Sun | Aug 14, 2022

PAJ rejects explanation for media restriction at ministers' swearing-in ceremony

Published:Wednesday | March 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Jackson Miller ... we regret that having already raised this issue with this administration, and the administration before, it continues to recur.

The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has rejected the explanation by the Office of the Prime Minister for restricting media coverage of yesterday's swearing-in of two new Government ministers and two state ministers.

Only the government-run, Jamaica Information Service was allowed to cover the ceremony at King's House.

Press Secretary Naomi Francis in a series of tweets, has sought to explain that there was inadequate space because the room that usually hosts such ceremonies is being renovated.

In a statement, the PAJ said it rejected the excuses about lack of space and facilities.

"We find it impossible to believe that in all the many buildings owned by the government in Kingston, suitable arrangements could not have been made, albeit at short notice, to hold the ceremony at one that could accommodate the media," said president Dionne Jackson Miller.

She reminded Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the government that these are national occasions which the media should be allowed to cover, and not be relegated to getting pool photographs from the government’s information service.

"We regret that having already raised this issue with this administration, and the administration before, it continues to recur," Jackson Miller said.

She said Governments need to demonstrate openness, transparency and commitment to free and open coverage by the press not just when it is convenient to them, but as a matter of principle.

We want to hear from you! Send us a message on Whatsapp at 1 (876) 449-0169, email us at editors@gleanerjm.com or onlinefeeback@gleanerjm.com.