Saturday, April 20, 2024

Workshop highlights importance of Press freedom

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A recent training initiative of the United States Embassy in Barbados and members of the media has been labelled a success.

In advance of May 3, World Press Freedom Day, United States Embassy Bridgetown partnered with Barbados journalists and the Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network (CIJN) to celebrate the importance of a free press as an indispensable component of any free society.

To mark the occasion, the Embassy hosted a three-day virtual investigative journalism workshop for over 50 Caribbean journalists.

According to a media release from the US Embassy, recently-elected president of the Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers (BARJAM) Keith Goddard, who participated in the programme, said: “The training provided very useful insights into the approaches of handling investigative journalism from highly respected persons in their fields.”

Kiran Maharaj, president of the Media Institute of the Caribbean, the parent organisation of the CIJN, and facilitator of the workshop, thanked the US Embassy for its support and highlighted the need for more training.

“The sessions showed the enthusiasm and commitment of journalists to face the challenges of an industry under pressure.  It is heart-warming to have supporters such as the US Embassy Barbados, who want to ensure training and development of media practitioners is accessible,” Maharaj said of the  April 27-29 programme.

“Countries committed to upholding a free press like the United States and Barbados, will mark World Press Freedom Day 2021. The media plays an essential role in a democracy and, as observed in recent reporting on the volcanic eruptions in St Vincent, in saving lives.  This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme ‘Information as a Public Good’ serves as a call to recognise information as a basis right and to all people, no matter where they live,” the statement said.

“The realities of the pandemic have changed the way journalists operate in the field, and the United States commends media workers for their commitment to transparency and the truth in the face of mis- and disinformation from malign state and non state actors, in these unprecedented times.  We stand with all members of the media and honour you every day of the year, but especially on World Press Freedom Day.” (PR)

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