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Gov't needs new communication strategy, says Falconer

Published:Monday | December 16, 2013 | 12:13 PM

The Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator Sandrea Falconer has suggested that the current communication strategies by her Government have failed.



She says new strategies will have to be found since the Jamaican media rarely carries stories that are positive and aimed at national building.



Falconer made the comment in a Facebook post yesterday, following a Sunday Gleaner editorial about the current trip of Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Peter Phillips to China.



Senator Falconer described the editorial on the issue of overseas travel as long overdue, but claimed local media houses have been selective in reporting on the issue.



Senator Falconer said it was time for mature discussions instead of what she called malicious and puerile commentary.



While agreeing with her argument, one Facebook fan remarked that Jamaicans have a right to hear the outcomes of overseas travel involving members of the Government.



Senator Falconer replied that for every trip made by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, there are press releases, reports to Parliament or updates at her weekly post-Cabinet press briefings.



However, the Facebook respondent said that those methods may not be working, given the continued public concern.



Senator Falconer then conceded saying the Government will have to find new ways of getting the message out.



Earlier this month, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness tabled questions in Parliament for the Prime Minister to provide answers on the cost and number of overseas trips she and members of her Government have made since January 1 last year.



Holness has also asked that in relation to trips to Japan, the EU and the African Union, the Prime Minister give details on commitments made by other countries to the Jamaican Government.



In November, the Government disclosed that it cost taxpayers just under $20 million to pay for a 17-member delegation led by the Prime Minister to China in August.



The Government has said it signed four agreements with China, including a US$300-million deal to fund the Major Infrastructure Development Programme



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