Bartlett is right
The Editor, Sir:
I have been following with great interest the howls of disapproval by media folks, and their like-minded allies, over comments made by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett regarding what he sees as the media's affinity for decorating its front pages with screaming crime-related headlines.
And judging from the high level of feedback, especially on social media, one would be excused for thinking that the minister has somehow declared war on the press and is trying to dictate what reporters should or should not cover.
New optimism in tourism
From the minister's standpoint, tourism, as the country's main breadwinner, has to be protected. Both earnings and visitor arrivals are up, to where there is a level of optimism among stakeholders that hasn't been felt in a very long time.
Now, let's be honest. Who among us would want to see a reversal in the gains we have been making? In this day and age where visitors have so many options, why would we do things that would make it easier for them to go somewhere else?
Is it unreasonable for the tourism minister to ask for a little assistance in the name of country?
Is it unreasonable to expect the media to be a responsible partner?
It is a known fact that there are other popular destinations in the Caribbean with very serious crime problems, which you would never know by reading their dailies!
Why couldn't we have that same kind of detente with the press here in Jamaica?
Bartlett is correct in starting a discussion which is long overdue and from which I believe some good might result. To sit back and not say anything as the head of a very fragile industry would be tantamount to a dereliction of duty.
Ironshore, St James