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MATT: Investigate and condemn cyber bullying of journalists

The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago extends solidarity to journalists who have been and continue to be subjected to intimidation, slander, defamation and bullying in broadcast media and on social media. MATT takes note of the numerous journalists from various media houses targeted for vicious attacks on-air and on-line.

Photo: MATT has express concern about the increasing levels of threats and slander directed at journalists.
Photo: MATT has express concern about the increasing levels of threats and slander directed at journalists.

We are deeply concerned about ongoing threats to free and open media coverage, including threats of murder, physical assault, cyber bullying and nuisance legal action against journalists that unduly limit their freedom of expression, particularly during the election season.

In this context, we call on the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) to:

  1. Swiftly investigate the report made by Express investigative journalist Denyse Renne on Monday June 15, 2015
  2. The threat reported by Express investigative journalist Asha Javeed in October 2013 and two serious reports of cyber attacks filed also by Ms Javeed this year, and
  3. To outline its policing policy on cyber bullying which has become a perilous, far-reaching threat to Trinidad and Tobago’s democratic landscape.

Protecting freedom of expression, preventing attacks on working journalists by holding political parties and leaders to account and promoting open debate by all citizens is also the responsibility of the TTPS. The TTPS must promptly investigate such attacks when they do occur and bring those responsible to justice.

Photo: Journalism is under threat.
Photo: Journalism is under threat.

MATT recognises that incumbent governments benefit from disproportionate media coverage, from their control of state-owned media houses and often from of their wider economic reach. This places an additional duty of care on State-owned media to act responsibly.

We therefore call on State-owned CNMG to end slanderous and defamatory contributions from callers and immediately effect responsible moderating on-air by its presenters.

MATT insists that Government and leaders of all political parties must make clear their zero tolerance for supporters who slander, defame and threaten journalists.

Political parties cannot continue to remain silent while attacks against journalists are launched and sustained in their name.

About MATT Executive

The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago is the authorised representative body for local journalists in all formats.

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12 comments

  1. Political parties aren’t silent on the issu.They seem to be endorsing the practice. That’s the only conclusion that I can draw when you continue to associate with the practitioners and support those who make constant racial remarks.

  2. Cyber bullying of journalist is getting out of hand…there must be laws put in place to hold these media house accountable.

  3. Check out who funding these programmes

  4. who needs matt &its ppl when there is fb!! a half bake set of jokers that call themselves journalists acccording 2 the siver fox!

  5. Maybe we can boycott the sponsors of these talk shows.

    • I agree Beverly, let’s send a message.

    • I confess I do not look at these shows as I am hustling to work on mornings and I rely on Social media for posts. I will have to get info on sponsors from someone.
      Some persons feel boycotting is pointless but i boycotted Tru Valu for 3 years. When a new manager took over the Gulf City branch the staff told him of my story and my stance and he wrote me a letter of apology and hand delivered it.

      I have a list of companies and products I personally boycott and I have always found alternatives.

  6. Better late than never I guess but at the very least it’s in the public domain and the police have been notified. I expect no action on the part of the TTPS but MATT has a responsibility to its journalists and us citizens. This stuff is offensive and what I would describe as hate speech why is Braveboy given an official voice? She pretends to be a journalist but she’s nothing more than a paid blogger. But her biggest pretense yet is that she is in touch with reality. When we finally emerge from this dark period, we’ll hopefully have systems in place and robust institutions to deal with the creatures of the dark. Marcia Braveboy is of the night. Her FB postings are venomous
    and threatening. I don’t know her history but would suggest professional help. She is all that is vile and nasty about social media. And dishonest and corrupt. We have to be vigilant and we have to resist and we have to rid ourselves of this canker and her paymasters.

  7. But every one saw the “threats made” How that post twisted so? something aint right, people were appalled by the outright “treats’and that the police should intervene, its a serious situation, you just cant do that, and now you have the deceased Dana as a cover photo? when she was even spoken of in the said fb threat, some folks are bonkers yes, thank God I dont go in those circles nor partake in such discussions, but based on the facts I saw, that post up there, is very skewed. People should not behave like that, I thought I would say something, because MATT has a right to protect the journalists, also I dont know what happened to the lady’s family, I havent heard nor seen anything on the news. But in the controversial post of th accused, it bled my heart when she subtly spoke of the assassination, it meant “Only Dana” who else, we will not stay calm until we get justice for Dana Seetahal (RIP) I loved her personality.

  8. I was wondering how long it would take for them to respond.

  9. Something is definitely wrong with her. It’s official. Who threatened journalists on social media? Not you? Shims.

  10. They took there time in responding –but to late –the horse already bolted