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Media Association, gov't denounce threats against TVJ journalist

Information Minister Dr. Dana Morris Dixon
 
The Media Association of Jamaica (MAJ) has expressed grave concern about the sustained wave of threats in the social media space against the life of Television Jamaica journalist Giovanni Dennis since his special report highlighting illegal drag racing in Jamaica.
 
The MAJ says the threats started with great hostility and are an attack on the heart of press freedom and are not to be taken lightly.
 
It says this is also an opportunity for the authorities to establish that any form of cyber bullying and or cyber intimidation are acts which are not acceptable in our evolving digital communication-based society.
 
It adds that Jamaica has laws with teeth carefully crafted to address these concerns and the MAJ calls on all in positions of authority to help members of the society understand that in the digital space like any other space, there are boundaries on what are acceptable utterances against individuals in the society.
 
It argues that many of the threats directed at the journalist in the social media space are brazen and suggests that there is little fear or concern about consequences.
 
The threats have been reported so the MAJ is urging the authorities to take the appropriate steps.  
 
'Reprehensible' 
 
Meanwhile, the government has condemned the threats against Mr. Dennis, describing them as reprehensible.
 
Information Minister Dr. Dana Morris Dixon said the threats represent an attack on press freedom and Jamaica's democracy. 
 
"We firmly believe in press freedom and we stand with Mr. Dennis and all journalists in our country. The security forces are investigating these incidents and will update us on the status of these investigations. Again, the administration is committed to upholding law and order and the safety and security of all Jamaicans," she asserted. 
 
The government contends that any attempt to intimidate or threaten reporters undermines their ability to inform the masses, hold public officials to account and contribute to the transparent functioning of local institutions. 
 
It says these actions must not be tolerated and urged the public to respect the role of the media and to support all efforts to maintain a secure environment for all Jamaicans.
 


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