Chief State Liaison at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Ian Boyne, has warned that intolerance for opposing views could pose an obstacle to Jamaica’s prospects for foreign direct investment.
“Investors are actually looking to invest in places that respect diversity, that respect pluralism. They don’t want to be in societies that are intolerant, that are bigoted,” he told a media appreciation luncheon hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Kingston, at the Hilton Kingston on Tuesday (January 19).
Mr. Boyne noted that Jamaicans are widely seen as intolerant of views, whether religious or otherwise, which run counter to theirs. However, he stated that if Jamaica is to progress, citizens must be able to accommodate views which “clash violently” with theirs.
The veteran journalist pointed out that intolerance for opposing views was also negatively affecting press freedom in the country.
Chief State Liaison at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Ian Boyne (left), President of the Kiwanis Club of Kingston, Patrick Anderson (centre), and Kiwanian, Carlton Levy, pictured at the club’s media appreciation luncheon at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, New Kingston, on Tuesday (January 19).
“One of the things we must know about the press is that it functions as well as the society in which it operates, and it functions best in a culture and context where respect for diversity of views, where respect for pluralism and tolerance is high,” he added.
He urged civil society groups, such as the Kiwanis Club, to help to foster a society in which journalists are free to express themselves and to write on any topic.
Mr. Boyne also suggested that the country focus on values and volunteerism, as it aims to achieve developed country status. According to him, development cannot be looked at in just monetary terms.
“This dominance of money, this profound change in our culture, where everything is reduced to a monetary value is giving a disastrous effect on the country,” he declared.
The luncheon was attended by President of the Press Association of Jamaica, Byron Buckley, and representatives from most media houses. A special award was presented to KLAS Sports FM for its trailblazing work in the area of sport broadcasting.