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  • Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, says journalists and other local media practitioners must remain steadfast, vigilant, and uncompromising in reporting the truth.
  • Senator Falconer argued that investigating and disseminating the facts on all matters local and national interest, must be a primary mission of the media.
  • Against this background, Senator Falconer urged journalists to rigorously check against their own biases, when compiling their reports, to ensure that what is delivered is fair to all concerned.

Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, says journalists and other local media practitioners must remain steadfast, vigilant, and uncompromising in reporting the truth.

Speaking at the Rotary Club of Kingston’s Media Appreciation Luncheon, at the Liguanea Club, New Kingston, on Thursday, July 31, Senator Falconer argued that investigating and disseminating the facts on all matters local and national interest, must be a primary mission of the media.

The Minister argued that while news stories may, in instances, be sensational, titillating, and might direct traffic to media organizations’ websites where it is posted, or attract the public’s attention when broadcast on radio or television, it is imperative for journalists to ensure that what is disseminated is the factual.

“While social media sites are often short on the truth, revelling in all kinds of salacious gossip and misrepresentations, traditional media has to hold high standards,” she said.

Against this background, Senator Falconer urged journalists to rigorously check against their own biases, when compiling their reports, to ensure that what is delivered is fair to all concerned.

“Sometimes no lie is told and perhaps not even half truths; it is just that the full picture is not given. Important details are left out, whether for space or time; but the effect is that the story is not fair to all concerned,” she reasoned.

Additionally, she said: “the media (must) be concerned about people’s rights. People have a right to fair representation in the media. They have a right not to have their views distorted and a right to hear all sides of an issue. When that is violated, the people’s human rights are violated.”

Meanwhile, Senator Falconer commended the Rotary Clubs on being “beacons of hope and ‘service above self”.”

She noted that at a time when many are retreating into their own private worlds, consumed by personal daily challenges and concerns, Rotarians continue to give selflessly through service to the country.

“I commend your service to the marginalised and the disadvantaged, to the youth, students, and the elderly; and I thank you for being fine examples of the type of citizens that our society needs more of,” she stated.