Why Jamaica Stands as a Beacon of Press Freedom, Outpacing Even the U.S.

Why Jamaica Stands as a Beacon of Press Freedom, Outpacing Even the U.S.
The entrance of the office of The Jamaica Observer, Kingston, Jamaica, October 26, 2017 (dpa photo by Georg Ismar via AP).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series about press freedom and safety in various countries around the world.

In 2017, Jamaica was ranked eighth in Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index, sandwiched between the likes of Switzerland and Belgium, and well ahead of the United States, which was ranked 43rd. But Jamaica’s media landscape was not always so free, and the island has made major strides in recent years. In an email interview, Margaux Ewen, advocacy and communications director at Reporters Without Borders North America, explains what is behind the progress for press freedom in Jamaica and what challenges remain.

WPR: Jamaica has been consistently ranked one of the freest countries for the press in the world. What sets Jamaica apart, and has it always been such a favorable environment for the press?

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