President of the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ), Jenni Campbell, has urged members of the media profession to stand firm against all forms of corruption that threaten to stain the profession.
Campbell, who was speaking during the National Journalism Week church service yesterday, said with the advent of increased technology, the temptations facing journalists today have increased.
"We must stand firmly against working in a climate where payola and other forms of corruption become almost a necessary consideration as we are all called upon to do more, simply because new and emerging technology demands it, without any thought of how these realities might impact our own already meagre personal resources," she told journalists gathered at the Kencot Christian Fellowship in St Andrew yesterday.
While stating that the country was "desperate for change", the PAJ president acknowledged the individual sacrifices of those in the profession who continue to go beyond the call of duty to eke out the much-needed change.
"As we put a positive face on what we do, we tend to struggle to do some other things for ourselves. We grapple with too-long working hours and we serve a nation that is desperate for change."
She said members of the media fraternity must seek a unified platform and stand together on "critical national causes" such as the need for changes to the libel laws.
"If it is that we intend to live in Jamaica land we love, we must agree that things must be done differently ," she said.
In the meantime, Information Minister Sandrea Falconer, who was also present at the church service, said that while the Government might not always agree with some of the stories carried in both the print and electronic media, it "will always fight to protect freedom of the press".
With this in mind, Falconer said the Government was hopeful that before the end of the political year, the long-awaited Defamation Bill will be brought before Parliament.
National Journalism Week is being celebrated this year under the theme 'Media for the Times ... The Next 50 Years'.
National Journalism Week of Activities
Tuesday: Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) and National Integrity Action stage corruption forum at The Knutsford Court Hotel starting 8 a.m.
Wednesday: J. Wray & Nephew-sponsored veteran journalists awards ceremony, begining midday on the J. Wray & Nephew compound.
Thursday: PAJ lyme, which begins at 6 p.m. at the PAJ headquarters, 5 Eastt Avenue, St Andrew.
Friday: National Journalism Awards and announcement of the 2011-2012 Journalist of the Year, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.