Friday, March 22, 2013

Letter: Time for an independent media regulator?

One of the foremost meanings of the word "press" is "to bear down upon". Maybe that's the one the local media decided to adopt, for it seems the possess a morbid and resolute urge to belittle the members of the People's Partnership government, even if they have to concoct a story. 

Hardly a day passes without the localpress muckraking the Prime Minister and her Cabinet. The most egregious examples are undoubtedly how the Attorney General and the National Security Minister are singled out for "special treatment". Never before in our history has any government official been put under the microscope unduly as those two. Not for all the tea in China would I trade places with them!

Recently in England the mainstream media was exposed for indulging in downright illegal tactics in pursuit of headlines. Their outlandish policies culminated in an innocent and dedicated nurse taking her own life after being pranked to reveal details about a royal patient, all for the sake of a scoop. 

Just this week we observed how a popular TV host was fined $30,000 for showing videos of a sexual assault in progress. Given that crimes are generally under-reported, who is to tell the true extent of havoc visited upon Trinidadians due to press slackness?

Inspired as we are by England, we need to take careful note of the Draft Royal Charter on Self-Regulation of The Press which was announced a few days ago by British Prime Minister, David Cameron. 

Resulting from theLord Levison Report, it makes very interesting reading. Among other things, it proposes a new independent Press Regulator, who would be legally empowered to evaluate whether the press is doing no harm to anyone and to fine them up to £1m where they are.

Here, our press regulatory bodies seem blissfully reticent or impotent. I note we're contemplating whatchanges to make to our Constitution. Maybe we need to insert something that automatically updates our laws to keep them in step with England's. In the meantime, the best I can say to Anand and Jack is, "Hold on! Don't give up!"
Mouttet, Leslie | St Lucien Road, Diego Martin, Trinidad

No comments:

Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai