PAJ chides government over exclusion from swearing-in

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The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has taken issue with the media being denied access to cover Tuesday's swearing-in of the new members of the Government Executive - two cabinet ministers and two ministers of state - at King's House.

The PAJ issued a statement later in the day, reminding Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the Government that the media should be allowed to cover national occasions and not be relegated to getting pool photographs from the government's information service.

The restriction of access was explained on the basis that King's House is currently undergoing substantial renovations, which made it impossible to utilise the usual space for the ceremony.

Naomi Francis, Press Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, asserted that "the media was not barred at all," even as she acknowledged that only the state operated Jamaica Information Service was invited to cover the ceremony.

"We find it impossible to believe that, in all the many buildings owned by the government in Kingston, suitable arrangements could not have been made, albeit at short notice, to hold the ceremony at one that could accommodate the media," said PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller.