JIS News

Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Portia Simpson Miller, has called on the media to desist from “glamourizing” artistes who promote violence and hatred in their music.
“Stars do not behave like that. We have to find a way, collectively, to oppose the criminals and these artistes. We have to close in on them and stop giving any form of help to them. The press cannot be neutral on this matter,” the Minister said.
She was speaking recently at the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) Awards function at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
Addressing the role of the media in the society, Minister Simpson Miller said, “the national interest is prosperity; the creation of a just and equitable society in which all members feel secure and in which all are assured of democratic access”.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said the press had a major responsibility in challenging the political culture and in shaping values and attitudes. She emphasized that, “this is a time for self-critical examination as there is too much partisanship and divisiveness in the society.”
She pointed to the unacceptable crime rate and lawlessness as some of the results of disunity and the partisanship. Elaborating further on press and society relationships, the Community Development Minister stated, “the press must stop reporting on criminals as though they are celebrities and role models. We must be careful of the signals we are sending to our young people.”
She noted that “the press has a responsibility to set the tone of civility, respectful discourse and engaging dialogue which the country will want to emulate putting the emphasis on collaboration, cooperation, partnership and strategic alliances,” Mrs. Simpson Miller stressed, “the Press must be committed to the development and the upliftment of the people. At the centre of all that we do and all that we undertake must be human development”.
She urged the media to give greater space and voice to people and groups who were models of cooperation, conflict resolution and unity.
The Minister lauded the PAJ for its commitment to the education and welfare of journalists and the establishment of the Hugh Shearer Fund for retired journalists, designed to help those who have fallen on hard times.

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