Holness's attack on the press crossed the line

Holness's attack on the press crossed the line

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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Dear Editor,

Prime Minister Andrew Holness launched an unwarranted attack on the press recently at the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Kingston Western Annual Constituency Conference held in Tivoli Gardens. This was shameful and desperate.

If you are performing well, your work, for the most part, should speak for itself. No leader or Government is above criticism; this is how we advance and develop as a nation, by listening and learning to argue rationally, instead of getting defensive, irate and emotional.

Tyrants and dictators are known to attack the press first; it is their first line of defence before moving on to attempt to control other people's minds.

Holness should take note of the chaos and mayhem going on in the USA under President Donald Trump's leadership. He attacks the press; sometimes daily.

Holness acknowledged freedom of the press in his speech before launching his attack on the traditional media, suggesting that his own social media pages, controlled by him, tell a different story, the only story, the 'truth'. The word is control. Fact is, Holness's social media, like any other page, is driven by public relations; they choose what they want to share, choosing words and images carefully in an attempt to shape public opinion and a specific image, carefully drafted by strategy. The media, on the other hand, is made up of a wide cross section of Jamaicans with diverse views and opinions aimed at educating and informing the general public, based on investigative journalism and facts.

Different views allow the public to learn to think independently and critically; something we need more of, especially among the electorate, who must demand accountability and responsibility from elected officials. The public can decide on what they choose to see, read and hear, and form their own opinions. I believe Holness crossed the line in his recent attack of the press.

P Chin

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