Journalism and The Freedom of Information

Where, oh where is that illusive Freedom of Information Act, 2012?

The Freedom of Information Act was passed by the FNM Government shortly before last year’s election, which swept the FNM from power.

Since then, it has gone AWOL – missing without leave. Hardly a month had passed after their election to parliament in May last year than “learned“ PLP politicians began pontificating on what areas of news reporters should be covering.

They wanted reporters to focus on more positive news.

At that point, someone should have whispered in their ears that if they made positive news, reporters would happily write about it. Journalists neither make the news, nor do they cover it up. However, they do record what news is made by others.

At the moment politicians are excelling in creating news, news that obviously they wish reporters would ignore. The news that they are now making is neither positive, nor is it intelligent. But it does reveal a strong tendency to cover up – a tendency to blow smoke screens to divert attention.

Such a tendency is only bait to a well-trained reporter.

Last year, one of these politicians advocated more investigative reporting. He believed that it would produce more balanced reports, which would create a better informed public. How right he was.

But where was the Freedom of Information Act that would make it easier for reporters to get such information? It was nowhere to be found, but Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis had the brilliant idea to suggest that there should be punishment for “biased reporting”.

And who was to be the arbiter of what was a biased report?

Why the government, of course.

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