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Shooting at Jamaican radio station condemned as assault on press freedom

September 13th, 2023 | Tags:
Nationwide News Network (NNN). Photo: Internet Source

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Nationwide News Network (NNN) CEO Cliff Hughes remained fearless on Friday, declaring that he and his staff will not be unnerved by a mid-afternoon gun attack on the station that has been widely condemned as an assault on press freedom.

“We are not going to be intimidated, we are not going to be distracted from our job. No lunatic will stop us. They will not break us. This will deepen and strengthen our resolve. You will not succeed,” the veteran journalist Hughes declared during the station’s evening news and current affairs programme Nationwide@5.

Hughes, who was not at the station when a gunman on a motorcycle fired shots from the gate into the parking lot about 4:30 pm, rushed to the Bradley Avenue property in St Andrew immediately on receiving word of the attack.

He told the Jamaica Observer that he was not due at work, but given the assault, he had to get to the station to comfort his staff and present the evening programme.

On air, Hughes and Deputy Executive Editor George Davis told listeners that the perpetrator, who was wearing a yellow helmet, pulled up at the gate and sat on the motorcycle for some time before pulling a gun and opening fire.

Two vehicles in the parking lot, one of them belonging to a staff member, were hit by bullets.

Davis was also resolute, declaring that the team remains steadfast and will continue to produce and air news as well as the station’s various programmes.

Hughes noted that the attack came on the same day when the leadership of the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) were on the front page of The Gleaner newspaper declaring support for comments made by the party’s General Secretary Dr Dayton Campbell against Nationwide at the party’s St Andrew East Central constituency conference on September 3, 2023.

In that address, Campbell accused Nationwide of being an “incubator for the Jamaica Labour Party” and went on to name a number of former employees of the station who are now working in Government.

The comments were condemned by the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) which said that such remarks, coming from a prominent political figure, have the potential to place Nationwide journalists at risk of attacks by political activists and party supporters.


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