First Look

PAJ committed to improving journalism

Press Association Jamaica Of Jamaica | 2012-12-11 00:00:00

Having completed the review and reflection which forms a key part of the annual journalism week the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has concluded that the profession remains in a relatively healthy state.

However some key issues have again been brought to the forefront which we must address before we can be satisfied.

For the next year the PAJ will continue and increase its training courses on investigative and business reporting.

The Association will also be working with international partners to offer courses in journalism ethics while pursuing opportunities for short courses with CARIMAC and the National Integrity Action.

The issue of the reform of the libel laws will also be championed with the PAJ determined to hold the Government to its commitment that legislation will be before Parliament by the end of this legislative year.

The issue of compensation for journalists will also be high on the agenda although the PAJ does not intend to usurp the role of traditional trade unions which negotiate salaries with individual entities.

However, as underscored by our guest speaker Jeremy Dear during the past week, the issue of compensation to journalists is a key issue in improving the quality of journalism.

Our global partner the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has also weighed in on this issue and will be discussing this matter further.  The IFJ has requested an official report from Mr. Dear on his visit to Jamaica.

We intend to take the message to all stakeholders that the under compensation of journalists is a threat to the freedom of the media which we all so treasure.

The PAJ is aware of the internationally accepted truism that persons with special interests and big money will attempt to capture the media and any journalist worried about their next meal is cannon fodder to the corrupt who want to ensure that their deeds do not make it into the pages of the news paper or on the radio and television newscasts.

This is an issue which everyone who wants to ensure a free, fair and independent media in Jamaica should rally around and one which the PAJ will champion.  

The PAJ is committed to improving the quality of journalism in Jamaica and has tasked media workers to ensure that the watch words of fairness, integrity and ethics remain on their lips, in their pens and their minds as we go into the 70th year since the formation of this professional body.

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