Minister Vaz Urges Journalists to be Fair and Objective


Minister with responsibility for Information and Telecommunications, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has urged journalists to remain cognizant of their responsibility to be fair and objective in exercising their duties.
“This should be achieved without encroaching on the individual rights of those who are the subject of your reports and, of course, without sacrificing the quality of the output and the high ethical standards of the press, upon which our democracy rests,” he said.
Mr. Vaz, who was addressing the Press Association of Jamaica’s (PAJ) second Corporate Area Induction Ceremony, on Wednesday June 17, at the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ), Kingston, described the media as one of the critical pillars of the country’s “relatively fledgling democracy.”
He urged journalists to pursue every opportunity to disseminate objective information, and respond to critical issues affecting the population.
“Your audience, the Jamaican citizens and the wider public, must be the beneficiary of the dissemination of accurate and credible information,” Mr. Vaz said.
“Journalists in the modern environment, where information is sought over multiple and interactive platforms, must remain relevant, instantaneously and continuously meeting the challenges of making thorough and probing enquiries, across a wide range of interests,” he stated.
Highlighting the role played by the political system in promoting and facilitating press freedom, Mr. Vaz praised the media for the inroads it has made in this area, and commended media practitioners for the recognition they have brought to Jamaica.
He noted that in the 2008 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, compiled annually by “Reporters Without Borders”, Jamaica was ranked 21 out of 173 countries for encouraging press freedom, and was well ahead of countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and France.
He said that, because of its commendable international status, forecasting and planning for Jamaica’s media landscape does not have to focus, entirely, on securing press freedom, but can capitalise on the opportunities that the recognition offers.
He said that these opportunities include catering, by way of multiple programming, to the widening preferences of a discriminating, diverse and highly exposed audience, and seeking to compete with traditional and emerging media.
In congratulating the newly inducted members, Mr.Vaz assured those present of his commitment to facilitate open and timely dialogue with the PAJ.
Among the inductees were Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jamaica Information Service, Donna-Marie Rowe, Chief Photographer of the Gleaner, Rudolph Brown and News Talk 93 FM’s talk show host, Kingsley ‘Ragashanti’ Stewart.
President of the PAJ, Byron Buckley, delivered the charge to the newly inducted members.

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