A Don Anderson survey, which was recently commissioned by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), has found that the public continues to have a positive perception of the government agency.
Jamaicans also believe that the JIS is a relevant news agency, which provides useful, current and accurate information.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Project, Hon. Daryl Vaz, today (July 27) disclosed the results of the poll to members of the House of Representatives during his contribution to the 2010/11 Sectoral Debate.
According to the perception poll, 90 per cent of respondents said that the JIS is a good source of information; more than 55 per cent expressed the view that the agency is doing a “very good” job, and another 29 per cent felt that the JIS is doing an “okay” job.
Minister Vaz quoted some of the respondents as saying that: “If I miss items of interest on the news, I can get it from JIS” and “the information is reliable.”
He said that Mr. Anderson, in giving his overall assessment of the poll, commented that the “results were actually quite positive, because over 66 per cent felt it was important to have ongoing information about Government programmes, policies and institutions. In general, people have a pretty good opinion of the JIS and again, it is because they believe the JIS produces (sound) programmes, provides information and reports of the things that are happening.”
Mr. Anderson, who is a leading pollster in Jamaica, was further quoted by Minister Vaz as saying: “We asked people to say what they thought was the positive things that they associated with the JIS and the largest one was that the JIS provides information that is current and useful. Of note is the fact that some 76 per cent of those polled did not identify any negative associations with JIS.”
Mr. Vaz explained that he made reference of the survey because the impression has been given that the JIS has no credibility among the listening and viewing public and, therefore, commercial media entities, which carry JIS programmes in primetime, could somehow be impairing their own credibility and confusing their audience with propaganda versus facts.
He argued that, “if this is what radio and television audiences are saying, if this is what the empirical data is showing, not hearsay or guesswork; if this is the hard evidence then you can’t discount what the people are saying.”
Mr. Vaz said this information should be particularly important and instructive to those media owners, who were worried that carrying JIS programmes in primetime and more than once a day would impair their credibility, and possibly lead to a fall-off in viewership and listenership.
“I know media managers are rational and evidence-based in reasoning and therefore, I have no doubt that they will be informed by the results of this recent Don Anderson poll as we jointly pursue service to our country,” he added.