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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Young persons, aged 13 to 18, are invited to express their views on the issue of responsible internet and social media usage.
  • The competition seeks to increase the awareness of young persons in this age group about the dangers and consequences of improper use of new media.
  • The winning vlog will be used as an official JIS Public Service Announcement (PSA) for television, radio, and online.

Young persons, aged 13 to 18, are invited to express their views on the issue of responsible internet and social media usage, by entering the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) video blog (vlog) competition, aptly titled: ‘Who Am I Online?’

An initiative of the Computer Services Department, the competition, which gets underway on April 14, seeks to increase the awareness of young persons in this age group about the dangers and consequences of improper use of new media, while guiding them on appropriate, constructive, and positive use of the platform.

Entries, which must be 30 to 45 seconds in length, can focus on, but are not limited to issues, such as: effects of posting/sharing lewd images on social media and online; cyber bullying; compromising security by disclosing physical location; and prospective employers checking social media.

Candidates are asked to post the vlog on Youtube and email the web address/ uniform resource locator (URL) to JIS at whoami@jis.gov.jm. The JIS will then share the videos on Facebook, Twitter, and on www.jis.gov.jm.

All entries should be submitted by midnight on Friday, May 23. The winning vlog will be used as an official JIS Public Service Announcement (PSA) for television, radio, and online.

Web Content Writer, Stephanie Todd, says the competition invites candidates to explore how they can better protect their online reputation and persona on the internet generally, and specifically on social media.

“It’s (also) a chance for the youth to actually have their voices heard. What you have now is a case where people are seeing teenagers on social media, thinking that it is a waste of time or that there is nothing good that can come out of a teenager’s interaction with social media, and we want to say, ‘no, social media is basically a neutral platform and it depends on how you use it’,” she adds.

She reminds youngsters to be cognizant of what they post online such as pictures and statements, “that may come back to haunt them when they get older, and they want to look for a job, or when they want to look for a scholarship.”

“Be mindful that when you put things in cyber space, it actually exists long after you have done it; and long after you’ve stopped thinking about it. People can search, find it…and may have certain perceptions about who you are, which may not be true and which could harm you in the future,” she warns.

Explaining the rules of the competition, Mrs. Todd says that the entrant can “either just be talking into the camera to send their message, or they can actually develop a script with different actors, but one of the actors in the vlog must be between 13 and 18 years.”

The concept, execution, and script/dialogue must be original and appropriate for free-to-air television, and must adhere to Jamaican and international copyright rules/laws.

The vlog will be judged on adherence to themes and criteria, originality, audience appropriateness, video quality/clarity, number of views, likes, and critiques by a panel of judges.

A special page and banner will be constructed for the entries and viewers will be asked to ‘like’ their favourite entry on Youtube or ‘like and share’ on Facebook, and retweet on Twitter.

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