I have meant to write about this for several days, but some other posts got in the way. Jamaica can be proud of the fact that it ranks eighth in press freedom by Reporters Without Borders. This is up two spots from last year. Part of the criteria includes the amount of media workers killed in the last year, and Jamaica had none. Unfortunately, it is still not safe in many other countries. Witness the killing of the journalist who investigated the Panama Papers.
From Reporters Without Borders’ web site:
Jamaica ranks among the countries that most respect freedom of information. The very occasional physical attacks on journalists must be offset against this, but no serious act of violence or threat to media freedom has been reported since February 2009, a month that saw two cases of abuse of authority by the Kingston police. The law decriminalizing defamation passed by the house of representatives in 2013 was a step in the right direction.
From my own experience, I can say that reporters in this country do enjoy a large measure of freedom to conduct their activities (I only have Canada and the US to compare to). What stymies investigative journalism, as I have talked a lot about, is the bureaucratic inertia, partisanship and a lack of resources.
We ventured up to Funland at Hope Zoo yesterday. It was a cooler day, with rain threatening the whole time. But it held off and we had a great time. There are rides for children, games and a virtual reality center for the older children. The prices are reasonable and there is a small selection of food, including fried chicken and shaved ice. The only thing I had a problem with was the extremely loud and inappropriate dancehall music, which I usually enjoy, but not in the context of a children’s play area.
Overall, it was nice to see children playing in a safe, clean area. More spaces like this are badly needed.
A journalist with the International Journalists’ Network contacted me wanting to do an interview about our community journalism project. Here is the story. It is strange being on the other side of the questions. I think it turned out well.
Of course it is the simple toys she likes the best…
I have another piece in the Guardian today on the Zones of Special Operations enacted by the government earlier this year. I filed it a couple of weeks ago, but then the Las Vegas shooting and the earthquakes and hurricanes happened. It was in the Spotlight section earlier this morning, although I’m sure it’s bumped now.
Check it out here.
This was a good feature on the Jamaicans who travel every year to work in the U.S. They pick fruit over long hours, leave their families and perform hard physical labour. But they say it makes them a good living.
Global Voices, an international news web site, wrote a piece about our community journalism program. Check it out here, and thanks to my friend Emma Lewis.
Wishing it were one of those days…to relax. This week is Peer Review week at Utech, so I am observing my colleagues’ classes. It has made for a busy week.