Dr Wheatley said his Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government has done some very good things since entering office, but the story is not always told because many persons rely on the media for their information.
“We have an approach to media in some instances, and persons who are working in media in some instances that’s not helpful in engendering an atmosphere of truth and accuracy,“ Dr Wheatley said.
While not naming any offending media houses, Dr Wheatley pointed to some of the offending articles that were published in recent times.
He cited an article posted about a simple comment made by Premier Andrew Fahie with regard to increasing the salaries of backbenchers in the House of Assembly (HOA).
The Education Minister said the article on the Premier’s statements — which, according to Dr Wheatley, were “just something to contemplate and to meditate on” — was both inaccurate and misleading.
“The media wrote a story that we’re getting ready to raise backbenchers’ salaries,“ he noted.
At the time, however, the Premier spoke at length about his intention to support raising backbenchers’ salaries in a future constitutional review, suggesting that the salaries were insufficient and backbenchers and Opposition members did not benefit from their allowances upon retirement.
“There’s a significant salary difference between a minister and the backbenchers and opposition [members] whose salary [are] the same. And eventually, as we do the constitutional review, I would promote that the salaries be even for all legislators so that whether you are a minister or not, you know, that the salaries are even,” the Premier said at the time.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Premier also pointed to another article which said the Education Ministry would dock teachers’ pay for their unreported absence during a sickout that was done recently.
He questioned whether the news site had gotten an official announcement from the Teaching Services Commission or even the Governor, who is responsible for public sector employees.
“Some senior source in some nonsense—reckless journalism,” he stated.
The Education Minister insisted that this type of journalism needs to be called out, and argued that better needs to be done in this regard.
“Let the facts speak for themselves and let people make up their own mind,” Dr Wheatley said.