Tue | Jul 17, 2018

PAJ urges Holness to hold press briefings in 2017

Published:Monday | December 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has written to Prime Minister Andrew Holness noting his failure to hold press briefings since assuming office, and urging him to do so in the new year for the benefit of the public.

The PAJ stressed that it was very concerned about media access to ministers of Government and, particularly, to Holness as prime minister.

PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller acknowledged in her letter to the prime minister that he had given several interviews to local media houses since assuming office, including one to her, and the RJR Communications Group, for which she works.

However, Jackson Miller said that although these interviews were important, they were necessarily selective and excluded many reporters and media houses and, therefore, did not provide the kind of broad-based access to media, which press conferences do.

The PAJ noted that Holness, since assuming office in March, had yet to hold a comprehensive press briefing in his capacity as prime minister, which all media representatives could attend and ask him a range of questions for the benefit of the public.

The association urged Holness to remedy this deficiency as early as possible in the new year and to make these briefings a regular staple on his schedule.

The PAJ's letter has been acknowledged by the Office of the Prime Minister, with a commitment to respond to the concerns expressed at the earliest possible time.