Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ) Cordel Green, is urging members of the public to voice their disapproval about the quality and type of programmes that they see and listen to in the electronic media.
He said that public pressure represents the strongest measure against negative influences in the media even more so than regulation.
"The strongest form of regulation is when even one member of the public calls you up and says, "I am just calling to let you know why you have lost one listener. That is something nobody wants to hear," Mr. Green said during a recent JIS News interview.
Giving an example of the power of the public, Mr. Green, who is a former radio broadcaster, referred to an incident when he was rebuked by someone for mixing an instrumental piece with a narration from CNN about the then Iraq War. He said the person felt that by playing the song, he did not have an appreciation of the "gravity of the moment".
"It (the song) was removed immediately and I felt ashamed… more people need to do that," Mr. Green said.
At the same time, he said that the public also needs to commend the media when they deserve to be praised. "We need to hear more about the numerous artistes and radio announcers and radio stations, TV stations and channels and programmes that are delivering what it is we want," he stated.
He said the new information age provides opportunities for persons to be seen and heard, irrespective of who they are "so we can change many of the things that we are concerned about. It's no longer a world where you just simply sit down and you are bound to be receiving content that people create and give to you".
The BCJ has been hosting island wide meetings to update the public on significant initiatives, including broadcast content standards, digital television switchover and imminent legislative changes for the industry.
Mr. Green said persons attending the fora have voiced their concerns about the positive and negative content of some radio and television programmes. However, he argued that persons need to make use of the media to voice their concerns.
CONTACT: E. HARTMAN RECKORD