Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Monday | February 4, 2013
Home : Letters
The media have lost news focus
THE EDITOR, Sir:

Today in Jamaica, we have the 'presstitutes', john crow journalists and media mortuaries - with their stable of 'well-respected' pundits - that are fat, lazy and have grown cosy with the establishment, used to big cars, and keeping up with the Joneses.

The grossly absurd stories, about obeah, ghouls and demonic possession to the overly intrusive death and morose imagery must end, especially when they form no real part of the report and the highly emotional mourners are just abused for dramatic effect. They exist strictly for the hype.

Today's media agencies at home and abroad seem driven by utterly self-interested personalities and financial objectives. It cannot begin to mobilise people and our communities to demand higher wages, a massive jobs programme to relieve unemployment, a new paradigm of urban economic development. The media mortuaries are failing to be the pillars of democracy.

Today, journalists in Jamaica are playing slave to advertisers and public desire for sensationalist headlines, instead of digging into the truths of certain stories.

Time spent relaying dramatic footage could be invested in investigative reporting, but the Jamaican media would rather continue purveying fear and depression. Readers and viewers must be subjected to bombardment of the nation at its worst: i) grief, ii) despondence, iii) obeah or iv) the camera-ready angry mob. We get our daily dose of a bite where someone staggers with pronunciation, rhymes, is arrogant and/or ignorant, is scandalous or fumbles into a 'hilarious' pronouncement that will be the next punchline for Jamaica's next big viral video.

Murder stories in the nightly newsreel have in common grieving family and friends and schoolmates. I can only hope the minister of education will be addressing this media invasion of grieving schools in the form of a national policy.

The media exploit and profit from the gore, the inane, stupid and the mundane things happening in this country. People are becoming numb to it. Numb to violence. We are being dumbed down. And it's entertaining!

The gatekeepers have gone awry.

YANNICK PESSOA

cyber_yan@yahoo.com

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