World Report - Jamaica
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||November 2013|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, World Report - Jamaica, November 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b7aa9b0d.html [accessed 27 January 2015]|
Jamaica is one of the western hemisphere's best-ranked countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Recent legislative advances such as the decriminalization of defamation have confirmed this position.
A law decriminalizing defamation was finally passed by the House of Representatives in November 2013 after being approved unanimously by the Senate the previous July. It nonetheless took six years to amend the libel and slander laws, which - although little used - made media offences punishable by imprisonment.
Jamaica also has a good record on safety of journalists, with very few cases of threats or violence. Two journalists were the victims of abuse of authority on the part of the Kingston police in the space of a week in 2009.
Julian Richardson, a financial reporter for the Jamaica Observer daily, was threatened on 14 February 2009 after refusing to bribe to two officers. Ricardo Makyn, a photographer for The Gleaner, was briefly arrested six days later on charges of insulting, assaulting and disobeying the police after taking photos of a police officer who had just shot and wounded a man for trying to snatch his mobile phone. No serious case of threats or violence has been reported since then.
Updated in November 2013