Wed | Aug 16, 2017

PAJ writes to PM about openness and flow of information from his administration

Published:Thursday | April 21, 2016 | 4:46 AM

The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has written an open letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness complaining about issues related to openness and the flow of information from the administration.

The PAJ says it’s concerned about last week’s private swearing-in of State Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Everald Warmington, and a decision at last week’s Jamaica House press briefing to limit questions from journalists to 10 minutes.

The association pointed out that the media were not invited to the swearing-in and that there was no public notice about the ceremony.

The PAJ pointed out that on the same day the ceremony was held the Information Minister, while at a post-Cabinet press briefing, had apparently not been provided with basic information on the appointment to brief the media.

It charges that it cannot recall a similar swearing-in ceremony from which the media were deliberately excluded in recent memory and added that the action has set a precedent.

The PAJ says it hopes that the time-limit instituted at the last Jamaica House press briefing does not become the norm.

While noting that the question and answer session was allowed to go beyond the 10 minutes, the association says it is concerned that the restriction had been announced in the first place.

It stresses that it is critical that after the presentations of the various speakers at Jamaican House press briefing, sufficient time be allowed for questions.