JIS News

Gender and development consultant, Dr. Glenda Simms, is advocating increased monitoring of material children are exposed to in the media, particularly on television.
Delivering the keynote address at the Office of the Children’s Advocate’s (OCA) inaugural Media Appreciation Breakfast, at the Alhambra Inn, Kingston on Thursday (June 11), Dr. Simms cited television, particularly cable, as a “powerful tool,” capable of influencing the minds of youngsters.
“We are bombarded with cable television, and some of the messages that come over are not good for our children. I think we need to have some more monitoring. Some of that garbage is not supposed to come our way. It’s not because we do not want freedom of expression and exposure to all things,” Mrs. Simms pointed out.
She said that children are over-exposed to negativity, and that they are “over-sexualised.”
“They are becoming adults before they are children. We must stop this. If it is the foreign media and if they cannot control what they bring to us, we must cut them out. We must. We have a responsibility,” she asserted.
Dr. Simms said that the media has an important role to play in strengthening good governance within the society. She said that in the course of their undertakings, it is imperative that the media exercise objectivity and balance and “they cannot be in anybody’s back pocket.”
“We say that we are a democratic society. Let the media prove that we are truly democratic. They are here to ensure human development (and) enlighten the public, in an intelligent way. Therefore they have a major role to play; they are the potential voice of freedom. We need them to be the first on the scene of major events, but we do not need them to create those major events,” she underscored.
Dr. Simms reminded media practitioners at the breakfast of their responsibility to their target audience, and urged them to endeavour to convey positive stories, particularly for the children.
“We need to build a society of caring children. Yes, the media must bring us the stories of the atrocities (that occur). But, bring us the stories of children who are doing some great things. We need to maximise the benefits of the media and minimise the harm on children,” she implored.
She also urged the media to take a moral stand against what is deemed inappropriate, in the national interest.
Approximately 12 print and electronic media houses, including the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), were presented with special awards by the OCA in recognition of their support for the organisation.

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