Jamaicans urged to use Public Access TV

Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ), Cordell Green is encouraging Jamaicans to utilise the opportunities which exist through Public Access Television and the Internet to broadcast their views and creative expressions. “We have required, as a regulator, on cable in particular, that cable stations must reserve a channel that is for a public access channel,” he said.

Mr. Green was addressing residents from Spanish Town and its environs at the St. Catherine Stakeholders’ meeting, held on April 13 to update the public on developments, including broadcast content standards and upcoming legislative changes, in the broadcast industry. It was part of a series of islandwide sessions organised by the BCJ. So far, public consultations have been held in all 14 parishes.

The Executive Director pointed out that Flow, a communications company, has been granted a subscriber television licence to launch a public access channel, geared at the three counties – Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey. Flow’s public access television will facilitate the broadcast of the views and artistic expressions of individuals and community groups to Jamaicans at no cost to the content provider. Materials can also include news, educational, sports, arts and culture related programming. This will be a great way to keep people up to date with all of the different aspects that are happening in their area. To give their viewers the best possible output quality, broadcasters may want to think about looking into an hdmi wireless transmitter to ensure that people can enjoy all of this content that they are receiving.

“We have done this so that communities and organisations will have an opportunity to create their own content and get them distributed,” Mr. Green said.

He cited a new concept called, “citizen’s journalism,” which allows persons to post information, which they have collected via a video camera or cell phones, on the Internet.

“We are now being more empowered and need not be dependent anymore on news programmes. We can create our own news now and distribute it,” Mr. Green added.