PORT ANTONIO – The importance of public support for the Broadcasting Commission's efforts to closely monitor programming in the electronic media has been underscored by the Commission's Assistant Executive Director, Karlene Salmon-Johnson.
Addressing Broadcasting Commission-sponsored stakeholders' meetings at the Anglican Church, Portland and the Civic Centre, Port Maria, St. Mary on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 15 and 16, respectively, Mrs. Salmon-Johnson said the Commission’s monitoring functions will be greatly enhanced by support from citizens, through their vigilance against breaches and their reporting of breaches.
She said a comprehensive approach is needed to treat some of the weaknesses and problematic practices in media that are at the root of content breaches.
Stating that the Commission has issued a number of directives since February 2009, to ensure acceptable music and movies in the electronic media up to specific times, she said while the entity has been experiencing good public cooperation, it needs the cooperation and support of the general public, to ensure that its directives are followed, at all times.
Declaring that the Broadcasting Commission's ability to monitor the electronic media is strongly assisted by the appointment of a number of volunteers to operate as media monitors, she said 213 persons, from various communities and backgrounds, have been trained so far. Training sessions have already been conducted in Kingston, St. James and Portland.
She said persons wishing to volunteer as media monitors should contact the Broadcasting Commission at 929-1998, 920-9537-9, or toll free at 1-888-99- cable (22253).
Turning to the operation of cable television, she said the Commission has discovered that criminal networks are currently involved in tampering with cable boxes, stealing signals from providers and selling them to the public. She warned that the practise was a serious crime, and the perpetrators liable for prosecution, a fine of $500,000 or two years imprisonment on conviction.
She said the Commission was also working closely with the United Nation Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote a media literacy programme, to familiarize the public with the operations of the media.
CONTACT: ASTON BAILEY