Media should take fresh look at strategy
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The current conflict in Venezuela between the government led by President Nicolas Maduro and the MUD (Democratic Unity Roundtable) opposition coalition of parties, which has led to more than 25 deaths at last count, is cause for very deep concern to not only us here in Jamaica, but to all peace-loving peoples of the world.
This is against a background of Vatican-sponsored peace talks that began in October 2016, an initiative by UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) that proposed dialogue as the only meaningful resolution to the conflict.
As a former active member of Fourth Estate, the media have an awesome responsibility to the public to ensure that at all times, they receive a broad, even-handed, fair and balanced representation of factual information.
Regrettably, this is not the situation in the current conflict in Venezuela, where our local media outlets serve as a mere conduit for the regurgitation of news taken from international sources such as the Associated Press, Agences Frances Press, Reuters, CNN and Fox News, where their owners have historically demonstrated hostility to the Bolivarian revolution led by the late Hugo Chavez since 1999, and his successor.
An even greater tragedy in our media landscape is evidenced by the fact that, despite the abundance of technological resources and tools that modern journalism has at its disposal, which enables the practitioner to check and double-check sources, and diligently seek out alternative information, we are underserved.
The crisis in Venezuela begs our media practioners to take a fresh look at ourselves so that we are not caught in the same'prekeh' as our indolent parliamentarians who are left with egg all over their faces, as a result of the princely sum of J$100 being paid for a very serious offence.
TREVOR G. BROWN