Local journalist is Belize’s correspondent for Reporters Without Borders

vlcsnap-2013-04-26-19h47m06s237Today long-time news anchor and journalist Janelle Chanona announced that she has been named the Belize correspondent for the organization Reporters Without Borders (RWB), also known in French as RSF (Reporters Sans Frontières) which is “dedicated to the defense of freedom of information of the press.” Chanona, who previously worked at Channel 5 News and is currently a journalist, agreed to take the post after being informed by the RWB Americas officer Benoit Hervieu in their Paris-based office that the organization had no representative in Belize. Her responsibilities include “alert (RWB)/RSF in case of violations of the right to inform or difficult and dangerous situations of journalists and bloggers.” She asks that Belize’s press men and women contact her when encountering anything that prevents the ability to inform the audience including threats against the person or intimidation. Belize has never figured in the ten editions of the RWB’s Press Freedom Index, though our page on their website summarizes the country as having a “satisfactory situation” with regard to press freedom. In the formal index released in January, Jamaica ranks top for the Americas in 13th position, ahead of Canada and the United States, while Costa Rica leads the Latin American region.  Our nearest neighbors including Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras received poor marks for allowing journalists to be killed in connection with their work, while Cuba, ranked poorest at 171st, continues to be knocked for cracking down on its media personnel including putting a state media employee in jail this year. Janelle Chanona can be contacted via email at janellechanona@gmail.com.

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