Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission, Cordell Green, has emphasised the important role traditional media plays in the timely dissemination of accurate and credible information, citing shortcomings in the area of ‘new media’ outlets.
Mr. Green cited traditional media as broadcast media, with the most common being newspapers, radio, and television, while ‘new media’ or social media include YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and blogging.
He was speaking at a seminar entitled ‘The Role of the Media: Professional Dictates versus Social Responsibilities’, at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) campus, Kingston, on Wednesday (July 21).
Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission, Cordell Green (left) addressing a seminar entitled ‘The Role of the Media: Professional Dictates versus Social Responsibilities’, at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) in Kingston on Wednesday, July 21. At right is Sunday Gleaner Editor, Lovelette Brooks.
“We know, as a fact, that much of what we get on the internet is opinionated, whether you go to Wikipedia or anybody’s blog. We know, as a statement of fact, that those who operate in the sphere of new media, such as bloggers, they don’t have the requirements as there are no required standards, such as source verification, balance, objectivity or fair play,” he explained.
He is, therefore, urging individuals to be vigilant with the information that is made available to them.
“Only the print media seems to be losing out to social media, and we have to put a question as to whether they are losing out, or they themselves are being transformed. Radio and television remain very strong brands,” he said.
“Much of what is on the net is opinionated and not held to traditional standards, so new media is not always credible,” he said.
He argued that for journalists to meet their social responsibilities there is a need for freedom of the press. But that, in terms of their professional mandate, as journalists, there is no need for protection other than that they must publish what can be justifiable in a free and democratic society, where protection of sources takes on no greater importance than a man’s right to protect his good name.
Mr. Green encouraged media practitioners to develop professional competences, and have the ability to access, understand and create communication in a variety of context. He also noted that information should be provided impartially, with a view of meeting the traditional mandates of media, which is to inform, educate and entertain.
The seminar was organised by the Professional Administrators Inc. (PAI), which is made up of eight secretaries drawn from various Ministries and Departments within the Government of Jamaica.