Broadcasting Commission Cautions Students on Use of New Media

Photo: JIS Photographer Assistant Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ), Karlene Salmon Johnson (right), addresses Grades 7-9 students of the New Day Primary and Junior High School, 1 East Dulwich Drive, Kingston 8, at the school’s Career Day held on Tuesday, May 21.

The Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ) is advising students to verify the accuracy of information they receive through new media, including platforms such as Facebook.

The call came from Assistant Executive Director of the BCJ, Karlene Salmon Johnson, as she addressed students at New Day Primary and Junior High School in St. Andrew on May 21, at their Career Day event.

She said that although traditional media has an obligation to put out news that is accurate, fair and objective, “the same standards do not necessarily apply to new media”.

Mrs. Salmon Johnson, in her presentation, said it is important for students to learn how to protect themselves on social media.

“They are on Facebook, they are on Twitter and it is important for them to know how to manage themselves in this new digital environment,” she stated.

In addition to educating the students about the various forms of new media, digital switchover and cable channel ratings, the BCJ’s presentation exposed the students to careers in the digital world.

Some of Jamaica’s social media entrepreneurs were also on hand to relate their success stories and treat the students to digital displays of their work.

Mrs. Salmon Johnson said the presentations were intended to excite the students about some of the careers they can pursue in the digital field.

“We thought it was very important for us to be here because we want to ensure that the children are aware that apart from the traditional professions, other careers exist. There is a wide range of opportunities in the digital future, which is in fact now,” she told JIS News during an interview.

Literacy Specialist at New Day Primary and Junior High, Cynthia Grenyon, told JIS News that the school recognises the need for students to make the right career choices.

She said it is also vital that students are aware of the various cable channel ratings and what is appropriate for them to view, so that they can be protected from harmful content.

“The department thought it was best to plan this event and to use the technology that has the most impact on the (students). We realize that it was very critical for the Broadcasting Commission to come here and help the children make right choices,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Salmon Johnson said the Broadcasting Commission will be making a similar presentation to students at Jones Town Primary School in Kingston on Thursday, May 30, as part of the Commission’s Child Month activities. A team from the JIS is slated to join the BCJ for this activity.

Contact: E. Hartman Reckord

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