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News and Views by Dionne Jackson Miller

pointed commentary on current affairs in Jamaica and the Caribbean

Month

August 2013

Press Association of Jamaica Calls for TVJ Chairman to Resign

Photo by Master isolated images at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Photo by Master isolated images at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

PAJ AGM RESOLUTION ON MILTON SAMUDA

The following Resolution was passed at the 70th Annual General Meeting of the Press Association of Jamaica on Sunday, August 25, 2013.  The motion was initiated by a member from the floor and was carried after a vote was taken.

Resolution Statement calling for the resignation of Milton Samuda as chairman of the board of Television Jamaica (TVJ):

Whereas a team of the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) led by Advisory Council chairman Wyvolyn Gager met with Mr Milton Samuda – board member of The RJR Communications Group and chairman of Television Jamaica (TVJ)
– and his lawyers at the PAJ Headquarters in St Andrew to discuss outstanding matters concerning the erasing of journalists tapes; and,

Whereas, Mr Samuda was afforded the opportunity to hold such discussions following controversy after allegations that he took possession of and erased portions of journalists’ interviews with his clients – athletes Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, who have tested positive for using banned substances; and,

Whereas, despite the fact that frank and robust discussions between the teams took place with less than satisfactory outcome, and it was revealed that;
(A) Questions to be asked were requested of the journalists;
(B)Questions were re-worded and sent to journalists;
(C) Journalists working equipment were later taken when unapproved    questions were asked;

Whereas Mr Samuda has not apologised, and continues to insist that nothing was wrong with his actions;

This resolution calls for the resignation of Milton Samuda as chairman of the board of Television Jamaica (TVJ) given that his continued position on the board can only serve to compromise the position of journalists from that Group and question his commitment to press freedom specifically and generally, and;

Be it further resolved that, journalists, in the future desist from agreeing to pre-conditions with any individual without discussing same with their respective heads of news, as unilateral pre-conditions set troubling and dangerous precedents in media organisations, and compromise the delivery of unrestricted and journalistically verified information to the people of Jamaica.

Annual General Meeting of the Press Association of Jamaica: August 2013

Disclosure: I am a member of the PAJ. I abstained from this vote as I also work at TVJ and I was involved in internal discussions on this issue. 

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Happy Independence Day, Jamaica!

Photo by DJ Miller
Photo by DJ Miller

It’s Independence Day here in Jamaica, and although I am not usually a “Rae Rae’ type, I have to tell you that something about the spirit of this day grabs me. It’s almost exactly like January 1 for me. Yes, yes, yes, I know all the problems – hey, I host TWO current affairs programmes – and maybe that’s why for this one day,  I just want to feel good.  I want to enjoy listening to some festival songs (Sweet Jamaica anyone?) wear my Jamaica gear  and marvel at the HUGE impact this tiny island has had on the world.

From this small country speaking out against apartheid to the global reach of Bob Marley to the impact of dance hall and the Jamaican language to the phenomenon that is Usain Bolt, we are indeed a great people. Do I wish we had actually maximised more on all our boundless potential? Of course. Do I feel near despair and hopelessness sometimes at the bad economy, high crime and clueless leadership? Totally.  But you know, sometimes you just have to relax, and celebrate the good and that’s what I’m doing today. The in-depth analysis of where we have fallen short can wait for another day.  Otherwise, how would we ever be able to get up and continue the struggle tomorrow? Are you with me? Happy Independence Day all!  

Emancipation Park - Ja 50 DJ Miller Photo
Emancipation Park – Ja 50
DJ Miller Photo

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