- The delegation is on a mission to learn more about disseminating Government information
- The visit is a milestone event for the agency
- The delegation will get to interact with mainstream media
Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of State President, Botswana, Mr. Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo, says his delegation is on a mission to learn more about the structure and processes of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) and how it goes about disseminating Government information to the public.
“We come from an outfit of government media similar to yours, where we run major government information systems… and we thought that we would come and look at Jamaica and see your set up administratively, to see how you are able to service the Government of Jamaica,” he said.
The delegation arrived on Tuesday, September 17, at the Norman Manley International Airport, where representatives of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), welcomed the members, who are here on a communication benchmarking visit.
Mr. Kaboeamodimo, who is responsible for information and broadcasting services, explained that “we are interested to know how you relate to your colleagues in the private media and we would basically be interested to know how you carry out your mandate; and the extent to which you report like any other media establishment in the world… catering to both government and others who are not in government. We would like to know how you do that balancing act, because there is always that perception that government media are limited in scope.”
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the JIS, Mrs. Donna Marie Rowe, in welcoming the delegation, said the visit is a milestone event for the agency, especially as it is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
She pointed out that the JIS is considered to be very credible by both the private media as well as the public.
Mrs. Rowe outlined a packed schedule for the delegation. “We will take them to our television department. They will tour our head office at Half-Way Tree Road. They will also get a full picture of how we interact with the public relations officers in government with a special meeting of government communicators to be hosted by Minister of Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer on Wednesday (September 18),” she said.
The CEO also informed that the delegation will get to interact with mainstream media, at a luncheon on September 20, where two head honchos from private media houses have been invited to share with the delegation.
The delegation will call on the Permanent Secretaries in the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign affairs and Foreign Trade – Ms. Onika Miller and Ambassador Paul Robotham, respectively. They will tour the Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC), CARIMAC and the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ).
In the meantime, Honorary Consul of Botswana in Jamaica, Dr. Henley Morgan, explained that the benchmarking exercise was well thought out. “It is not something that came about spontaneously, it is certainly not haphazard, it is highly structured,” he explained.
Dr. Morgan noted that earlier this year a top level delegation from Botswana visited Jamaica and over the period of a week worked out and arrived at a framework of co-operation between the two countries. He explained that as part of the process, several areas of co-operation were identified in tourism, sports and health, among others.
The Consul General pointed out that most of the doctors in Botswana are trained in Jamaica and currently there are some 35 nationals being trained as doctors at the University of the West Indies. He also reminded that over the last 20 years, Jamaicans have gone in numbers to work in Botswana as teachers and public servants.
Other members of the delegation arriving today included Director, Information Services Department, Russ Molosiwa; Managing Editor, Botswana Daily News, Charmaine Revaka, and Chief Information Officer, Daphne Motsakae. They will be joined by Radio Manager, Keitirile Mathapi, who is scheduled to arrive in the island on Wednesday, September 18.