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Attacks on the Press in 1997 - Jamaica

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1998
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1997 - Jamaica, February 1998, available at: [accessed 22 February 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Predictions that a 1996 multi-million-dollar libel award against The Daily Gleaner, Jamaica's largest daily, would have a chilling effect on the press have not been realized, as the island's diverse media continue to report with characteristic independence.

In one minor incident, a police reporter from CVM TV was roughed up and arrested for disturbing a crime scene. Police later apologized for the incident and agreed to meet with journalists to jointly develop guidelines to allow journalists to cover crime scenes without jeopardizing possible evidence. The press was able to report without incident on the December 18 general elections, during which Prime Minister P.J. Patterson of the People's National Party was elected to a third five-year term.

Meanwhile, The Gleaner Company Limited, owner of The Daily Gleaner, continued to appeal the $2.5-million libel verdict, which stemmed from an Associated Press story that ran in 1987. The story contained allegations that former Tourism Minister Eric Anthony Abrahams had accepted bribes.

Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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