Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness has stated that the music and media fraternity has a responsibility to assist in maintaining the social fabric of the society, even as practitioners exercise freedom of expression.
The Minister, who was addressing the launch of the book ‘Music, Media and Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica’ by Marcia Forbes at the Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on November 2, said that the challenge for the Government is how to facilitate this freedom of expression, while at the same time, preserve the moral values of the society.
“Other societies have sought to do this by defining boundaries. Is the government going to be chastised for setting boundaries, moral, social and technical boundaries? That is the issue at play here,” Mr. Holness said.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange (right) accepts a copy of the book ‘Music, Media and Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica’ from Author, Marcia Forbes (centre), at the book launch held on Tuesday (Nov. 2) at the Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. At left is Opposition Spokesperson on Youth, Lisa Hannah.
“It is a very tricky thing to deal with from the political perspective, but I think the society is slowly coming to the understanding that there is a direct correlation between our immense propensity and creativity in music and media, the message that they send, and the social outcomes that we have in the society,” he stated.
Mr. Holness said the media “has to engage in a process of standard setting for itself without waiting on the government to regulate.”
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, commended Mrs. Forbes on the publication, which examines the impact of media and music on adolescent sexuality in Jamaica.
It presents the views of adolescents themselves and focuses specifically on their interactions with music videos and the ways in which this relates to their sexual attitudes, opinions, feelings and behaviours.
Minister of Education, Hon Andrew Holness (right) and Minister of National Security, Senator Dwight Nelson, peruse copies of the book ‘Music, Media and Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica’ by Marcia Forbes at the book launch held on Tuesday (Nov. 2) at the Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
“It is important for us to take the time and read and digest what our young Jamaicans have had to say about the ways in which they relate to and learn from television and music videos. It is also refreshing to note that the presentation of their message has not been diluted by the author, who has focused on being the medium through whom these voices can be heard,” Mr. Vaz stated.
“The book is authentic as it is textured with numerous direct quotes to explain the relationships between the youth and traditional media. Naturally, there is also treatment of the interface with new media such as the enhanced cell phones and the internet. As media literacy is a focus of the Government, I trust that all of us, who take the opportunity to read this book, will do so with a view to having a greater appreciation for some of the issues pertaining to media influence and our individual responsibilities,” he added.
Mrs. Forbes, in her remarks, thanked the various stakeholders, who made the book possible.
Driven by the views of the adolescents and findings from the survey, Jamaican dancehall music and videos come in for substantial attention in this book, specifically the ways in which heavy consumption of this genre influences them into a culture of sex.