The Caribbean Broadcasting Union joins the media fraternity around the region in condemning a disturbing incident at the premises of a Jamaican media house last week.
The Union notes with alarm the drive-by shooting at the offices of Nationwide News Network (NNN); an unprecedented event for media in the English-speaking Caribbean. While police investigations are still ongoing, CBU notes the significant effect the incident has had on news professionals in Jamaica, who are now required to take additional security measures until the perpetrators are identified.
The CBU has stepped up its advocacy for journalists’ safety in the Caribbean recognizing the deterioration of the region’s rating in recent press freedom reports related to the situations in Haiti, Guyana as well as Jamaica.
As noted in the 2023 World Press Freedom Index, like most other Caribbean countries, Jamaica dropped significantly in the rankings including in the security indicator. This indicator assesses the ability of journalists in a country to “identify, gather and disseminate … news and information without unnecessary risk of physical, psychological or professional harm.” In the previous year Jamaica was 8th overall; in the most recent report Jamaica was ranked 39th.
The CBU will be bringing the matter to the attention of regional and global bodies of which it is a member including the Centre for Media Integrity in the Americas as well as the News Committee of the World Broadcasting Unions.
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