KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Broadcasting Commission (BC) on Tuesday imposed an immediate ban on the playing of music that it says promotes or glorifies, among other things, the lottery scam, use of the illicit drug Molly and illegal firearms.
The Commission, whose role is to oversee and regulate electronic media, radio and television, and subscription television, said the Radio Stations Directive reinforces its commitment to keeping the airwaves free of harmful content given the important role that traditional media still play as agents of socialization.
He stated that using the public airwaves to broadcast songs that promote/glorify illegal activities could give the false impression that criminality is an accepted feature of Jamaican culture and society.
In a statement, the Commission said it may unwittingly support moral disengagement and further normalize crime among vulnerable and impressionable youth, as well as young adults.
BC Executive Director Cordel Green said it was the end product of an extensive process that included targeted monitoring, decoding subculture dialect and urban slangs, deliberations on the balance between freedom of expression and protection from harm; and consultations with industry. .
Green said this approach was necessary given the inherent nuances and idiosyncrasies of content regulation.
“Part of the difficulty in dealing with music, especially that which emerges from a subculture, is that it takes time to identify, understand and verify the slangs and colloquial language used. Naturally, new street language may take some time to normalize, or its meanings become entrenched.
“The Commission must also be cautious in its actions, knowing that regulatory attention can have the unintended consequence of exposing and popularizing a subcultural phenomenon,” Green said.
Under the directive, the Commission banned “any audio or video recording, live song or speech that encourages and/or glorifies the fraud, illegal use or abuse of drugs (e.g., ‘Molly’) , illegal or harmful use of firearms or other offensive weapons, “jungle justice” or any other form of illegal or criminal activity”
Additionally, the ban extends to “any edited song that directly or indirectly promotes cheating, illegal drugs, illegal or harmful use of firearms or other offensive weapons, jungle justice or any form of illegal or criminal activity.
“This includes live editing and original edits (e.g. edits by producer/label as well as the use of nearby words as substitutes for offensive lyrics, expletives or profanity.”
The Commission said that playing a sample of any song that promotes or glorifies cheating, illegal drugs (e.g. “Molly”), illegal or harmful use of firearms or other offensive weapons , ‘jungle justice’ or any other form of illegal or criminal behavior is strictly prohibited”. (CMC)