By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
OPPOSITION Leader Philip “Brave” Davis said the government’s new communications director will not boost the popularity of the Minnis administration, but represents yet another expense Bahamians have to cover.
He spoke after Erica Wells, a communications expert with extensive experience in journalism, was hired as the director of communications in the Office of the Prime Minister to coordinate and manage strategic communications.
“We wish (her) good luck,” he said at a press conference yesterday.
During his first press conference of the year yesterday, Mr Davis said: “Bahamians are once again faced with having to pay for another public relations person. Why is the prime minister afraid to speak directly to the public? While we welcome the new director of communications, a new messenger will not fix the government’s problems.
“The problem is the message.
“When I talk about yet another public relations salary out of the Public Treasury, I ought to note that we’ve always had a director of Bahamas Information Services and then we have appointed after the elections a press secretary and now we have a director of communications. It seems we have two persons and another whole department under the guidance and control of the director of BIS doing the same job, all at the expense of who, us, the Bahamian people.”
Mr Davis also attacked ZNS yesterday for failing to air a substantial portion of an interview he gave the state network last month.
He said the interview featured issues of national importance and the future of the Progressive Liberal Party.
He claimed senior officials at ZNS directed subordinates not to air opposition stories unless the government has responded.
“I make this point because the Office of the Leader of the Opposition is a constitutional position and the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas is a public corporation owned by the Bahamian people,” he said.
“Members of the opposition have as much right to access this national communications network as the government does and the professionals at ZNS should determine what constitutes news.”
Mr Davis said he will make a formal complaint to the Utilities Regulation & Competition Authority about the matter.