Many recommendations UNESCO for the media in Curaçao
WILLEMSTAD – In their research into the quality of the press in Curaçao, UNESCO has pointed out many flaws in the media sector on the island. The international organization also made many recommendations for improvement in their report.
“That's fair, but in carrying out these recommendations you do have to take into account the scale of the island.” This is according to Renske Pin, who took a year for this research. It was commissioned by the UN agency in Paris.
Curaçao is the first country in the Caribbean to utilize UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (MDIs) to assess its media landscape. The purpose of the study is to analyze the situation of the media in Curaçao, and the progress that has been achieved as the country moves towards more intercultural dialogue through the use of the media.
Pin examined the state of the media in Curaçao based on internationally recognized indicators. She pointed out in her report that there are no legal restrictions that define who may practice journalism, and a media accreditation procedure for journalists who wish to cover the weekly press conference of the Council of Ministers, which was introduced in 2013, did not cause much debate. However, in May 2014, and without prior consultation of the press, Government introduced additional restrictions in a “Code of Conduct”. Despite an ongoing dialogue between the press and Government that aims to establish new, mutually agreed-upon working relations, these recent developments suggest an increasingly restrictive press policy.
Legislation does not distinguish between public, private and community media, and Curaçao does not have any public service media that is produced, financed and controlled by the public, and for the public. All of Curaçao’s media are private law bodies pursuing a commercial purpose.
Pin also indicated that currently, there are no academic courses for journalism available in Curaçao. In 2010- 2011, the University of Curaçao attempted to launch an academic course at the BA level in media practice, titled “Media, communications and journalism”. However, this course did not materialise. Students who wish to study journalism are obliged to study abroad, which may result in brain drain.
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Photo credit: Dick Drayer (Persbureau)