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Independence Day Message from the MASL

As our nation celebrates 34 years of Independence, the Media Association of Saint Lucia (MASL) is mindful of the right to free expression that has been one of the guiding principles of our democracy. MASL takes this opportunity to wish all media workers of Saint Lucia, and Saint Lucian nationals in general, a happy, reflective independence anniversary celebration. Let us take time to focus on the journey that has brought us to where we are as a nation, and the strides that are still needed to take us to where we want to be. MASL sees our Independence observance as an occasion to remind media workers and the public that the freedoms we enjoy must be guarded sacredly, but with these freedoms come responsibilities.

While the flourishing media sector is an indication that freedom of expression is very much alive on Saint Lucia, MASL notes that true freedom is expressed not in the number of media establishments that operate here, but in the quality of programmes they produce. The Association cautions against the media becoming a mouthpiece of any particular interest on the island, regardless of its appeal. The extent to which the media are able to inform, educate and uplift, and to which the public is given access to critical information through the media, is the truest test of self-determination.

The Media Association of Saint Lucia also urges media workers to view the absence of monitoring bodies as an indulgence that tries the accountability of media professionals further. As the “fourth estate” the media continues to be one of the most powerful and accessible means to impact the advancement of a democracy. We must fulfill our obligations to fairness, truth and integrity, while upholding the tenets of good journalism and professionalism in every sphere of media work. As we take a moment on February 22nd to observe our Independence from Britain, let us pledge to discharge our duties with integrity for the benefit of this and future generations.

The Media Association of Saint Lucia wishes the government and people of Saint Lucia a peaceful and wonderful independence 2013. May God bless our land, our people and our government; and guard our ever developing island home.

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