Categorized | Features, General, Local, News

A Country without a NEWSPAPER is both blind and dumb

by Vernon (Auk) Jeffers

This fact is known in every major capitals of the World. In any Democracy the freedom of the Press is golden and it behooves every democratic government to assist the Printed Press Media in its exercise of that freedom.

By freedom it is meant, free access, public and private sector patronage, journalistic respect and freedom of dissemination. As a Colony of Britain (the cradle of democracy) the willful and systematic prevention of the Printed Press Media to operate should not be tolerated in any democracy much less Montserrat. Is it not the right of the people to know what their Government is doing on their behalf?

Can radio ZJB fully convey the information or contents contained in Government gazettes, legislative bills, notices and warnings; Should we not be encouraging our school children to read more; Is it not true the Island’s Newspaper is a vital source of information for visitors and others about Montserrat?

I say this because it seems to be a subtle concerted effort by the Government of Montserrat to financially cripple the island’s only Newspaper (The Montserrat Reporter) from operating. You know and we all know that the Island’s commercial sector is quite small and can ill-afford to support the Newspaper’s recurrent operating cost without Governments patronage. Knowing this, why then or how can His Excellency the Governor or the Hon. Ministers in cabinet sit idly-by while public servants deny the only Newspaper on Montserrat the privilege of publishing Government’s information.

Over the past years, many laws were passed, many MOU’s were singed, many decisions were made and many Government undertakings were committed, but none were sent to the Island’s only NEWSPAPER for publication by the Government. Why? Is it because of political biasness or plain old grudge mindedness? How many of our citizenry can pick-up a newspaper today and say yes the Government did this or that last year or say yes I now understand what the issues are?

How it manages is beyond me but I doubt it does. Its irregularity makes it obvious. Besides The Montserrat Reporter is online and has been since 1996. And I know (saw it mentioned somewhere) it has the reach of over 80 countries in the world.

Let us face it, in most developed counties, the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada and the Caribbean Islands, the major Newspapers are fully patronized and financially supported (directly and indirectly) by their Governments. Why not Montserrat?

Note: Vernon Jeffers is a former Minister of Education, Health and Community Services, and continues to be active in politics in the UK. He is a very active observer and critic of Montserrat affairs. He very regularly publishes his observations, questions and comments on Social Media.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Vernon (Auk) Jeffers

This fact is known in every major capitals of the World. In any Democracy the freedom of the Press is golden and it behooves every democratic government to assist the Printed Press Media in its exercise of that freedom.

By freedom it is meant, free access, public and private sector patronage, journalistic respect and freedom of dissemination. As a Colony of Britain (the cradle of democracy) the willful and systematic prevention of the Printed Press Media to operate should not be tolerated in any democracy much less Montserrat. Is it not the right of the people to know what their Government is doing on their behalf?

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Can radio ZJB fully convey the information or contents contained in Government gazettes, legislative bills, notices and warnings; Should we not be encouraging our school children to read more; Is it not true the Island’s Newspaper is a vital source of information for visitors and others about Montserrat?

I say this because it seems to be a subtle concerted effort by the Government of Montserrat to financially cripple the island’s only Newspaper (The Montserrat Reporter) from operating. You know and we all know that the Island’s commercial sector is quite small and can ill-afford to support the Newspaper’s recurrent operating cost without Governments patronage. Knowing this, why then or how can His Excellency the Governor or the Hon. Ministers in cabinet sit idly-by while public servants deny the only Newspaper on Montserrat the privilege of publishing Government’s information.

Over the past years, many laws were passed, many MOU’s were singed, many decisions were made and many Government undertakings were committed, but none were sent to the Island’s only NEWSPAPER for publication by the Government. Why? Is it because of political biasness or plain old grudge mindedness? How many of our citizenry can pick-up a newspaper today and say yes the Government did this or that last year or say yes I now understand what the issues are?

How it manages is beyond me but I doubt it does. Its irregularity makes it obvious. Besides The Montserrat Reporter is online and has been since 1996. And I know (saw it mentioned somewhere) it has the reach of over 80 countries in the world.

Let us face it, in most developed counties, the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada and the Caribbean Islands, the major Newspapers are fully patronized and financially supported (directly and indirectly) by their Governments. Why not Montserrat?

Note: Vernon Jeffers is a former Minister of Education, Health and Community Services, and continues to be active in politics in the UK. He is a very active observer and critic of Montserrat affairs. He very regularly publishes his observations, questions and comments on Social Media.