Published in the Jamaica Observer | Tuesday. May 8, 2012
general manager of Television Jamaica, Kay Osborne believes that if “ordinary
citizens” are assisted in being discerning consumers of media content more
persons in authority will be held accountable for their actions and this will
help to move Jamaica to “the next stage of democracy”.
Kay M. Osborne
She said that if both traditional and new media are to best
serve the interest of citizens, there is an “urgent” need for media literacy
among ordinary Jamaicans. Speaking at
the third staging of a Communication Symposium at the Northern Caribbean
University’s (NCU) main campus in Mandeville recently, she challenged the
students to help in facilitating awareness in this regard. "In order for
both traditional and new media to best serve the interest of citizens to become
essential tools for national development, to hold leaders accountable, it is
vital that media literacy becomes a national priority or at least the drive
towards media literacy is recognised as an unmet challenge that awaits individuals
or groups, including media literate NCU students, who well understand the need
to help ordinary citizens become media literate," she said. Osborne
describes media literacy as intuitive, innate, spontaneous questioning and understanding of
what lies behind media output – the values, the motives, the funding, the
sponsorship, the ownership.
reference to new media, she said that it is having access to content anywhere,
anytime on any digital service. She said that new media facilitate the
real-time generation of new and unregulated content.
the other hand, traditional media she said, “disseminate information through
avenues such as newspapers, radio and television and are “not so much an open
is guided by journalistic ethics and standards by which media houses are duty
bound to conform.
said that the “awesome power” of the agenda setting capability of media
necessitates that citizens are empowered to sift through the messages that they
are receiving from increasingly different media sources. She said that in this
way they can actively make decisions about persons and issues that affect their
two-day Communication Symposium and
Lignum Vitae Film Festival at NCU this year explored the theme ‘Modern
Media Influencing Public Policy and Opinion’.
colours, cultural displays and Jamaican cuisine were incorporated in the event
in celebration of Jamaica’s 50th year of independence.