Statement by ACM President, Wesley Gibbings, On The Occasion Of World Press Freedom Day 2011
May 3, 2011 – World Press Freedom Day 2011 is special for more than one reason. Not only is it 20 years since the endorsement of the Windhoek Declaration in Namibia that gave birth to these observances all over the world, but this year also marks the 10th anniversary of the inauguration of the Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers (ACM).
In many respects, the circumstances that led to the assembling of international journalists in the southern African state in 1991 were not much different from the imperatives that brought Caribbean journalists together in Bridgetown, Barbados in 2001. Neither can we discern many fundamental differences from the world we meet in the year 2011, with respect to the over-riding concern that freedom of expression faces stark challenges in the face of wider social, political and global military conflict.
There is the unfortunate tendency in this part of the world to assume a level of global insulation – that it is possible to erect some kind of impervious shield against approaching outbreaks of democracy and liberation. There is also the assumption that a defence of cultural relativism is sufficient to address hybrid versions of free societies that provide the right to choose political administrations but restrict the right to hold them up to wider and deeper inspection through the work of a free and unfettered press.
Read full official press release (pdf): World Press Freedom Day Message (ACM President)