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Statement from the Media Association of St. Kitts and Nevis on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day

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(Press release) Today, May 3, 2023 is World Press Freedom Day, under the theme: “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights.” The Media Association of St. Kitts and Nevis commemorates this day, knowing the value of free expression and the role the media plays in this regard.

Freedom of Expressing is invaluable to a free press, of which, is mostly enjoyed here in St. Kitts and Nevis. There must be an enabling environment that encourages free expression, to facilitate discourse on current affairs and critical thinking that can only serve to improve our growing democracy. At the same time, we also understand with great freedoms, come great responsibilities. The rise in social media use, has provided us with many opportunities for free expression, but at the same time, encourages the rapid dissemination of misinformation and disinformation. This heightens the significance of traditional media outlets, governed by the standards and ethics of good journalism, to publish and convey information that is accurate. The Media Association of St. Kitts and Nevis over the past year, since our resurgence, has sought to improve the standard of journalism in the Federation.

On the eve of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, we hosted a very successful Media Training Workshop entitled Media and the Law, sponsored by the US Embassy. This workshop is our effort in helping to bolster and equip media workers to become better journalists and to perform their work within the ambit of the law. We also see the need for public education on the role of the media and the responsibilities of free expression in our community. The government also has a responsibility to create and maintain an enabling environment that fosters responsible free expression and transparency.

We will be closely monitoring the legislative agenda of the government to ensure that laws are passed that can help foster this environment, while at the same time ensuring our membership takes full advantage of the tools available at our disposal in performing our duties. On this occasion, we say to our members, Happy World Press Freedom Day. Let freedom reign.

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