Statement from Algernon ‘Serpent’ Watts

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Questions have been asked and concerns raised regarding the impact and/or ramifications that my candidacy for elected office on the United Progressive Party ticket in the next general elections will have on the independence and integrity of the news reporting of NewsCo, popularly known as Observer.

It is a fact that I am a co-owner of the company. I am also the managing director and the host of a radio programme, The Snakepit. In the daily operations up to the announcement of my candidature, I exercised editorial decision for my show only. Programming and news were not under my purview. This will continue to be so.

The newsroom will continue to operate with fidelity to the tenets of independent and responsible journalism, and with the historical stated and demonstrated commitment of Observer to fairness, balance, integrity and truth. I have no desire to pervert this. Neither the board of directors, nor the management and staff of NewsCo would tolerate it. Our advertisers, supporters, readers, listeners and Antigua and Barbuda deserve nothing less than integrity in the process. NewsCo’s word is its bond, and my word is my bond.

The public can expect my well-established passion and revelations in The Snakepit, as I will continue this journey as a candidate and talk show host with the authenticity to which I have adhered these past 20 years.

The newsroom will speak for itself, and I am confident will distinguish itself by its principled, accurate and insightful reporting—all attributes that have defined the organisation over the years. I ask that the public give the team a fair chance and hold us all accountable, using facts and not emotions or conjecture.

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