JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) has acquired an optical digital archival system, which will enable the agency to convert source material of analogue images, sounds and video recordings to digital format.
  • The system, which was handed over during a ceremony today (November 10) at the PBCJ’s South Odeon Avenue offices, was purchased at a cost of US$200,000 through support from the Government of the Republic of South Korea.
  • The acquisition of the system has its genesis in a visit by Jamaican representatives, led by former Information Minister, Sandrea Falconer, to the Republic of Korea in November 2012.

The Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) has acquired an optical digital archival system, which will enable the agency to convert source material of analogue images, sounds and video recordings to digital format.

The system, which was handed over during a ceremony today (November 10) at the PBCJ’s South Odeon Avenue offices, was purchased at a cost of US$200,000 through support from the Government of the Republic of South Korea.

In his remarks, Board Chairman of the PBCJ, Gladstone Wilson, said the acquisition of the equipment will help in archiving the country’s heritage.

“This piece of equipment is significant, not only to Jamaica but to the Caribbean in this fast moving digital age. It is really quite encouraging to see that we can accommodate such equipment,” Mr. Wilson said.

He added that agencies such as the Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC), which have a great deal of cultural material, “will be able to store it here and be able to access it at a moment’s notice”.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Mr. Dean-Roy Bernard, said the occasion marks another milestone in the continuing bilateral relationships between the Governments of Jamaica and the Republic of Korea.

“For us at the Ministry, the ceremony is particularly important as it is complementary to our own efforts at finding new ways, legislatively and through the use of modern technology, to preserve the life of various documents and audiovisual material available in the public and private domain,” Mr. Bernard said.

He added that the Ministry recognises that access to information in its various forms for academic research and personal enlightenment “is critical to our development as a people.”

“I am advised that the Sony Optical Disc Archive System being presented today is a content management system using the latest in digital storage technology. It allows for the preservation of content, regardless of the source or origin, with a life expectancy beyond anything now in operation. This again is welcome news as, unfortunately, we have had to deal with the loss of vital material for one reason or another,” Mr. Bernard said.

The acquisition of the system has its genesis in a visit by Jamaican representatives, led by former Information Minister, Sandrea Falconer, to the Republic of Korea in November 2012.

In her comments, Ms. Falconer welcomed the acquisition of the equipment.

“The system will allow agencies to convert analogue source material of objects, images, sounds and video recordings to digital format, providing for greater preservation, easier access, retrieval and usage,” Ms Falconer said.

For his part, Ambassador of South Korea to Jamaica, Jong Seon Lim, said he appreciates the strong relationship that has been built.

“This relationship has allowed us to reach this milestone today. I am pleased to see the fulfilment of this project and would like to note that this archival system is the first of its kind among English-speaking Caribbean countries,” Mr. Lim said.

He added that the acquisition of the equipment will enhance the work of the PBCJ in preserving and disseminating information in Jamaica.

Even though the system is installed at the PBCJ, it allows agencies to have input and output from their respective locations through network connectivity.

These agencies include the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), CPTC, Jamaica Archives and Records Department (JARD), and the Institute of Jamaica. Data from the former Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) will also be uploaded to the system.