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JIS News

As the Broadcasting Commission continues its efforts to increase engagement with the nation’s young people, it has developed a series of monthly features for the Children’s Own, Youth Link (Gleaner) and Teenage (Jamaica Observer) publications.
The features, the ‘Young Commissioners’, which appear in the Children’s Own, and the ‘BC 2.0’, which will debut in the Youth Link and Teenage on June 29, are expected to inform the youth cohort about the Commission’s mandate, so that they can assist with the monitoring of the airwaves and more importantly, influence the work of the Commission.
In an interview with JIS News, Executive Director of the Commission, Cordel Green, said given the fundamental role that broadcasting and media play in the development and socialization of our children and youth, it augurs well to infuse their views and ideas into the work of the Commission.
“The Commission is youth friendly and has always valued the opinions and the input of young people, as there is a lot that we can learn from young people, as they learn from us. This is a deepening and widening of the Commission’s engagement as we want them to better understand what we do and also share their ideas with the Commission,” he explained, adding that in the coming week, a major announcement would be made regarding youth involvement.
The print features will examine a wide range of issues, including Regulation of the Electronic Media, Media Monitoring, the Digital Switchover, Media/Digital Literacy and the Children’s Code for Programming.
With special sections such as ‘Question of the Month’ and ‘Ask the Commissioner’, readers will have a chance to voice their views and concerns about issues relating to the work of the Commission and get clarification, where necessary.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director emphasised that in an age of empowering media users, it is critical that young people be at the forefront.
“They live in a world where their parents will not always be around when they are accessing information and they need to become very knowledgeable of the types of information that they could run into, in their use of media. What is and what isn’t appropriate for them. They need to understand ratings and why materials are rated and why they need to take those ratings seriously and begin to take responsibility as well for their own growth and development, guided of course always by adults, including their parents,” he argued.
He urged young persons to recognise the importance of this engagement, especially since they constitute a vulnerable audience.
“They need to appreciate that there is something called media/digital literacy that goes beyond just our ability to access technology, to own a phone, an IPOD.watch cable, listen to radio or visit You Tube or create a video for You Tube. That’s one aspect of it. They have to be actively engaged on matters, such as how it is that the images, sounds and impressions to which they are exposed in the media affect their own perspectives on life, their values and how they are socialised,” Mr. Green said.
The main role of the Broadcasting Commission is to monitor and regulate Jamaica’s electronic media, while balancing the interests of consumers, the industries and the creative community in implementing public policy and law.