Photo by Stuart Miles
Photo by Stuart Miles

I had a post all written on my problems with how politicians view the media. Then I deleted it all.  Every party in government (in Jamaica at least) thinks the media are against them. That’s a necessary part of the sometimes antagonistic relationship that will inevitably exist between the people governing a country, and the people watching and writing about their governance.

But a little tension is not always a bad thing. Joining hands and singing Kumbaya is not always a good thing. You can’t necessarily see what hand the other guy is playing if you’re sitting at the same card table. 

I googled “media and politicians a necessary tension” and found this  from the University of Missouri, about the US political system. It’s a good read. Check it out. 

” Many journalists see themselves as protectors of our system of government—”watchdogs of democracy”—and in many ways the framers of the (US) Constitution would agree. Of course, when this role is pursued with passion, it is bound to annoy those in power from time to time, and there is often tension between the press and the politicians whom it covers.”

The consequence of that tension is often complaints, to editors and media mangers. But you know, the complaints, although sometimes overblown and ridiculous, are also important. They keep us on our toes. After all, we are not infallible either. So that tension?  That’s an important part of life in a democracy. Let’s all try to remember that.

NB: the Jamaican constitution does not provide special protection for the press. Despite intense lobbying from the media fraternity, the legislators decided that the press did not need additional protection other than the right to freedom of expression provided to every citizen.