On this World Press Freedom Day, The Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers (BARJAM) urge the Mia Mottley administration to introduce Freedom of Information legislation.
Below is the full text of the address issued by BARJAM president Emmanuel Joseph.
MESSAGE TO MARK WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY
As journalists across the world celebrate World Press Freedom Day today, the Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers (BARJAM) is calling on the Barbados Government to keep its pledge to introduce Freedom of Information legislation as soon as is practicable.
While BARJAM appreciates the fact that legislation of this nature does not fall within the targets set for the country by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme, we contend that any measure that boosts or expands democracy, would also improve economic development.
Democracy as we understand it, allows for the greatest level of participation by a people in the things that impact their lives and help them to make more informed decisions. People’s right to know how Cabinet Ministers and other public officers and even private sector players who interface with their public sector counterparts can no longer be discretionary, but guaranteed by law.
In fact, we would go even further to propose that, as in the United States, the right to know should be enshrined in the Constitution of Barbados.