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Kamla backs freedom of Press

marciadottin, [email protected]

Kamla backs freedom of Press

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PORT-OF-SPAIN – Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar has vowed that her administration would ensure that the media in the country remained “fiercely independent” as she praised it for “faithfully and diligently” exercising its duty to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Addressing the launch of the Guardian New Media Group that includes the CNC 3 television network and the Guardian newspaper, the second oldest in the Caribbean, Persad Bissessar said that the media here “is among the freest in the world and each of us, no less so myself, as prime minister, must ensure that it remains that way”.
She said that the media here have kept democracy alive in the country and “we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the faithful, fearless media practitioners”.
“My government and I have been held up for careful scrutiny by the media on so many issues including the independence of the media. But the reality is that the media too has a sacred role in this evolving world of business and mass communications and it is no longer only the duty of a government to ensure that its privileged freedom is protected,” she said..
The leader of the six-month old People’s Partnership coalition administration said that “the time has come for the media itself to realise that its role is itself sacred and it must now ensure that it truly reflects the philosophical basis on which a media house and its publications – be they newspaper, radio, internet or television  – exists”.
“Today I challenge all media owners and all members of the profession to identify why do you exist? Only to turn a profit? Or for another purpose? Do you exist on the basis of the philosophical roots that were the founding principles of journalism – a caring about the way things are for the ordinary person, caring about the way the world is, the way the country is, the way the city is?”
The Prime Minister said, simply put, the media had “a crucial role to play in contributing to what we become as a society” while lauding the recent examples of the Guardian network in developing a series on the environment.
“In a society plagued by so many issues, domestic violence, youth gangs and crime, child abuse, drugs, the media can play a critical role in helping to address these concerns. And I seek a partnership with you in this regard.
“As a developing country we are in a state of transition. We are a nation in need of ideas, inspiration, fundamental changes, and shifts of consciousness, enlightenment and hope. Never has our transformation been more important and crucial than now. But it will not occur without the help of the media.”
She reminded the media that they helped to fashion the way people think and behave. (CMC)

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