January 6, 2015
SVG rated second freest press in western hemisphere

St Vincent and the Grenadines has the second freest press in the western hemisphere, according to Freedom House.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization based in the United States of America (USA).{{more}} The entity is dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world.

Addressing a gathering of business people at a St Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SVGCIC) cocktail on December 19 at the Cruise Ship and Ferry Berth, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that it may come as a surprise to many people that St Vincent and the Grenadines has more press freedom than the USA.

“We have a freer press than in the US, according to Freedom House. We are even more free than Britain, but because in this country there is always a tendency among some people to pull down what you have, you hear that Ralph want to muzzle the media,” said the PM.

He added also that in the over 14 years that he has been Prime Minister, he has spoken to station manager at the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC Radio) Corletha Ollivierre “maybe two or three times, but never on an editorial matter.”

The PM stressed, “the truth of the matter is, why do we have to muzzle anybody? If I want people to hear me in the country, I just hook up a public address system and carry it live and everybody hear what I have to say. What I have to worry about? My carriage will have a greater carriage than if somebody write it in a newspaper; so I take a very practical approach to these questions, apart from a matter of principle.”

Over the past few years, the PM has sued a number of individuals and two media houses and has had judgement in his favour.