Jamaica: RSF condemns shooting at Nationwide Radio and urges swift, transparent investigation

A gunman opened fire in the parking lot of Nationwide Radio’s Kingston offices, fortunately hurting nobody. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) unequivocally condemns this cowardly act of violence and calls on the authorities to thoroughly investigate.

Nationwide Deputy Executive Editor first reported the attack as a breaking news item on the afternoon of September 8, 2023. According to reports, while no one was hurt, employees were left “terrified and some inconsolable.”

“RSF’s thoughts are with the journalists and media workers affected by this violent crime, and we implore the authorities to quickly and transparently find the perpetrators and demonstrate to all Jamaicans that crimes against journalists will not go unpunished. Impunity for crimes against journalists is a growing problem around the world which contributes to an ever-more-dangerous environment for newsgathering. Press freedom is a fundamental Jamaican value enshrined in its Constitution and the county has historically been a leader on press freedom, so we fully expect that culture of impunity to be rejected.”

Clayton Weimers
Executive Director, RSF US Bureau

Authorities and fellow media in Jamaica were swift with their condemnation. Minister for Information Robert Morgan posted on X, formerly Twitter, “An attack on any media house or journalist is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on the freedoms we hold dear.” Press Association of Jamaica President Milton Walker said: “This vile act constitutes an unprecedented assault on a news organization and represents a grave attack on the fundamental principles of press freedom that all Jamaicans hold dear.” 

Jamaica has historically been one of the region’s leaders in press freedom, consistently ranking high in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index despite a slide in the most recent Index. Violent attacks against media workers are rare. Nevertheless, RSF survey respondents reported a growing gulf of distrust between government officials and the media that has contributed to a decline in institutional respect for press freedom.

The Nationwide News Network is a media house serving all of Jamaica with news, current affairs, and entertainment programming. 

Jamaica ranks 32nd out of 180 countries according to RSF’s 2023 World Press Freedom Index.


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