The decision by the Chronicle Board to stop printing articles by Dr David Hinds and Mr Lincoln Lewis is, in my view, unwarranted and an assault on the concept of freedom of expression.
Both of the columnists have from time to time taken positions on issues that are not consistent with those of the administration, in particular on the issue of the closure of the sugar estates.
I believe that open and frank discourse on the way forward should be encouraged. It is good for the political health of the society. This is true for both the private and government-owned media establishments. And while there is some element of truth in the saying that ‘newspapers are viewspapers’ any attempt to exercise undue control over the press could undermine its credibility.
I urge the Board and those in positions of authority to revisit the decision on the matter of non-renewal of the contracts of the two columnists. If, as seems likely, that political pressure was applied to the Board to get the two columnists out of the way, it is a cause for concern by all those who cherish the ideals of a free and independent press.