DNA Condemns the Assault on Press Freedom

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The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) condemns any action which seeks to stifle or has the effect of suppressing or abridging the rights and freedoms entrenched in our Constitution.

The Protection of Freedom of Expression including Freedom of the Press, was fought for by valiant and courageous citizens over many years of tyrannical government abuse and suppression of free speech during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Their challenges were finally upheld in Privy Council Appeal No. 3 of 2000 in the landmark case, Observer Publications Limited v Campbell “Mickey” Matthew et al.

The abrupt resignation of independent investigative journalist, Kieron Murdoch, from his position as Host and Producer of the weekly Big Issues program at Observer Radio aka NewsCo Ltd., is concerning and sad for multiple reasons.

Murdoch represented and demonstrated fearlessness, impartiality, professionalism, objectivity and depth as weekly, he tackled numerous provocative issues of local, regional and international interests for which other journalists took a hands-off stance.

The reasons posited by Murdoch that “the station leadership resolved to cancel the interview [with PM Gaston Browne] and to announce [publicly] that it had been canceled…” represent a direct assault and onslaught against a sacred principle in journalism that a journalist must be allowed to ply his or her trade without interference from his or her bosses. In the end, Murdoch made the only decision which a man of his caliber could take citing, “I was unprepared to continue in the circumstances.”

DNA Communications Officer, Chaneil Imhoff, stated, “the freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution should never be trampled upon. Regrettably, our country has a long history of both government and media houses which overtly and covertly censor journalists and inhibit their freedom to execute their jobs without fear or favour… a free press is the cornerstone of our democracy.”

The DNA reminds all right-thinking citizens and residents that the freedom of the press is essential to freedom of speech. Journalists must give the population the unvarnished truth regarding national issues and be unafraid to expose reprehensible conduct by our public officials and those aspiring for political leadership. As the campaign season unfolds, let us be the vanguards of our Constitution given the tendency of both the ABLP and the UPP to dumb-down the population by suppressing and manipulating the truth regarding national affairs.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. @ DNA

    You are only chiming in because you are seeking relevance and trying to draw support. It’s all in aid of getting political mileage.
    Did you put out a press release denouncing the ban on opposition parties from the nation’s station ABS?
    You ought to be aware, that Observer is a privately owned business- not controlled by government but a Board of Directors. Just like PFM etc

    • DNA oh please… trying to score cheap political points isnt going to help you…. you only want to use “freedom of speech” when its convenient. The public knows what u up to…. Just go back in the dunce corner and hush!!

  2. How is this an “assault ” on press freedom? Every employee answers to some superior and there is bound to be varying opinions on certain matters. Covid-19 demonstrated this. The stories abound of reporters who were forbidden to use certain terms and phrases, from reporting on the alarming data trends that continue to emerge but are never reported. Murdock chose to resign because management disagreed with his program structure. What, every time management disagrees with you, you resign? How many doctors, nurses, teachers, accountants, disagree with management? And are you supposed to resign everytime this happens? Come on!

  3. All eligible young voter in this country should revolt against the UPP and ensure they aint get one vote you #YOUTHSAGAINSTUPP.

    • DNA oh please… trying to score cheap political points isnt going to help you…. you only want to use “freedom of speech” when its convenient. The public knows what u up to…. Just go back in the dunce corner and hush!!

    • DNA oh please… trying to score cheap political points isnt going to help you…. you only want to use “freedom of speech” when its convenient. The public knows what u up to…. Just go back in the dunce corner and hush!!

    • @ Ras Smood

      YOU CAN COLLAPSE IT BY WITHOLDING YOUR ADVERTISING DOLLARS- AS IF YOU HAVE MONEY TO PAY OBSERVER FOR ADVERTISING

  4. I am not suprise Chaneil Imhoff was allowed to read her garbage on Observer AM, now that is democracy, cuss me in my own house. I am going to outline the hypocrisy of these people. On the 7th November 2021 Mr. Kieron Murdoch called into Mr. James Luke program a paid program on Observer radio, remember I said a paid program. Mr. Murdoch was shocked that Mr. Luke the host of the program invited Dr. Corbin for a second week to spread his lies on Observer radio because he got a call from a friend in Barbados asking why Dr. Corbin was allowed on the airwaves. Mr. Murdoch and his friend didn’t agree with the misinformation the good doctor was decimating on the airwaves about covid 19 vaccine. I said to myself WOW! Who made Kieron Murdoch the owner of Observer. Fast forward to today the same gentleman a staff of Observer media resigned for a decision the owner/management took on his program by not allowing his guest to spread lies and misinformation. Mr. Murdoch show is a non-profit show that is aired on Observe. Now tell me is it ok for Mr. Murdoch to tell Mr. Luke who should appear on his show that pays his salary? How ironic the owner of Observer have no right to say who appears on a non-profit show in which he Mr. Murdoch host now that is what you call hypocrisy, double standard and outright Journalistic fraud. So when I hear or read these wannabe fake a** people I just say that is way Jesus Christ gave his live for our sins. Amen!

    • @Knight aka “Bullpooper in Shining Armour” nobody tawl can chat more than you and that Scum J Truth so just keep off a Shaneil she’s more intelligent that you!!

      ABLP soon mute the Observer Media Group and shut them dung so you and Serpent better start work on the farm cus are you na mek no sense tawl 😂🤣

  5. She just chat tooooo much to the point of contradicting herself. She and others keep missing the point. The young man resign afer he disagree with management position on one aspect of his show. Mind you this is his choice. That little girl need to seek relevance elsewhere.

  6. There is no MEDIA HOUSE, which is controlled by a MEDIUM(be it a body/entity/board or CEO) that does not have control over their programming.
    Whether, or not they are an INDEPENDENT MEDIA HOUSE, PUBLIC or PRIVATE, when it comes to the game itself of politics/politricks, they slant their content to match their allegiances and affiliations.
    Rupert Murdock to Bloomberg to CNN to Al Jazeera to BBC to TELEMUNDO to CBS to FOX and the list is endless.

    In this case, of Kieron Murdoch vs Observer, News Co, or ‘Serpent…’

    1…Serpent is simply being the thin skinned politician like all of his predecessors. Kenny Nibbs can recall playing a son, after a Lester Bird Interview, and the fallout, well until politricks played its song and dance to its normal routine.

    2…Since, Kiernon Murdoch is the INDEPENDENT Journalist which he’s being touted as, he could have done the interview with the PM Gaston Browne, and sold the rights to Point FM, ABS-TV or Radio, or any other MEDIA HOUSE, around the Caribbean or social media platforms which would have deemed the Independent Interview Newsworthy.

    3…I can recall the days of CTV during the late 1980’s to the 1990’s of the Vere C. Bird Snr Governments, during the early days of OBSERVER MEDIA GROUP, and for the fact that, whenever Vere Bird Snr was addressing the Nation with his versions of events, etc, ALL not just some but each and every INDEPENDENT CHANNEL(VH1, MTV, ESPN, TBS, etc) which consumers were paying for as a service, had to and carried the speeches of VC Bird, Snr. Notice I said #SPEECHES not interviews.

    Yes, “Serpent” Watts has made a Managerial decision. It shows his management style to some degree, but again his actions have being the norm in the Nation’s politics for decades.
    Murdoch, since you’re an INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST, do what they do because, any MEDIA HOUSE in this HUEman World, INDEPENDENT, PUBLIC or PRIVATE will always dictate and have the final say on some aspects of their content.

    Jumbee_Picknee so CHRISTened by Mami_Wata and Papa_Elegba at life’s #crossROAD(🏴‍☠️🏁❌✝️✝️✝️⚔️☦️☦️☦️☠️☠️☠️of SWASTIKA & SQUARE.

  7. Is DNA funded by Gaston Browne. The DNA attacks the UPP NOT the ABLP. Memo to the DNA, it is the ABLP that is in government.

  8. The DNA does not see the IRONY of saying that OBSERVER is assaulting Press Freedom on OBSERVER.
    Well, well, well
    I would have thought that they would have gone on POINTE FM?

  9. The DNA did not comment on spectre of Gaston interfering with the electoral process by appearing to bribe voters.
    Yet, they are attacking OBSERVER.
    How can anybody take DNA seriously.

  10. Has the DNA EVER COMMENTED on the fact that the ABLP bans the main opposition from speaking/appearing on ABS

  11. The DNA should be more concerned with the what school children say is the division between Maleka and Joanne and that between Joanne and BRUCE Goodwin

  12. Stop seeking attention and relevance because you ain’t getting it. How I haven’t heard DNA say anything about what happened in Point and Villa 2 weeks ago? Oh, that won’t make certain people look good. You chupid lakka how you look! Help save what’s left of this nation, a dat you fu do.

  13. Why she don’t crawl back under the rock she was under? It is the only time I ever see a so-called opposition party, campaigning against the main opposition to try and become relevant.

    When you listen to these charlatans, one would be forgive to believe the UPP is in government and not the cult ALP. she her leader and all their members will be losing their deposits.

  14. @ RED RED

    Mr Knight, ignore the empty vessels, they make the most noise. You are effective and they cannot keep you down. You are the biggest threat to the ABLP being re-elected and that is why they criticise you, but truth must prevail, the ills of the Brown regime that you expose every day for Antiguans and Barbudans to hear is burning dem, including their representative host on the AM show.
    Continue your brilliant work and lets GET RID A DEM, GET RID A DEM

  15. NEWSCO/Observer is hanging on by a thread as a profitable company. It is bare skin and bones at this point, and is not thriving because of, but IN SPITE OF the obviously retarded and/or intentionally ignorant management team/board of directors currently in place.

    The company attracts very little advertising (in comparison to its obvious potential), the people in charge are willing and empowered to sacrifice its growth for political risks, the handful of talent employed there appears fed up, disinterested and demotivated, and there is no obvious goal in sight (whether it be a certain figure for listenership/viewership, earning a certain figure for revenue, pivoting to more digital operations, or to be recognized outside of Antigua and Barbuda as a renowned media company etc).

    How can NEWSCO, a company that had the best head start in the race to success (compared to Pointe, Antigua Newsroom, Antigua News etc) – by virtue of the Observer brand already being ingrained into Antiguan and Barbudan culture – remain in the same place, or even worse than where it started?

    All that being said, the ‘handful of talent’ mentioned earlier includes the Big Issues host, and for a company that doesn’t attract ‘big name’ media talent, the management appears dumb enough to ostracize a young man that is likely to become renowned as such a talent in the future – talk about checkers and not chess.

    Without a doubt, The Big Issues, Observer AM, and the Good Morning JoJo shows are the best NEWSCO/Observer currently has to offer. With the exception of the sports show (at least to the naked eye), they’re all being affected by political interference, and not in a positive way. The producers/hosts appear to be pushing through regardless (tip of the hat to them), but there comes a time when enough is simply enough.

    Now, without even listing the vastly superior characteristics of the shows mentioned above (which should be obvious to even casual listeners), take a look at the rest of the station’s major programmes – those that are quite clearly not affected by any negative interference and are given free reign to ‘flourish’.

    DLP’s show: Archaic structure, small pool of ‘C-List’ guests rotated, interviews/discussions rarely of any national importance, regularly entertains ‘alleged’ perverts/deviants, host pretentious; not very knowledgeable about important matters, attracts very little advertising.

    Algernon’s show: Opposition politicking, geared toward gossip more so than important discourse, ‘slow’ co-hosts, host similarly pretentious, obviously not inviting to sensible/serious guests, little to no structure, attracts no advertising.

    Frank and Paul’s show: Very little structure, same opposition politicking, ‘lead’ host similarly pretentious and abrasive, not inviting to proper guests, discourse often of national importance but ‘watered down’ by politicking, attracts very little advertising.

    Knight’s show: No structure, opposition politicking, inviting to barely any guests of note, host not very smart; doesn’t solicit/incite intelligent discourse; has little-to-no critical thinking skills; literally mentions the Prime Minister or the ABLP in every other sentence, attracts no advertising.

    I will not even go any further with this rant, but to ask someone/some people out there who might read this, that have the necessary resources and vision – make the NEWSCO/Observer board a purchase offer they can’t refuse, so the company can finally get free from the clutches of the small-minded group that are holding it hostage, and it can start to fulfill its promise as a top-tier media company. Antigua and Barbuda would forever be in your debt.

    • @ G Dizzle

      ‘ I will not even go further with this rant’……….PLEASE DON’T, YOU ARE LOSING YOUR MARBLES. IT IS A RANT (speak or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way) as you are doing.

      POOR YOU, I PITY YOU 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  16. Here are the questions that should have been asked this morning but of course were not:
    QUESTION 1: It is public knowledge that there is a serious rift between your leader, Joanne Massiah, and your Chairman, Malaka Parker. Is this in fact so?

    QUESTION 2: There is popular talk that Ms Parker is having irreconcilable differences with the leader, Ms Massiah, and she has reached out to the UPP to be returned in the fold. It is also said that she wants to step back in as the candidate for Rural West. Can you enlighten us on that?

    QUESTION 3: Some of the DNA’s leaders and candidates have stepped away from the party. Popular names are the youngest candidate (can’t remember his name), the Browne husband and wife team, Bruce Goodwin, to name a few. Is this fact or fiction?

    QUESTION 4: The father of Malaka Parker has been very active on Facebook, making some very scathing and defamatory remarks about Ms Massiah and the no longer existing relationship between his daughter and the leader. Is there bad blood between them?

    QUESTION 5: You just mentioned about Observer does not allow free speech. How then are you now on Observer and being allowed to make such a statement on Observer? Is this not free speech?

    LAST QUESTION 6: You are known as a sore loser in the UPP because you lost the primary to Peter Reds (you tried not to say his name on this program) and immediately went to join the DNA. Did you in fact act like a sore loser?

  17. I once believed in DNA, but now I am back to where I started. This party does not care about Antigua. They only care about themselves. Bye orange, we were all dreaming. So sad they are going nowhere. I have sat and waited for something good from them, but it’s getting worst. UPP blue blue am back.

  18. Why no one is commenting or saying anything about the same behavior thats happening at The nation’s station ABS, especially about how Garfield Burford does his biased interviews.

  19. This morning a DNA representative said on the radio that they get air time on Point FM and ABS , the only reason is because they are of no threat. DAN is being used to take votes away from UPP.

  20. DNA, you just lost my vote, the votes of my entire family and a couple of my friends, which I must say were quite a lot of votes.
    I take my politics very seriously and I really thought that you all were much more intelligent than I just witnessed.
    “Mr Murdoch Resigned”; that’s what happened!
    Why? Because a decision was made by his Boss, a decision much larger than all of us, a decision hinged on the future of the health and well-being of this country was made. That’s the point and that’s the end of that story.
    So if you wish to express Your concerns, I would suggest that you start your own radio station, hire Mr. Murdoch and stop your whining.

  21. DNA remember the old saying “tiday a fuh me, tomarra a fuh you”.

    You commented of Murdoch’s resignation but that’s not all. Observer Management saw/felt the need to bring information to the public on that resignation. Two of your founding members who have been set to contest the next general elections have resigned at this crucial time and you have nothing to tell the public about those resignations even though the public is entitled. This is press freedom!!

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