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ACM: Charges against newspaper officials “disproportionate”

The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) doesn’t believe criminal charges should have been filed against three Nation newspaper officials over the publication of the picture of two school children having sex in a classroom. But it’s also not happy about the reaction of a Government minister to a Jamaica Gleaner newspaper editorial which suggested the charges were politically motivated.

Newly elected ACM President Clive Bacchus said earlier this month that the use of the photograph was “not in keeping with the best journalistic practice”. However, the association suggested today that the charges were an overreaction.

Here is the ACM’s latest statement on the matter:

The ACM is alarmed at what appears to have been a disproportionate official response to the publication of a story in the Barbados Nation on October 26 reporting on sexual acts involving two young students.

Our review of the publication suggests that there might be justifiable journalistic concerns about the treatment of the story. However, while the court will deliver its judgment on this matter, in our view, the publication of this photograph does not amount to criminal behaviour.
The ad hominem response by the island’s Minister of Industry and International Business, Donville Inniss, to a Jamaica Gleaner position on the matter betrays a political sensitivity on the issue which also concerns us greatly.
The charges against three senior officials of the Barbados Nation are very serious and carry with them the possibility of prison sentences. The potentially chilling effect of this action on the practice of independent journalism in Barbados looms threateningly.
We urge our colleagues to remain committed to serving the public interest through fearless reporting on developments in their country.

11 Responses to ACM: Charges against newspaper officials “disproportionate”

  1. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner November 21, 2013 at 10:13 am


  2. Janelle Marshall
    Janelle Marshall November 21, 2013 at 10:16 am


  3. Allan Walrond
    Allan Walrond November 21, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Please you all should know the LAW.

    CHAPTER 146A

    1.This Act may be cited as the Protection of Children Act.
    2. In this Act,
    “child” means a person under the age of 18; “film” includes any form of video-recording;
    “indecent photograph” includes an indecent film, a copy of an indecent photograph or film, and an indecent photograph that is part of a film that shows children;
    “photograph” includes the negative of the photograph; “premises” includes any stall or vehicle.

    • David E Hall
      David E Hall November 21, 2013 at 11:08 am

      Do you honestly think that the publishing of the article was an attempt by the Nation newspaper to undermine the rights of Children of Barbados. If so you are probably alone in your view.AS The ACM has emphasized , which is, as many Barbadians have emphasized, the article may have been in poor taste but the response from the government was extreme.

  4. Renny Johnson
    Renny Johnson November 21, 2013 at 10:28 am

    You people know the law, do you think it does not apply to the media? Child protection is far more important than a snooz paper

  5. David E Hall
    David E Hall November 21, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Tell me how is it that the only group of persons who cant see that the authorities erred in its handling of this matter with the NATION is the Government and other DLP supporters.

  6. Mark Rudder
    Mark Rudder November 21, 2013 at 11:52 am

    The issue at hand is not the article. It’s the publication of the photo. It was pornographic in nature and featured children. The nation may have felt it’s duty to inform the public of moral decay but at the same they needed to consider they limits and liabilities before punishing the accompanying photo. Lets look at this from legal reasoning. Others were charged shouldn’t all parties be held responsible? Just my opinion.

  7. Elke Hassell
    Elke Hassell November 21, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    PLEASE don’t give me that Nonsense. There is a LAW to Protect Minors what they did is enable Child Pornography. And don’t come with your pathetic answers, those 3 should be charged to the fullest account!!!

  8. media dynamiKs
    media dynamiKs November 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Sorry. Can’t agree with Clive – not fully sat least…

  9. Angus B Post
    Angus B Post November 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Smh….if the law states such…the govt by extention the minister of education should also be charged for it happened on “his” premises….just sayin

  10. Mr. Surprise November 22, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Angus B I thought you are heading in the right direction, Where were the teachers who were responsible for these students, as they had quite some time unattended, no questions for them but charges for the messenger.


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