Warner: I never attacked the media
United National Congress (UNC) chairman and Minister of National Security Jack Warner said yesterday he never attacked the media and continued to support a free press.
In a statement, Warner said his perceived attack on the media was inaccurate.
"Nothing can be further from the truth since I never attacked the media," he said.
Warner's media release yesterday followed statements he made last Wednesday on the Democracy is Alive programme.
During the programme he held up last weekend's Sunday Express and pointed to two stories written by investigative reporter Asha Javeed.
Warner criticised the Express and the reporter, citing what he claimed was bias and disingenuous behaviour.
He said he had justifiable reason to be concerned about the media bias in the country among the conventional media.
"We support a free press. And that situation has not changed and will never change under the present government. However we must make the point that freedom of the press is a right that the media enjoy on behalf of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. It is not a right for owners of the media to impose their personal views on an unsuspecting population so as to create their own agenda," Warner stated.
Warner said that freedom of the press carries with it a responsibility to be fair, to be responsible and to objectively and, as far as possible, accurately, mirror the society.
He said also that journalists must keep more than an arm's length from politicians and primary definers of society.
"In a democracy the citizens depend on a free media to inform them on a variety of activities not just those that are of interest to those who control the media. It is only through such a free marketplace of ideas as articulated in the media that citizens can make decisions. In the present environment, that is not happening. A content analysis of the main media in Trinidad &Tobago would show a narrow focus and either the inability or reluctance of journalists to ask and seek answers to relevant questions of national interest, " he said.