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Feb 23, 2016

Media Workshop on Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean gets underway in Barbados

This morning in Barbados, a two-day media law workshop got underway. The seminar brought together sixty-eight representatives of media houses and civil societies from thirteen countries across the region.  The seminar was organized as a part of the “Improved access to Justice in the Caribbean” known as the IMPACT Justice project. Funded by the Canadian Government, the project is designed to address the deficiencies in reporting about the justice sector in CARICOM. Today, the media professionals, including our reporter Duane Moody and Host Marleni Cuellar, shared in discussions regarding the rights and responsibilities of journalists, the importance of the role of the media in educating the public about their rights; and, a special focus on critical topics like defamation, confidentiality of sources and freedom of information acts.

 

 

Tamiesha Rochester

Jaedee Caines, T.H.G. Nework, St. Kitts & Nevis

“We believe that the journalist and media professionals need to be more respected. For example when we go to the court or cover any event there should be a space for journalist. We are not that just pushed aside, so we need more respect and that is one of many. We also need to repeal criminal defamation across the nation. It is done in some countries but it is not something that is all over and that is something that we want. because ultimately journalist have a right and so we are responsible for informing and educating people and we can’t do that if we have this criminal defamation hanging over our heads. There are challenges because we have not signed on to the freedom of legislation act or to a legislation and so we believe that it is something that has to be adopted across the region because we have to hold governments accountable.”

 

Jaedee Caines

Tamiesha Rochester, Project Officer, IMPACT Justice

“me and another colleague were selected so that we can be here as law students and seeing that I am a former journalist it is better to inform my colleagues about small issues that are affecting journalist and law students, defamation, confidentiality of sources is very important, citizen journalist reposting which is very important back in Guyana. Freedom of information is something that is very big not only in Guyana but in other countries. One former colleague just mentioned that to get information is hard. Sometimes you wait for about three weeks, after that the story is dead. So what we want them to do is get the proper act for all the countries. It doesn’t have to be one act, it could be…make one up for different countries but it should be something that will help the government, help the politician to five us free access to information, because without information there is no media. We need information the public needs information so if they help us with the laws that would be awesome.”

 

Tifaine Rutherford, Law Student/Former Journalist

Tifaine Rutherford

“we found that there was a need or call for some sort of workshop or seminar with the media to discuss not only the rights of the media but also their responsibility and the law relating to the media in the region and the parameters within which they must operate.

 

Duane Moody

“Now what are some of the short falls that this is supposed to clear up for those that are participating?”

 

Tifaine Rutherford

“Some of the areas that we have looked at is the defamation act, confidentiality of sources, copyright and intellectual property, the role of the media in educating the public about their rights and the rights of journalist. This is suppose to address some of the issues raised where they have indicated they needed more information in this area and actually as a part of the workshop we are having them prepare a list of recommendations or suggestion where they thing IMPACT Justice can assist them in addressing some issues relating to these areas and other areas where they think would be relevant to them. Certainly that was one of the issues addressed today in the defamation section. We had Mr. Jeff Cumberbatch who is a lecturer on the faculty of the University of the West Indies. He went through the process of defamation, the definitions, the defenses; some of the participants raised their issues in relation to that very topic and other topics relating to defamation in the context of the media.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Media Workshop on Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean gets underway in Barbados”

  1. marion ali says:

    I am really happy to see how much Duane Moody has grown and refined himself as a journalist over recent years. I know he has the ability now to best the rest of the competition in the Caribbean to win Channel 5 lots of awards. Keep up the good work, chap!

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