Trinidad and Tobago has fallen five spots on the 2018 World Press Freedom Index, from 39 in 2017 to 34 in 2018.
The index and accompanying report was released by Reporters Without Borders today.
It notes that Trinidad and Tobago’s controversial Libel and Defamation Act was partly amended in 2014, but “malicious defamatory libel known to be false” is still punishable by up to two years in prison as well as a fine.
It states that most media outlets are privately-owned but those regarded as favorable to the government get the lion’s share of state advertising.
The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) has engaged the services of attorney Dr. Emir Crowne in its response to the proposed Cybercrime Bill, 2017.
Crowne, is a barrister and attorney-at-law admitted to practice in Ontario, Canada and Trinidad and Tobago.
He is also a senior lecturer in law at the University of the West Indies’ Faculty of Law, Mona Campus in Jamaica.
The Minister of Finance has issued a statement saying it has taken note of an article in the Newsday today with the headline “Slow Boat To ‘Bago”.
The Ministry says the article claims that the Government is negotiating with a company in Singapore by the name of Singapore Technologies Marine Limited to purchase what the newspaper has described as a very large and fancy cruise ferry, built in Singapore, and equipped with a helicopter landing pad and entertainment facilities, among other things.
Stuart Young, the Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, has replied to an article in the Sunshine Newspaper pointing to a domestic dispute between he and his partner.
The article, headlined "Stuart Young out of the House", claims the Minister was forced to relocate from the house he shared with his partner in Diego Martin, to an apartment at One Woodbrook Place following the alleged dispute.
Hanif Baksh, the Chief Executive Office of A&V Oil and Gas, has issued a statement apologising to the members of the media for recent attacks on them.
Last week Guardian photographer Kristian De Silva was attempting to take photos of the company’s Penal office when he was accosted and assaulted by two men.
A TV6 camera crew and a News photographer also complained of being attacked.
In a statement issued today the owner of the company at the center of the “fake oil scandal” said he is sorry.'
Guardian photographer Kristian De Silva is this evening seeking medical care and has filed a report with police, after being attacked while trying to take photos of the A&V Oil and Gas compound in Penal.
De Silva said he and report Sascha Wilson had gone to the compound to follow-up on the latest developments involving A&V Oil and Gas.
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While on Nazim Avenue he was attempting to take photographs for the Trinidad Guardian newspaper, when a man approached him in a pick-up vehicle.
The Media Association is standing in solidarity with media workers who are facing retrenchment.
MATT issued the following statement Thursday evening.
"The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago stands in solidarity with dozens of media workers facing the dread and uncertainty of retrenchment.
Workers across several media houses have already been terminated and it is likely that this trend will continue across the sector.
President Anthony Carmona took traditional and social media to task yesterday as he slammed newspapers for becoming “garbage dumps” and lamented the rise of “armchair journalism.”
Carmona has now called on all law-abiding citizens to take a stand as he declared that “enough is enough.”