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Newbold to focus on TV

photo

Anthony Newbold

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

PRESS Secretary Anthony Newbold is now overseeing television programming for the Office of The Prime Minister, The Tribune understands.

The move was confirmed by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis via Erica Wells Cox, newly appointed communications director in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), who said Mr Newbold has been focusing on strategic communication projects such as a new 30-minute television programme being pitched as “interviews with government ministers on issues of national importance.”

“The press secretary has been focusing on strategic communications projects, such as the new 30-minute informational television programme, ‘A Closer Look’ which features interviews with government ministers on issues of national importance. Mr Newbold’s focus is always ensuring clear and frequent communication with the press and the Bahamian people,” Dr Minnis’ statement noted.

When asked if Mr Newbold’s weekly press briefings were cancelled or suspended, Mrs Wells Cox added: “No they are not cancelled. They will resume.”

In an article last month, The Tribune directed attention to the fact that Mr Newbold had not hosted a press briefing since before Christmas giving way to criticism over the need for his role at OPM.

In a press statement announcing his appointment on May 18, 2017, the government said: “This appointment is the beginning of the resolve of newly-elected Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis to make transparency one of the watchwords of his new Free National Movement government. (Anthony Newbold) will conduct media briefings on Cabinet decisions after Cabinet meetings and coordinate media appearances and press conferences for the prime minister among other duties.”

Nonetheless, the plan has seemingly fallen apart in recent months, with reporters growing increasingly frustrated by Mr Newbold’s limited ability to get substantive responses to queries.

Sources in the government, speaking anonymously about the matter to The Tribune in February, blamed civil servants and a political culture which, for all the rhetoric, struggles with transparency. Some also criticised Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, saying he never sent a directive to senior civil servants ordering them to respond to information requests that come from senior communication personnel like Mr Newbold.

Mrs Wells Cox was appointed as OPM communications director in January.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 3 years, 10 months ago

Ok good. That's his expertise. Good news

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 10 months ago

A good idea ........... But he does not ask any seriously challenging questions to these Ministers ........ It is all warm fuzzy political jingo .......... A waste of money for his (at least) $70,000 p.a. job.

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