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 Bahamas Commentary

2003-06-11 21:05:44

Talk Is Cheap

We need to see the application of Mr. Mitchell's high-sounding principles, not official threats and evasion.

At the recent Organisation of American States meeting in Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell spoke of the media's vital role in strengthening democracy by covering government and opposition views.

He also supported a "vigorous application of the principle of free speech... which finds its purest expression in the freedom of the media."

We agree with Mr. Mitchell's remarks, but we wonder if his government is on board with these sentiments. Whenever the press asks questions we usually get the royal run-around.

And whenever the press criticises the government we are accused of being irresponsible. But that is our job.

Often journalists are told that only a minister is able to answer questions. Then it becomes an issue of tracking down the minister, who may or may not be willing to answer.

If this is the reality, how can freedom of the press and democracy be strengthened? This is undermining rather than improving press freedom. We should not have to wait on a politician to discuss the people's business. It is our business.

Frankly, we are tired of being told to be responsible when government officials do not make themselves accessible and seek only to frustrate the people's right to know.

Talk is cheap. We need to see the application of Mr. Mitchell's high-sounding principles, not official threats and evasion.

Editorial, The Nassau Guardian  

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