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ONLINE READERS COMMENT: PM Holness crossed the line in attacking the press

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

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Dear Editor,

Prime Minister Andrew Holness launched an unwarranted attack on the press recently at the Jamaica Labour Party West Kingston 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 defense before moving on to attempt to control other people's minds.

Mr Holness should take note of the chaos and mayhem going on in the USA under President Donald Trump's leadership.

Trump attacks the press weekly, sometimes daily, and it has had dire consequences.

Mr 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, tells a different story, the only story, the “truth”.

The operative word is 'control'. Fact is Mr Holness' social media page, like any other page, is driven by public relations strategy, 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. Mr Holness crossed the line in his recent attack of the press.

P Chin


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