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Wilson adds voice to criticism of Monday’s murder rate story

Senate Leader Kim Wilson yesterday added her voice to concerns over this newspaper’s story which highlighted Bermuda’s per capita murder rate and compared it with the global average.

“With great power comes great responsibility. Freedom of the press does not equate to irresponsible journalism,” Sen Wilson said.

But Opposition Senator Michael Fahy said that the ultimate solution is to end the violence. Making reference to the Throne Speech theme “Let Us Build One Another Together”, Sen Wilson said that the times demanded that all organisations and individuals work together.

“Either we weather the storm together or together we will perish,” she told her Senate colleagues. “This mantra must apply to each and everyone of us all businesses, organisations, everybody.

“One such organisation which, though, has its role in a free, democratic society such as Bermuda, is the press.”

She said the media has a responsibility to “report the fact accurately and correctly. But I do not believe that responsibility extends to sensationalism.”

She continued: “Yes, sensationalised headlines do sell newspapers. But we must all be cognisant of how our words and our headlines could cause irreparable damage to an already frail and fragile economy.”

Sen Wilson said that caution must be used in quoting per capita statistics in relation to Bermuda.

“We also recognise that there has been eight murders this year. However, our economy is strongly supported by both tourism and international business and together all organisations, businesses, government and each and everyone of us have a responsibility to build up one another.”

Sen Wilson’s remarks came as she prepared to highlight the key initiatives of the Throne Speech.

Later in his contribution to the discussion, Opposition Senator Michael Fahy said that he sympathised to a degree with her remarks. “If an international business person is shot and killed or a child is killed, we’re going to see numbers of people leaving here” for other jurisdictions where they feel safer.

“The problem is, of course, is if an international businessman gets shot that makes CNN News. And so we need to do more than we are with respect to gang violence.”

Sen Fahy said that a google search of the term “Bermuda Shootings” turned up a guest’s discussion on Trip Advisor about the violence and lack of safety for visitors.

“We need to find better ways to deal with these things so that this kind of bad international press is no longer here.”

Senate Leader Kim Wilson

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Published November 24, 2011 at 9:03 am (Updated November 24, 2011 at 9:02 am)

Wilson adds voice to criticism of Monday’s murder rate story

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