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PAJ livid about limitations on coverage of visiting Heads

Published:Tuesday | September 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) is raising concern that the media will not be given an opportunity to ask questions of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and her British counterpart, David Cameron, during his visit here.

In an open letter to Simpson Miller today, PAJ president, Dionne Jackson Miller, also said she has the same concern as it relates to the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The PAJ president says it is critically important that the press be allowed to interact with eminent visitors as these visits concern matters of national importance.

She says limiting the media to video and photo coverage is inadequate.

Jackson Miller also argues that while the wishes of the visiting heads of government must be taken into account, it is usual for such visits to include press conferences.

She has referenced visits to other countries involving powerful heads of state who have subjected themselves to questions from the media.

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Jackson Miller says the PAJ is particularly concerned about the limited access given to the media in light of the recent visit of US President Barack Obama, where questions were restricted to one from a Jamaican reporter and one from an American reporter.

She is insisting that the Jamaican Government push much more vigorously for actual press briefings with visiting heads of government.