Jamaica moves up eight places on World Press Freedom Index

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Newspaper (photo: courtesy of Moritz320)

Jamaica has moved up eight places on the latest World Press Freedom Index and is now the number one ranked country in the Caribbean and 24 out of 180 nations in the 2024 release of the World Press Freedom Index, with a score of 77.3. Jamaica was ranked 32 in last year’s index. The latest index was compiled by the French-based Reporters Without Borders to coincide with World Press Freedom Day, which is being observed today (May 3).

Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for information, Robert Morgan, said the improved ranking is commendable, and said work is to continue to improve the country’s position. “I think it’s commendable that Jamaica was able to move eight places over the last year with an improved score. We are now the number one ranked country in the Caribbean. “I think for an international organisation to look at Jamaica, which has just about 2.8 million people, and has a better ranking and better score than several first world countries, that is something we should all, as Jamaicans, celebrate as a significant achievement,” said Morgan.

“All we can continue to do is to improve our ranking and work to ensure that media workers and the media, generally, have a very free and accessible avenue to do their jobs, because the better the press freedom, the studies have shown, is the better the governance of the country, and that is something that we are very interested in,” he added.

Morgan said the Government remains committed to strengthening press freedom and keeping the nation informed. “We have, over the years, always maintained a very accessible approach to the media. We have reinvigorated post-Cabinet press briefings, we have improved the press room, and we have been working with our various stakeholders,” he said.

The minister urged the media to maintain their standards as well as the ability to reach people. “With the advent of new media and social media, more persons are able to get more information. Media are also able to use different portals to reach more people in an unprecedented way, but the flip side of that is that you have the challenge of misinformation and disinformation, which is very dangerous and can undermine your society. I think that one of the things that the Government is very interested in is encouraging media to maintain standards, to improve standards and also to improve their ability to reach people, so that they can be a buffer against the risk of misinformation and disinformation,” said Morgan.

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