Gov’t guarantees freedom, protection of media workers
-‘They will always be our friends’ – Min McCoy
Members of the media will always be considered friends of the government and their protection is guaranteed under the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Administration.
Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy said the government continues to facilitate the rights of all groups, specifically the media.
He made the affirmation at the Department of Public Affairs’ 30th World Press Freedom Day gala reception, on Wednesday, at the Pegasus Corporate Centre, Kingston, Georgetown.
Minister McCoy made it clear that the administration will not involve itself in behaviours that would endanger the lives of journalists, since they play an integral role in advancing the government’s agenda and society as a whole.
“My friends, you can rest assured that this people’s Progressive Party/Civic Government will always be a friend of the media, particularly as it comes to the point of being able to uphold the protection and the safety of our journalists. We will always be there and we will do everything to ensure that is never interfered with,” he underscored.
Moreover, journalists were reminded that the government has always been readily available to the media and citizens, with ministers present at outreaches and community meeting, ready to answer questions.
“We take phone calls. We answer questions. We’re at press conferences. We’re at other events, and we don’t dodge. We don’t hide from the media because we know that you are playing an important role by pursuing us, and seeking answers and wanting information to be able to share with the public for the public good,”he pointed out. The minister called out certain sections of the media fraternity that publish stories that are intended to damage the government’s reputation and undermine its work.
The government, he said, has a right to reply to the misinformation that is being peddled by any mischievous unit.
“We believe that….whenever the opportunity comes, that you have erredand that you have not done what is expected of you as a practitioner … I think that criticisms of the media, once done respectfully is fair,” he expressed.
This year’s World Press Freedom Day was observed under the theme: ‘“Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a driver for all other human rights.”