Jamaican Government Re-emphasizes its Freedom of Press

Jamaica’s Minister of Information and Telecommunications Daryl Vaz recently reiterated the government’s commitment to a free press on the island, adding that nothing will be done to threaten the tradition that the country has enjoyed for many decades and that Jamaican press is “indeed, one of the freest in the hemisphere.”

In response to a request that government programs aired through various media be shorter, he said that there would be continued discussions with the Media Association of Jamaica to find the best way to carry government communication to the people, noting that there are checks in the system to ensure that the government does not abuse the time it is allowed for daily broadcasts. He stated that “The regulators will be very attentive to this, and I know that the media association and the press association will be the watchdogs to highlight any area that they think that is crossing the line from Government message to political propaganda.”

He also stressed that must nevertheless be committed to keeping the populace informed using modern formats, saying, “”Not because it has been used in one way for so long a time [means] that is the only way that it can be used. Some of this information is critical, that will explain a lot to the people as to why they are being affected in their various communities, whether it be bauxite, whether it is sugar, and we have a responsibility, and we make no apologies for that.”

For full article, see http://www.jis.gov.jm/officePM/html/20100509T150000-0500_23862_JIS_VAZ_SAYS_GOVERNMENT_COMMITTED_TO_PRESS_FREEDOM.asp

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