Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 16th 2015 Contents Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, May 16, 2015
The following is the statement issued
by the Media Association of
Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) on
the commemoration of World Press
Freedom Day 2015.
Theme: Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting,
Gender Equality & Media
Safety in the Digital Age
On World Press Freedom Day 2015, MATT pays tribute to all
the champions of press freedom and freedom of expression
in Trinidad and Tobago and the region. We acknowledge and
salute those who continue to assume the risks associated
with their efforts.
The right to press freedom and freedom of expression is
enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad
and Tobago and in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights which states that "everyone has the right
to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes
freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek,
receive and impart information and ideas through any media
and regardless of frontiers."
The TT media contribute to shaping public opinion,
mediate tensions between the State and civil society,
function as watchdogs over public processes and guard
against the abuse of power by those who hold it. It is this
sacrosanct mandate that makes free media a prerequisite
for development, democracy, human rights and good
governance through rigorous scrutiny of those who have
been entrusted with power.
For these reasons MATT is actively involved in defending
press freedom and encouraging public conversations
about the diverse ways in which that essential freedom is
We continue to monitor alarming trends in Trinidad and
Tobago that impact the ability of the media to function
freely. Online bullying of journalists --- in particular, though
not exclusively, female journalists --- and recent legal
manoeuvres to force journalists to reveal their sources
constitute threats against press freedom.
MATT invites journalists to be thoughtful about their rights as
well as their responsibilities; the law, high ethical thresholds
and self-regulation guide both journalists and media
managers. At the same time, we recognise that bullying
and intimidation have the potential to force journalists to
self-censor, to withhold publication/broadcast of certain
information in order to avoid becoming targets of lawsuits,
personal attacks and economic ill fortune. We are steadfast
in our support for our professional colleagues who stand in
the line of re and we salute their dedicated contributions to
the ethical duties of journalism.
We urge our colleagues to stay committed to the core values
of principled journalism and the goal of informing, educating
and provoking critical thought.
We remind the public that they have a critical role in shaping
media content, in establishing the boundaries of good
taste through comment and debate over what is published/
broadcast and in defending their right to information.
MATT continues to mourn the recent passing of
distinguished members of the media fraternity, journalists
Raoul Pantin and Sandra Chouthi and media owner Mohan
Jaikaran. On World Press Freedom Day 2015, we remember
their dedicated service.
vital to democracy, development
Vishala Ganesh, Radio Jaagriti
Nicole Romany, i95.5FM Reporter
"We shouldn't forget how
interference can be, the
pressure from advertisers
and whether or not that sti es
Sports reporter at C News
"Press freedom, to me, means being
able to report with unbiased views and
not being victimised or persecuted for
reporting on issues which are current
The full video can be viewed on MATT's
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/
Jabari Fraser, TV6 Journalist
"We need to ensure that our tools for
journalism, for example the Freedom
of Information Act, are effective and
that criminal libel and defamation are
no longer things supported by the
Government or the Opposition."
To see Jabari Fraser's full video, visit the
MATT page at https://www.facebook.com/
The recently elected MATT executive. From left are president Francesca Hawkins, vice president Kalifa Clyne, secretary
Jabari Fraser, oor member Sheila Rampersad and treasurer Anthony Gittens. Missing are assistant secretary Kristee
Kalisingh and oor member Kevon Felmine.
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