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Media association peeved at policy preventing them from questioning visiting prime ministers

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (l) and Prime Minister David (file hoto)Cameron (r)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (l) and Prime Minister David (file hoto)Cameron (r)

 

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Sept 30, CMC – The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has expressed disappointment that local journalists would not be allowed to ask questions of visiting Japanese and British prime ministers.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron wraps up an official one day visit to the island on Wednesday, while his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, arrives here later today on an official one-day visit.

In open letters to the ambassadors of Japan and Britain based here, the PAJ said they regard the visits “as one of great importance given the significant business and political relationships between our countries”.

The PAJ said it is aware that “it is the norm for such visits to include a joint press briefing with the host and visiting heads of government” and that “it is against that background that we are registering the greatest possible disappointment and surprise on being informed by the Office of the Prime Minister” that the two visiting prime ministers “requested that there be no questions from the press.

“We are confident that Prime Minister Cameron understands the healthy state of democracy in Jamaica and that an indispensable aspect of democracy is allowing the press access to political leaders. Indeed, he has given reporters in several other countries opportunities to engage in just this way,” the PAJ said in its letter  to David Fitton, the British High Commissioner and  Masanori Nakano, the Japanese diplomat here.

In a separate letter to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, the PAJ they regard as “critically important that the press be allowed to interact with eminent visitors to our shores where those visits concern matters of national importance, and wish to put on record that we view the organization of these visits as inadequate when they are limited to video and photo opportunities for the press.

“While we understand that the wishes of the visiting heads of government must be taken into account, we note that it is usual for such visits to include press conferences, both when these heads of government visit and when they host other heads of government.”.

The PAJ said it was urging the prime minister “to make it a priority to include, and to push much more vigorously for actual press briefings with visiting heads of government.

“We regard this as an indispensable aspect of such engagements, and we believe the people of Jamaica are being short-changed by this side-lining of the press,” the PAJ added.

 

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (l) and Prime Minister David (file hoto)Cameron (r)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (l) and Prime Minister David (file hoto)Cameron (r)

 

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Sept 30, CMC – The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has expressed disappointment that local journalists would not be allowed to ask questions of visiting Japanese and British prime ministers.

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Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron wraps up an official one day visit to the island on Wednesday, while his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, arrives here later today on an official one-day visit.

In open letters to the ambassadors of Japan and Britain based here, the PAJ said they regard the visits “as one of great importance given the significant business and political relationships between our countries”.

The PAJ said it is aware that “it is the norm for such visits to include a joint press briefing with the host and visiting heads of government” and that “it is against that background that we are registering the greatest possible disappointment and surprise on being informed by the Office of the Prime Minister” that the two visiting prime ministers “requested that there be no questions from the press.

“We are confident that Prime Minister Cameron understands the healthy state of democracy in Jamaica and that an indispensable aspect of democracy is allowing the press access to political leaders. Indeed, he has given reporters in several other countries opportunities to engage in just this way,” the PAJ said in its letter  to David Fitton, the British High Commissioner and  Masanori Nakano, the Japanese diplomat here.

In a separate letter to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, the PAJ they regard as “critically important that the press be allowed to interact with eminent visitors to our shores where those visits concern matters of national importance, and wish to put on record that we view the organization of these visits as inadequate when they are limited to video and photo opportunities for the press.

“While we understand that the wishes of the visiting heads of government must be taken into account, we note that it is usual for such visits to include press conferences, both when these heads of government visit and when they host other heads of government.”.

The PAJ said it was urging the prime minister “to make it a priority to include, and to push much more vigorously for actual press briefings with visiting heads of government.

“We regard this as an indispensable aspect of such engagements, and we believe the people of Jamaica are being short-changed by this side-lining of the press,” the PAJ added.