JIS News

International Telecommunications Industry Consultant and Columbia University Professor, Dr. Raul Katz, has been confirmed for the Broadcasting Commission’s Regional Regulators’ Forum on Policy and Regulation in the Electronic Media to be held next month.
The forum, which was originally scheduled for June, was postponed following the declaration of a state of emergency for the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew. It has been rescheduled to July 5 to 6, 2010, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
Dr. Katz, who is the President of Telecom Advisory Services, a boutique firm that advises clients in the inter-related fields of strategy and regulation, will be the expert speaker in the roundtable discussion on ‘The Digital Communications Market: Challenges and Opportunities’.
In an interview with the JIS News, Dr. Katz said that he is looking forward to getting first-hand knowledge of the regulatory and industrial situation of media and telecoms in Jamaica.
He informed that most of his professional and academic experience in the hemisphere has been in Latin American countries, and the conference “gives me an opportunity to link up with policy makers and professionals in the Caribbean. I hope to bring my knowledge [to this forum] having conducted research on the economic impact of broadband in emerging and industrialized countries.”
Topics to be examined in the aforementioned roundtable include the Economics of Regulation and Implications for Policy; Competition; Market Dominance; Regulatory Impact Assessment; Ownership; Diversity and Plurality; and Public Broadcasting in the Digital Age.
Several other issues will also be discussed in the other three roundtables: ‘Media Policy for the Digital Age’; ‘The future of Broadband and Digital Platforms’; and ‘Media Content Standards’.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of the Commission, Cordel Green, stated that the forum is a “must” for anyone with an interest in broadcasting as it will examine a number of issues that are central to the information age.
“The conference will look at the implications of new media from a market and policy point of view….we will also look at media content, and the role of broadcast management in terms of their gate-keeping responsibilities and how we can improve the regulatory environment not just in Jamaica but across the region”, he explained, while adding that problems such as payola along with sociological issues will be discussed.
Mr. Green also pointed out that the forum will be important to the development of a new electronic media policy for Jamaica. Consultations, he further revealed, are expected to begin in the very near future.
“We are now developing a new electronic media policy, which will guide the Government of Jamaica in the modern legislation required for the electronic media sector. Members of the public would benefit from these discussions, which would put each of us in a better position to understand the issues and the subject matters that will be contained in that media policy so that when the time comes for consultation, we will come to it from an informed position,” he explained.
All the roundtable sessions will be streamed live on the Commission’s website www.broadcom.org. The Executive Director is encouraging persons within and outside of Jamaica to participate by posting comments and questions.
The Broadcasting Commission is the region’s oldest Broadcasting regulator and has successfully engaged, over the last few years, in leading the transformation of on-air content, especially in music, from inappropriate to more acceptable daily output.

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