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Channel Seven Gets a Scolding from the Government

7News got a scolding today via a scathing joint press release from the Ministry of Human Development and the National Council of Ageing. The press release focuses on 7News’ heart-wrenching news story of an elderly couple living in deplorable conditions on George Street. When the story aired, many Belizeans here and abroad were moved and quickly donated. But the following day, 7News attempted to retract the story, only to report that they had been duped by *Rupert Latchman. The joint press release says, quote, t*he country was equally surprised on Friday, October 15, 2021, when Channel 7 News recanted their story, did an about-face and tried to distance themselves from what they characterized as a “complicated situation.” They ought to have checked the facts on October 14, 2021, before proceeding.” End of quote. 7News reported that Latchman has misrepresented his conditions and had been selling the donated groceries. The release further states, quote, “our ministry decries the irresponsibility of Channel 7 who have time and time again in their quest for sensationalism ignored journalistic responsibility and ethical standards.” End of quote. The release reminds 7News and the media in general to practice ethical journalism by reporting truth and accuracy, maintain humanity, and be accountable.