Media Association ready to meet with Broadcasting Commission following recent ban

The Media Association of Jamaica, MAJ, says it stands ready to meet with the broadcasting commission on its latest directive, which immediately bans the airing of recorded material, that promotes or glorifies illegal activity.

The MAJ in a statement says in some respects, the BCJ‘s directives are being characterized as an overreach, where they extend beyond music and into speech.

It adds that further indication of overreach appears where the directives apply to adequately sanitised radio edits of songs in which no element of the played song breaches any code.

The organization says it’s unaware of any attempt by the commission to consult with the industry as a group on the approach announced this week prior to implementation.

It adds that a consultative approach is preferred to what presents as a sledgehammer solution.

The MAJ says its members unanimously align with the intent of ridding the airwaves of music which is unfit for airplay, and believes that all Jamaican stakeholders need to band together and do what is necessary to stem the stimulants of deteriorating social behaviours and a growing crime situation.

The association adds that its members are prepared to engage in discussion on how the existing approaches to ensuring music is fit for airplay can be improved.

It states that it is a staunch supporter of self-regulation and defender of freedoms to include freedom of expression, noting that any initiative with the potential impact of curtailing rights and freedoms cannot be taken lightly, as there are often knock-on effects on other freedoms, and must be robustly and adequately ventilated before decisions are made or directives given.

The statement questions where social commentary ends and glorification starts, adding that social commentary is a necessary element of the society whether through speech, music, or theatre.

According to the MAJ the BCJ, by its own admission, spent a considerable amount of time analyzing the content before coming to its position on what media houses should be cited for.

The association suggests the BCJ presents a list of the songs analyzed, and engage in proper consultation with the industry stakeholders to arrive at a common understanding of the philosophy that avoids ambiguity with respect to the intent of these new directives and allows for efficient application of the new measures .


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