NNN Statement on Reportage of Sex Scandal

Yesterday, in our newscasts at 5:00 and 6:00 PM, we broadcast a story concerning the family and living condition of a 15-year-old girl who has allegedly been sexually abused a Pastor.

The Moravian Pastor at the centre of what’s now being covered in media as a ‘sex abuse scandal’, Rupert Clarke, has been charged by the Police.

Our news story yesterday afternoon emanated from what we were able to unearth from our journey to St. Elizabeth yesterday, and our interviews with close relatives of the 15-year-old girl; namely her mother and two of her older sisters.

Understanding the safety and security issues at play and the sensitivity of the matter, every effort was made to conceal the identities of the interviewees.

What we discovered was also the focus of our discussion programme on Nationwide@ 5 yesterday, which started at 5:35 PM.

We are aware that our broadcast has elicited significant reaction, and commentary from a wide cross-section of our stakeholders.

While some persons have expressed appreciation for our aggressive pursuit of the story, others have expressed concerns about our treatment.

As is customary, we pursue stories that are of public interest. The instant matter has caused heightened public interest, and we pursued another relevant angle to an important story.

It is a story which is of national importance; cutting across all sections and divides of our Jamaican society.

The aim of our story yesterday was to inform our listeners and the wider Jamaican public about the socio-economic conditions of the young girl who’s allegedly been abused, and to allow her family an opportunity to tell their side.

As a responsible media organization, we have reviewed and discussed internally the issues that arose because of our broadcasts.

And, we’ve taken certain actions to ensure we balance our duty to inform and the interest of justice in the matter.

We will be guided accordingly in our continued coverage of the matter.

We, at Nationwide News Network, thought it appropriate to inform you of this because we value your feedback, opinions and concerns as stakeholders.

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