A report from the World Free Press Index (WFPI) said that Jamaica now stands at number 32 on the World Free Press Index out of 180 countries and has fallen 20 spaces.
The island was previously at the number 12 spot.
The World Press Freedom Index aims to compare the level of press freedom enjoyed by journalists and media
The report said that “although Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness has praised the country’s press freedom record and repeatedly stated his commitment to uphold it, he has also previously suggested that journalists do not have to stick to the facts or truth, and that a free press enables journalists to “take whatever stance they want”.
It also states that journalists in Jamaica are occasionally intimidated while carrying out their work, specifically when elections are near.
Attacks on journalist rear, but occur
The report also spoke on the matter of safety for journalists in Jamaica, referencing an attack that took place in November 2022.
A videographer for Television Jamaica and a reporter for the Jamaica Gleaner were attacked last November while covering a teachers’ protest in St Catherine, when a man damaged their equipment.
“Apart from this incident, no acts of violence against journalists had been recorded in the past ten years. Still, reporters must measure the threat posed to them by the country’s high crime rate when they are investigating a sensitive subject,” it said.
Despite the island’s slip on the index, the report said that the “private media sector has experienced significant growth due to the development of trade in a growing local economy, which has created an advertising market.”