Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

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ACM, CBU condemn media house attack

September 11, 2023

CMC – The Barbados-based Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) and the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) Monday condemned the shooting incident at the parking lot of a media house in Jamaica last weekend.

The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) as well as the government and opposition parties have condemned the attack on Nationwide News Network (NNN).

Two vehicles were damaged, one of them had at least four bullet holes and a shattered front passenger window. Several employees were in the parking lot at the time of the attack, but no one was hurt.

The PAJ has called on  the police to swiftly investigate the incident, apprehend the perpetrators, and ensure justice is served and also urged all Jamaicans to unite in condemning this act of violence against the press.

The ACM called for “swift and impartial police investigation into shooting” as it condemned the shooting outside Nationwide News Network’s Offices.

“ACM views the shooting incident as an assault on all the press in Jamaica. Any assault on the media, verbal or otherwise should not be tolerated and should be condemned by all and sundry. Our media workers, especially our journalists and others who work directly in news gathering should be allowed to do their jobs without fear or intimidation.

“During a special meeting with the Press Association of Jamaica, ACM recommitted to providing support to our colleagues affected by this act and will be in contact with regional as well as international partners bringing attention to this act,” said the regional media body.

In a statement, the CBU,  a not-for-profit association of public service and commercial broadcasters in the Caribbean, said it was joining the media fraternity around the region in condemning the incident.

The CBU described the “drive-by shooting at the offices of Nationwide News Network (NNN); an unprecedented event for media in the English-speaking Caribbean.

“ While police investigations are still ongoing, CBU notes the significant effect the incident has had on news professionals in Jamaica, who are now required to take additional security measures until the perpetrators are identified.”

The CBU said it has stepped up its advocacy for journalists’ safety in the Caribbean recognizing the deterioration of the region’s rating in recent press freedom reports related to the situations in Haiti, Guyana as well as Jamaica.

“As noted in the 2023 World Press Freedom Index, like most other Caribbean countries, Jamaica dropped significantly in the rankings including in the security indicator. This indicator assesses the ability of journalists in a country to “identify, gather and disseminate … news and information without unnecessary risk of physical, psychological or professional harm,” the CBU said, adding that in the previous year Jamaica was eighth overall and in the most recent report Jamaica was ranked 39th.

“The CBU will be bringing the matter to the attention of regional and global bodies of which it is a member including the Centre for Media Integrity in the Americas as well as the News Committee of the World Broadcasting Unions,” the organisation said.

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