THE EDITOR: I am in full agreement with those who believe 2018 will be another difficult year in TT’s social, economic and political life. When I look at all that has happened in these areas in 2017, coupled with crime and high prices, I am not feeling Trinbago is in a safe place.
However, I would like to deal with the growing threat that journalists face in the execution of their duties in this country.
Worldwide, some 81 journalists have been killed, including a blogger in Malta. Countries in which they have lost their lives are: Mexico (13), Afghanistan (11), Iraq (11), Syria (10), India (6), Phillipines (4), Pakistan (4), Nigeria (3), Somalia (3) and Honduras (3).
Thank God in Trinidad and Tobago we haven’t reached that stage, but we are not too far off. Locally, journalists have come under attack from those who feel the journalist should not use their prying eyes, pen or camera.
They have been threatened, pelted, cuffed, chased, insulted, issued gagging orders, pre-action protocol letters and walked off on. Their only crime is seeking the truth on the public’s behalf.
Journalists have also run afoul of politicians who feel the journalist’s role is a sponge, a stooge, or a fawning public relations officer.
Meanwhile, I have noticed a trend by Government and sporting officials to issue a press release without taking questions. Gentlemen, cut out this gobar. Why the fear of questions? Questions are a part of the journalist’s tools of trade.
Journalists must object to this “hold a release and shut up” disrespect. However, they are reminded that they owe their allegiance to the public who support them. To all journalists in 2018, I exhort you to keep on jamming...fearlessly!
Keith Anderson, Santa Cruz