MONTEGO BAY – Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ), Cordel Green, says children are important stakeholders and ought to be engaged and educated about the digital economy and how it impacts their lives.
"We talk about children being the future and we say these things but we don't always live them. The Broadcasting Commission understands that this is an important set of stakeholders with whom we have to begin to engage very early about why it is that we regulate and how this is done," Mr. Green said.
He was responding to questions from JIS News after a presentation at the Barracks Road Primary School in Montego Bay yesterday (March 7), under the BCJ's media literacy programme.
More than 200 students of the upper grades benefitted from the interactive session, where they were educated about the pending switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting, and how they could make use of traditional and new media, for personal development.
The Executive Director said it is important to have these sessions with children so as to educate and empower them to responsibly navigate the new media landscape, characterised by the proliferation of social networking sites.
"You cannot control as much now where these kids go and what they will access, so we begin to talk to them very early about these subjects and it is quite transformational to have this kind of engagement. This confirms to us how forward-thinking children are; they get it, they understand regulation and they support such regulations, but what we know is that they don't always think about the digital age the way they should," he stated.
Vice Principal of the school, Amory Henry, is optimistic that the session will have a positive impact on the students.
"It is so fitting in a time like this to guide our children in the right path. Our children will be motivated and they will know what is wrong from what is right. It has developed their awareness and they have gained more knowledge," she told JIS News.
The session at Barracks Road Primary was the second of three such interventions scheduled for western Jamaica during the month of March. The first was held on March 6 at St. James High School in Montego Bay and the final assembly will be held on
March 20, at the Godfrey Stewart High School in Savanna-La-Mar, Westmoreland.