He underscored the need for communications practitioners in watchdog institutions to partner with their counterparts in media to better serve the public.