Thanks for part­ner­ing with Broad­cast­ing Com­mis­sion

Jamaica Gleaner - - @ISSUE - Tony Deyal Tony Deyal was last seen quot­ing co­me­dian Jimmy Fal­lon, who quipped, “It’s re­ported that even the Tal­iban ac­tu­ally had a de­bat­e­view­ing party. So for the first time, it looks like they’re tor­tur­ing them­selves.”

REDUCTIO AD ab­sur­dum. Three years of Latin in se­condary school and that is all I re­mem­ber of the Lin­guam Lati­nam, or is it Lin­gua Latina? My daugh­ter Mar­sha, an English teacher, told me she is study­ing Latin dance, so maybe she might know.

I think back to the ef­forts of Mr Bally, our Latin teacher, a re­ally in­cred­i­bly nice per­son I called ‘Gaius Bal­li­ra­mus’, who gave as good as he got – not that my lack of in­ter­est in Latin and my un­will­ing­ness to study the sub­ject gave him any­thing good ex­cept a ba­sis for hu­mour at my ex­pense.

On one of my pa­pers, he com­pli­mented me for be­ing able to spell my name right and for hav­ing the right date on the pa­per, but he still gave me zero. I used the age-old school­boy ar­gu­ment that Latin is a dead lan­guage and should re­main so, but that cut no glacies with him, and the Cam­bridge Univer­sity au­thor­i­ties whose pas­sion for pun­ish­ing lit­tle colo­nial chil­dren knew no bounds.

How­ever, even though my par­ents had no for­mal ed­u­ca­tion, they val­ued ed­u­ca­tion for me, and so I ended up at Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege, San Fer­nando. THE ED­I­TOR, Sir: Dear Li­censees and Part­ners: AS YOU may know, we are ap­proach­ing the end of the cur­rent five-year term of the board of com­mis­sion­ers of the Broad­cast­ing Com­mis­sion. The ten­ure of the board will come to an end on Oc­to­ber 31, 2016.

As chair­man, I would like to ex­press, in ad­vance, my pro­found thanks to all our li­censees, sub­com­mit­tee mem­bers, sis­ter reg­u­la­tors, and other as­so­ci­ated en­ti­ties for the sup­port that you have given to the com­mis­sion over the years.

In my case, it is the end of two five-year terms as chair­man, and an ad­di­tional eight years as a mem­ber of the board, for a to­tal of 18 years in the ser­vice of the com­mis­sion. For other com­mis­sion­ers, the time frames vary, but with no less com­mit­ment to the du­ties of office.

These years have been both in­struc­tive and pro­duc­tive for me per­son­ally. Work­ing with other com­mis­sion­ers past and present and with you our li­censees and part­ners, I have been able to lead a process of sub­stan­tial re­form in a range of ar­eas, in­clud­ing in the rig­or­ous en­force­ment of con­tent stan­dards and on-air broad­cast qual­ity.

We have in­tro­duced key re­forms in the ca­ble sec­tor, mov­ing from the days of an early and small group of un­reg­u­lated op­er­a­tors to to­day’s large and more or­derly sub­sec­tor. We have also ex­panded the broad­cast sub­sec­tor and cre­ated a modern and more di­verse and com­pet­i­tive elec­tronic me­dia en­vi­ron­ment in Ja­maica.

The com­mis­sion has for­mu­lated and rec­om­mended sev­eral new pol­icy ini­tia­tives that await ap­proval and im­ple­men­ta­tion. These in­clude key pro­pos­als on digital switchover, re­form of the sanc­tions regime, re­def­i­ni­tion of the term broad­cast­ing, as well as ad­di­tional mea­sures for pro­tec­tion of chil­dren and other vul­ner­a­ble groups.

We have de­vised a pro­posal to pro­mote more funded in­de­pen­dent pro­gramme pro­duc­tion in Ja­maica and plans for new leg­isla­tive and tech­no­log­i­cal re­forms of the sec­tor. Among these re­forms are pro­pos­als for reg­u­la­tory con­ver­gence through the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a true sin­gle reg­u­la­tor for the in­dus­try.

We have vis­ited our li­censees pe­ri­od­i­cally at your bases for in­for­mal dis­cus­sions and suc­cess­fully es­tab­lished a pub­lic cam­paign to pro­mote ed­u­ca­tion and me­dia lit­er­acy.

This has been through a vi­brant series of me­dia ad­ver­tise­ments, school vis­its, pub­lic speeches, con­fer­ences, and on­line out­put, work­ing in as­so­ci­a­tion with broad­cast­ers, ca­ble op­er­a­tors, teach­ers, citizen me­dia mon­i­tors, and ser­vice providers. Our work to­gether has at­tracted the at­ten­tion of our Caribbean and global coun­ter­parts, who have fre­quently called on the BCJ for in­puts and ad­vice in their own reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ments.

RE­CENT TRANS­FOR­MA­TION

In­ter­nally, we have trans­formed the fi­nan­cial stand­ing and oper­a­tional sta­bil­ity of the com­mis­sion and have es­tab­lished an un­blem­ished record for statu­tory pay­ments and timely sub­mis­sion of an­nual re­ports to Gov­ern­ment.

We are also pleased that in 2015, the BCJ was able to ac­quire a new head­quar­ters build­ing that is cur­rently be­ing ren­o­vated for oc­cu­pancy by yearend, when the com­mis­sion staff will re­lo­cate from our cur­rent rented premises in New Kingston.

We have been able to achieve these and many other out­comes through the ac­tive co­op­er­a­tion and sup­port of our li­censees, port­fo­lio min­is­ters, mem­bers of the pub­lic, and suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments.

On be­half of the out­go­ing com­mis­sion­ers, I again ex­press deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion to all for the op­por­tu­nity of ser­vice and for your co­op­er­a­tion over the years, even in dif­fi­cult times. While we are proud of the achieve­ments, we are fully aware that a great deal re­mains to be done, led by a suc­ces­sor com­mis­sion. I pledge con­tin­ued pol­icy en­gage­ment with the sec­tor as a whole. HOPETON DUNN (Prof) Chair­man, BCJ

99.9% of the germs that cause bad breath. Pre­pare for Hell.” There is also, “My op­po­nent is say­ing that ex­er­cise will make you stronger. Ac­tu­ally, if you just keep ex­er­cis­ing and never stop, you would even­tu­ally drop dead.”

I think of ‘reductio ad ab­sur­dum’ when­ever I lis­ten to a de­bate in one of the re­gion’s Par­lia­ments or, re­cently, in the much-hyped Clin­ton ver­sus Trump de­bates. In the Caribbean, it is very clear that the days of the great speak­ers – Man­ley and Bus­ta­mante, Bar­row and Adams, Eric Wil­liams and Lionel Seuk­eran, Forbes Burn­ham and Cheddi Ja­gan, even Pan­day and Robin­son – have ended.

In the case of the de­bates be­tween the two con­tes­tants for the pres­i­dency of the United States, there is none of the drama of the ini­tial Kennedy-Nixon de­bate on Septem­ber 26, 1960. It has been all down­hill since then. The most re­cent de­bate, on Sun­day night, was the worst I have ever seen – sor­did, ac­cusatory, and lack­ing what all debaters know is the pri­mary rule of the art form that de­bat­ing is and must be – treat your op­po­nents with re­spect. In this sense, the art of de­bat­ing it­self, and not just the points made by one side or the other, has been re­duced to ab­sur­dity.

I

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