|TVJ GM Claire Grant, Communications Consultant to the Anglican Archdiocese Beverley Newell and Comms Guru Carmen Tipling.|
|Andrea Messam, RJR Group Finance Director and a busy Milton Walker, RJR Group Director of News|
|Emily Crooks of Nationwide|
|Daraine Luton, Arthur Hall and Durrant Pate|
Main Speaker Bishop Dr Howard Gregory said 'it takes a free press with guts' allied with civil society to educate the public when leaders become 'increasingly corrupt and resistant to anti-corruption legislation'.
Gleaner | Friday May 3 2013 http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130503/news/news6.html
Today is being celebrated as World Press Freedom Day and the International Federation of Journalists is marking it by focusing on the issue of 'Journalist Safety and Journalists Imprisoned Around the World'. Locally, we asked a group of persons in media to say in 20 words what press freedom means to them. They said:1. The fact that someone who annoys the hell out of you can be on talk radio every day, the fact that government ministers call your boss to complain about what you said on radio instead of locking you up or getting you fired, are two examples of our gloriously free press that many of us take for granted. I don't.
- Dionne Jackson Miller - journalist
2. Press freedom must be guaranteed in all circumstances. This applies not only to the role of the State, but to that of corporate interests as well.
- Earl Moxam - journalist
3. Media freedom is to the development of a free and democratic society what oxygen is to a human being.
- Cliff Hughes - broadcast journalist/entrepreneur
Sunday Gleaner | 5 May 2013
Attorney-at-law and media practitioner Emily Crooks has accused the local media of not going all the way to serve the Jamaican public.
Addressing a Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) forum to mark the 20th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day last Friday, Crooks charged that too many journalists were failing to dig deep to provide the public with the information it needs.
Pointing to a Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index, Crooks noted that Jamaica placed first in the Western Hemisphere.
She said this indicates that Jamaican journalists are allowed to work relatively freely, but with so much corruption in the country, there is more work to be done by media.
"It means to me, we are not doing enough, media colleagues," declared Crooks, who is a co-host on the news-magazine programme 'This Morning' on Nationwide 90FM.
"It means to me that there are little or no threats to our freedom and safety because we're not pushing the envelope."
STOP PUSHING RELEASES
Crooks urged members of the local media to stop being "pushers of press releases" and to break down the doors to try and get the information required.
According to Crooks, she celebrates the fact there has not been an instance where any member of the local journalism fraternity has been harmed in any major way.
"But how many of us have really calculated how much money is being withheld from media entities by political administrations and their surrogates because we dare to speak the truth?
"How will that rank as press freedom? We are too comfortable," declared Crooks, who warned that when local journalists begin to be more probing, Jamaica may lose its spot at the top of the list in terms of press freedom in the Western Hemisphere.
"But we will feel more accomplished because we are doing what we must for the people of Jamaica."
"I believe the public should fight for the right to be represented by the media, unencumbered, in the courts to make sure the justice system is working properly," said Luton.
"It is time for cameras to be allowed in the courts. It is my view that with the exception of in-camera cases, and as long as the safety of witnesses is not compromised, the media must be allowed to do both video and audio recording of cases before the court," added Luton.
He also challenged local journalists to examine how they are carrying out their functions.
"Some of us, in an attempt to get interviews, have resorted to being rude, crude and crass. The physician needs to heal himself," declared Luton.