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Journalists undaunted in the face of adversity, says PAJ president

Published:Sunday | November 24, 2013 | 11:50 AM

Damion Mitchell, Editor - Radio & Online

The president of the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ), Jenni Campbell, has affirmed that Jamaican journalists remain undaunted in the pursuit of justice.

Campbell was speaking this morning at the Pentecostal Tabernacle in central Kingston at a church service to mark the start of National Journalism Week.

"Where there is no transparency our journalists will press and press hard, but respectfully," Campbell said.

"We stand for truth as you know it and as we know it because it is important for us to move forward," she added.

Pastor Devon Dawson, would later amplify Campbell's reason for pursing truth.

"The world has become a cesspool of immorality," Dawson said.

"Everybody is lying to save their skin, but how about morality?" he questioned.

Dawson continued: "The world we live in now: it's midnight in the moral order... it's midnight in the social, economic and political order."

The pastor said in times like these, there is need for defined goals and a conviction to pursue them.

Earlier, chief justice Zaila McCalla saluted the media for the work they have been doing but called for an even stronger partnership in the pursuit of justice.

"Be resolute and fearless," McCalla charged, "but also fair and accurate in processing information for the public."

Meanwhile, Olivia Grange, the Opposition spokesperson on information said Jamaica has made significant strides in press freedom, becoming the first state in the Caribbean to abolish all forms of criminal libel.

However, Grange said, as demonstrated by "recent events", there are still challenges to the issue of press freedom.

And, Central Kingston Member of Parliament and Education Minister Ronald Thwaites said there was a clear need to embrace values in the profession of journalism.

"Very often, the practice of journalism is not rooted in a sense of values," Thwaites said.

"We need as church, and we need as the journalistic profession to be far clearer."

National Journalism Week is being recognised under the theme: 'Persevering in the face of adversity'.

The week is being marked by a series of activities and will culminate with the annual journalism awards presentation on Friday evening.


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