The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) has called on journalists across the region to “embrace the tenets of good journalism by giving verified facts without the taint of bias.”
In a message to mark World Press Freedom Day, being observed under the theme “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”, ACM President Anika Kentish noted that media remains the cornerstone of any democratic society.
“We bring governance issues to the forefront, expose flaws in the justice system, we are the whistleblowers when corruption looms and we are the window into the electoral process. For us to continue to be that key player in the democratic process, we must ensure that information is relevant, timely and, most importantly, accurate.”
She added that if elections are to be free and fair, journalists must understand that the coverage of elections is not like a regular beat.
“It is tracking a complex system with several moving parts and many opportunities for operatives to pervert the process in hopes of swaying the results in their favour. Disinformation poses a very real threat to the electoral process, so verification of facts is paramount to a free and fair electoral system.”
The ACM President said that there is a global trend of foreign interference in the electoral process “and while this kind of meddling may seem like a distant reality, we must recognise that we in the region are not immune from similar intrusions by geopolitical or commercial interests.”
“The challenge is that despite having more access to information than ever before, disinformation is more rampant than ever,” she said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris of St. Kitts Nevis, has reaffirmed his support and respect for the free press, which he says is “an enduring and unshakeable institution that is essential to maintaining a strong democracy here in St. Kitts and Nevis and, indeed, everywhere.”
“Here in St. Kitts and Nevis, my Administration and I take our responsibility to inform the public very seriously. The Government frequently shares important information with the press and public, providing an open environment in which they can present and debate effectively the issues and concerns that matter most to voters – and to the future of this great country – and also assess the performance of their elected representatives,” the Prime Minister said.
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