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Watching the Watchdogs: New Series
As a reporter working in the trenches for the past eight years in Jamaica, I’ve seen a lot of things when it comes to accountability.
Sometimes we are so quick to point the fingers at that corrupt minister or that corrupt cop that we forget to look at us, the people, and the system we’ve created that enables corruption to thrive.
So many of us are in positions to act, but we don’t.
We’re too afraid to ask the right questions. Too afraid to know the answers. Too afraid to be uncomfortable. Too afraid to be seen as controversial or disrespectful of authority. Too afraid to be sued. Too afraid to lose our jobs. Too afraid to lose our lives.
Then there are those of us who get a call or a request to compromise ourselves and we allow it to influence our actions. Some of us, because we live in a small society, are naturally conflicted.
Then, a cross-section of us is just lazy. The case is too small, too big, too wide, too prickly, too unwieldy, too complicated. So we do nothing or pass the buck!
Reporting on some recent stories, including this one, Market Me Could Pocket Millions More as Permanent Secretary Fails to Seriously Probe Alleged Affair Between Its Director and Health Minister Tufton, is my inspiration for the next series of 18º North. It’s called WATCHING THE WATCHDOGS. It’s looking at how we, as the persons and entities entrusted by the public to act on its behalf, sometimes avoid the hard conversations and choose instead to downplay our responsibilities or look the other way.
The series is aimed at challenging societal norms and provoking thought. Most importantly, it’s aimed at inspiring change - change in ourselves when it comes to issues of accountability and the will of enforcement.