Saturday, December 16, 2017

MATT: Respect press rights

The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) yesterday urged politicians and media owners to respect the right of press freedom which is enshrined in the Constitution.

MATT issued a statement in light of “the developing crisis at the Guardian newspapers”.

Political pressure has been applied to “soften the newspaper’s editorial and investigative line”, MATT stated in a release.

MATT is now calling on media practitioners and civil society in general to stand together in defence of the right to freedom of expression.

“Publishers of the Guardian newspaper sought to effect an editorial reshuffle in the newsroom, including the removal of editor-in-chief of the Guardian newspaper Ms Judy Raymond from the activities of her substantive post,” the release stated yesterday.

“In protest of this action, several senior management executives and journalists have reportedly resigned,” the release stated.

Senior journalists who have resigned in the wake of this interference include Public Affairs editor Dr Sheila Rampersad and Investigative reporters Anika Gumbs-Sandiford and Denyse Renne, the release stated.

MATT yesterday stated that it stood in support of those affected.

“We stand in support of our media colleagues some of whom have had no professional choice but to resign from their posts, in protest of the attempt to intimidate editorial and managerial staff in this reshuffle and some of whom are now on the breadline,” MATT stated.