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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Prime Minister did entertain the journalist’s questions on the Rose Town Development Project.
  • This unfortunate incident follows on a similar one earlier this year of journalists pushing microphones at the Prime Minister
  • The Government fully supports press freedom and the right of journalists to ask questions of the Prime Minister

The Office of the Prime Minister, OPM, wishes to clarify media reports of an incident today in Rose Town which involved contact between a journalist and the Prime Minister’s Close Protection Officers.

At the end of a function at which the Prime Minister launched infrastructural works in the community of Rose Town, a journalist sought to engage in an impromptu uncleared interview with the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister did entertain the journalist’s questions on the Rose Town Development Project after which he approached the Prime Minister to get a comment on the reinstatement of State Minister Richard Azan. The Prime Minister responded on to the question and encouraged the journalist to share the good news about the developments taking place in Rose Town, before indicating she would wish no further comment on the reinstatement issue.

The journalist attempted to continue his questioning, moving toward the Prime Minister, at which point the PM’s security personnel began to clear a path for the Prime Minister to proceed to inspect the amenities launched as part of the community development project.

This unfortunate incident follows on a similar one earlier this year of journalists pushing microphones at the Prime Minister in an attempt to have questions answered. Following that incident, guidelines were established for the proper management of on-location interviews with the Prime Minister, one of which calls  for advanced notice of request for such interviews and the clearance of interviews with the Prime Minister’s on-site personnel.

The Government fully supports press freedom and the right of journalists to ask questions of the Prime Minister but must insist this be done in a manner respectful of the office and in keeping with the stated guidelines.