(Jamaica Observer) The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has written to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, regarding comments he made about the media at a recent Jamaica Labour Party rally in Portland.
The following is the unedited version of the letter signed by PAJ president Jenni Campbell.
Dear Prime Minister Holness,
THE Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) takes note of the negative public utterances from your political platform against journalists and the veiled threats against media workers by your supporters at public meetings. The PAJ is aware of instances in the not too distant past where platform comments have resulted in attacks on journalists.
While we respect the right of every individual to criticise the media the vitriol that has come from the Jamaica Labour Party platform in Portland and Manchester is unacceptable and has put media workers at risk as they perform a legitimate and necessary function of providing the public with information.
We wish to state clearly that should this pattern continue or if a single journalist is attacked the PAJ will swiftly seek the assistance of its regional and international partners including the International Press Institute, the International Federation of Journalists, the Inter-American Press Association and the Association of Caribbean Media Workers to ensure that your administration is reminded of Jamaica’s enviable record of press freedom and the sanctions which can be brought against a government which threatens the safety of media workers.
In the interest of openness and transparency the PAJ will be making this letter public.