Media under tight surveillance
Journalism is not a prestige profession in the countries that are members of the Organization of East Caribbean States. Journalists get little training and often abandon media work because it is so badly paid. Many media outlets are under the direct influence of politicians, especially during elections, because officials can withdraw state advertising at any time, depriving them of income they depend on. In some of the Islands, political parties even own or have major shares in media companies, compromising journalistic independence. The authorities are also monitoring social networks more and more closely, which encourages a degree of self-censorship. In August 2016, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines adopted the Cybercrime Bill, a vaguely worded law which is expected to chill freedom of the press and expression online. Like many of the countries in the OECS, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines still criminalizes defamation, and this legislation has extended this offense to include online content.
0 in 2015