The New Today

Letters

Attack on Bahamas journalist

Dear ACM,

You need to pay some attention to what is taking place in the Bahamas. Maybe it has not yet been brought to your attention, but there was a big fracas last week between a senior government official and a member of the press with the government official threatening to ‘wait for the man’.

Don’t take my word for it, just check out all the media reports from the Bahamas, they all light up with the fireworks as the financial secretary, a gentleman named Simon Wilson, actually walked up on Nassau Guardian reporter Youri Kemp, and had to be restrained by another minister.

You’d swear it was a movie. In fact there is a video of it circulating online. And after Wilson was restrained he had the gumption to tell Kemp ‘I will walk out of here and wait for you’. Never mind it was in the full glare of the media.

Now the fact is Kemp could have been a little more subtle when he accused Wilson of lying to the media about a contract awarded to a company called JDL to manage freight at the Lynden Pindling International Airport. But even so, I was shocked to see the reaction of Simon Wilson, after all, this man is a representative of the government.

He apologised for his behaviour after, but that does not justify him almost getting into a physical brawl with the reporter, and then threatening him. It is another example of the scant respect for media that is developing among many regional administrations, and that is concerning.

I notice that you have been very vocal about crimes against journalists in recent times, and while this might not be what is happening in Gaza, charity begins at home, and I would say vigilance begins at home. Members of the media, in whatever island, play a vital role in protecting the rights of the population and holding those in high office to account. How can they do that job when there are concerns about their personal safety? We must hold our holders of public office to higher standards.

I look forward to your take on this situation.

Concerned former media worker