Message of ACM President, Wesley Gibbings on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2012
May 3, 2012 Observance of World Press Freedom Day 2012 provides the Caribbean with an opportunity to take stock of its progress as a region in which rights and freedoms are held to be fundamental pillars of the development process. This day focuses exclusively on freedom of expression, under whose cover freedom of the press permanently resides.
Though we have generally escaped the worst impacts of impunity, violence and official aggression, Caribbean social communicators and journalists have not eluded the potentially muting impacts of self-censorship, unenlightened regulation and challenging economic, social and political circumstances.
For this reason, our advocates are often minded to craft unique responses to unique conditions and to influence international discourse on such subjects on an unprecedented scale – not to build a deceptive, relativistic case as obtains in some territories in our region, but to help light the path to fundamental rights and freedoms in a changing region and world.
In this context, the theme of this year’s observances – New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies – is entirely appropriate as a reflection of the requirements of Caribbean development and change. As relatively new nations, Caribbean societies have also, in many respects, been the new hemispheric voices of the past 50 years. We are now called upon to be more aware of the new voices within our midst.
Read full official press release (pdf): ACM President’s World Press Freedom Day Message