Report to the 74th General Assembly
Oct 19 to 22
Salta, Argentina


The level of print, broadcast, and digital media freedom over the last 12 months remained relatively free with a generally unfettered press.

The media would have had the usual disagreements with the political directorate over a number of issues.

What was glaring was the attitude of the former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and some of his Cabinet not to have regular press conferences.

The Stuart administration was voted out of office on May 24, 2018 and the new Mia Amor Mottley administration has adopted a more open government policy with the holding of press conferences as well as an aggressive media policy, with a very heavy emphasis on digital media.

What remains a challenge for the media is the lack of Freedom of Information legislation which will allow greater access to information by government. The attitude and approach by many public officers has been not to speak on various issues claiming that to do so would breach general orders.

Additionally, the media still has to be guarded because of defamation laws, where a claim can be made and even where it does not go the distance, can still ended up in substantial legal costs to the media house.

There are still economic challenges presented by the private sector which will threaten to withdraw advertising if reports are unfavorable to their interests, even if accurate.

The advent of the digital media, and more important of social media platforms, has made the media landscape somewhat blurred, given the legal challenges it has presented.

Moderating of online comments has presented new headaches for media houses given that they can be held liable for third party comments.


The press is waiting for a report from the parliamentary commission that is studying the draft Law on Data Protection, to see if there will be exclusions for the media and journalism. The minister who pushed the bill was forced to resign due to a scandal unrelated to the issue and has not yet been replaced, which has caused a delay in the process.

There are also reports of verbal abuse by the Minister of Government against journalists trying to interview him.