- It is important for media practitioners to give attention to development issues.
- Jamaica has progressive legislation which enhances Press freedom and which empowers journalists to carry out their work without fear.
- Our defamation law which abolishes criminal libel and which sends a clear signal of our high regard for freedom of speech, has been welcomed by both media owners and journalists.
I am honoured to have been invited to participate in this regional forum on the eve of World Press Freedom Day.
I join in welcoming everyone and extend a special welcome to our Caribbean brothers and sisters and other overseas guests.
I hope that in between the enriching dialogue, you will get a chance to see a bit of the island and bask in the warmth of our hospitality.
To my Jamaican colleagues, a hearty welcome too!
I find the theme of your deliberations – ‘Reaching New Goals: Free Media Fortifies the post-2015 Development Agenda’, an important one. As you well know, among the indispensable elements of democracy and citizen participation are freedom of expression; universal access to knowledge and a free, pluralistic and independent media.
The promotion of these three concerns is critical to any post-2015 Development Agenda discussion.
I have been asked to address the issue of ‘Press Freedom and Development in the Caribbean’.
It is important for media practitioners to give attention to development issues and I welcome the opportunity to contribute to this dialogue.
Our overseas guests will pardon me if in addressing this issue, I show my pride in Jamaica’s position as far as Press freedom and access to information are concerned.
Information revealed a few days ago by the US-based Social Progress Imperative in its latest Social Progress Index revealed that Jamaica is ahead of our big neighbour, the United States, in terms of our access to information and communication ranking.
Jamaica scored 82.07 and the United States 81.33 percent.
The 2014 Reporters without Borders World Press Freedom Index, also places Jamaica ahead of the United States and maintains its ranking of being first in the entire Western Hemisphere in terms of Press freedom…READ MORE