May 3, 2021
This year’s observance of World Press Freedom Day promotes awareness of information as a vital pillar of the development process, and the role of mass media as a singularly important asset in meaningful realization of such a condition.
“Information as a Public Good” also takes on special significance within the context of pandemic conditions that rely heavily on the reliable flow of truthful information in addressing their inherent challenges, and securing the best interests of populations everywhere, including the Caribbean.
In affirming such a role for mass media, this year’s WPFD activities are focusing heavily on social and political environments that promote press freedom as a key public asset.
The ACM is, however, mindful of the many challenges confronting media systems in our region that inhibit their ability to play the kind of role anticipated under current circumstances.
We also recognise our own role as an organisation in promoting high professional standards, networking regional resources, and advocating for conditions conducive to freedom of expression and an unfettered press.
On this occasion, the global community is paying close attention to the importance of free and independent media in providing the public with reliable, timely and trustworthy information.
But it must be recognised that this is not an exclusive prerogative of the media industry. It is a process that requires the commitment of all sectors of our societies, including the state and civil society.
The ACM recognises the several shortcomings of the industry and its operatives in pursuit of the key objectives. We therefore re-commit to vigorously pursuing achievement of the goal of better societies informed by high quality news and information products.
These are times for the regional media community to coalesce around the task of better serving our populations. But it is also a time when the viability of media systems is being tested in ways not witnessed in recent history.
The new executive committee of the ACM stands ready to play our part and we encourage the Caribbean media community, our governments and all sections of civil society to do the same.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].