Freedom of the Press

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When will Jamaica become a society where Integrity will count for everything? Every day we see so much corruption in our island home it is sickening. I got to thinking about this having seen the report on CNN about Rep. Mark Foley, who resigned after it was discovered that the was have IM & email conversations with pages which were inappropriate in nature. His resignation was immediate. Not requested but offered, not questioned but accepted. Now, all this is based solely on a few conversations on his personal MSN Id. You can read more on the story here.

I wish Jamaican journalism could be just as free. In the case of Foley, it is a mere knowledge of some “inappropriate communications” and he resigned immediately. The investigations will continue now to determine if his indiscretions extend beyond the emails. His lawyer has come out in his defence to say that he was molested by a clergyman when he was a boy. Is that supposed to excuse his questionable behaviour?

In Jamaica, we have seen so many indiscretions, injustices and inferences which has caused an uproar for 3 days max, then the hype just dies down and no one hears of the outcome of the scandals that rock politicians, political parties, top business executives, entertainers etc. Freedom of the Press, although has its disadvantages, is something I admire the USA for. Everything makes the news and all the facts are brought to the forefront through their investigative journalism. I know there may still be things that are not reported. However, for the most part, we get the story full hundred. I saw on CNN/Fox News (don’t remember which) a story about how a cat saved his family from their house which was burning down. Do we consider this to be CNN muchless news worthy? Maybe not … but it made the news.

How many stories have been highlighted since the start of this year in Jamaica? How many of these stories have been concluded and reported with the same expedience with which is was brought to us in the first place? Peter King’s murder comes to mind with all its twists and turns. The many political misappropriations … only one has been I’d say 80% reported, resulting in the resignation of one of our country’s top players. There have been so many, I can’t remember them all. I’ll leave that to Dr. D, Mad Bull and Leon who are so on top of the news 🙂

I’m still waiting for the day when our journalists will step up their game and become what I call real reporters, who present the story, conduct top class interviews and force some sort of accountability in those persons who should be of the highest integrity in our society. Is that too much to ask??

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4 responses »

  1. I agree with you. Problem with our journalism is that it doesn’t examine the issues it examines the sensation surrounding it. I’ve seen too many things happen reported and the reader who was both a part of the incident and the report has to turn around and ask if that was really what happened. Journalism is far too questionnable here. I also has an inherrent distrust of politicians as well so I tend to take whatever they present as damning evidence with a grain of salt because 99.9% of the time we are only getting 1/8 th of the story.

  2. Wow. Thanks for the compliment. I agree with Scratchie. Sensationalism sells. And I think that there are some places Jamaican journalists don’t like to tread. Such as politics. That’s a minefield for them.

  3. I admire that about the US too.Once caught in wrong you got to go but in our societies you can get away with more things. I agre eour journalists need to be more active and stop trying to offend their political friends

  4. Though the press is really good about reporting on issues, especially breaking news, I have become really wary of TV news. There is plenty of exposure of events, but not much depth or meaningful analysis of these stories.

    I’m beginning to feel like US news outlets are making law and politics every bit as much as our elected officals. Battles are won and lost in the press. The media’s influence is so heavy in US society, yet the stories they produce are of such low quality I feel like the US government, and the people it takes care of are suffering.

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