Jamaica generally enjoys widespread respect for freedom of information and continues to rank among the safest countries in the world for journalists. Physical aggression is rare and it has been over a decade since a serious act of violence was committed against a member of the erpress.
However, Jamaican officials drew criticism at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic when
government restrictions were seen as prohibiting journalists from doing their work at a time when there was a strong need for accurate reporting. The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ), along with editors and executives from the country’s major media houses, called on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to rescind public lockdown orders that prevented TV and radio presenters, reporters, camera operators, technicians and other members of the media from moving around freely.
Holness had already attracted negative attention in late 2019 for remarks he made suggesting that news reporters did not have to stick to the facts or truth, and that a free press enabled journalists to “take whatever stance they want.” The PAJ qualified his comments as a “troubling misrepresentation of the work of the press.”
6 in 2020
10.51 in 2020