Over 300 Grade 9 and 10 students at Knox High School in Spaldings on Thursday (February 7) participated in a media literacy project of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ).
This is the second visit to the school by the Commission and it is one in a series under its schools’ outreach programme. The Commission also used the opportunity to participate in the school’s annual career day, which was held on the same day.
Among the topics discussed at the session were the new media environment, managing your digital self, digital switchover, cable channel ratings and the Children’s Code for Programming that was put in place by the Commission to protect children from the harmful content of some programmes on television, radio and cable.
Discussions led by Assistant Executive Director of the BCJ, Karlene Johnson, also focused on the role of the Commission and its efforts to regulate the electronic media.
“I thought the presentation was very informative. It taught me a lot about the digital environment and how Jamaica is improving digitally,” Grade 9 student, Bridgette Swaby told JIS during an interview.
She said that she was impressed with plans for the transition from analogue to digital television.
“I think that’s a very good idea because it will widen the choice of programmes that we will have on television,” she added. There are plans by government to switch over from the current analogue television broadcasting system to a digital system.
Bridgette, who is now contemplating a career in the Information Technology field, said she is always careful when placing comments and pictures on Facebook. “I don’t like to give bad comments on Facebook because it might come back and haunt me, “she added.
Another student, Tajaye Fanus said he was grateful for the session, which provided him with information about the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet.
“I realise that Information Technology will never die. The business is always there and I think it is one of the best fields to enter and to be successful,” he said.
Mrs. Johnson told the students that they were the future leaders and creators having been born in the “digital age.”
“You are the creators, you are the innovators, and you are the guys who are finding easier and better ways of doing things in this digital age. At this age, you are the leaders in this digital environment, you are the ones who are taking it forward,” she said.
She shared success stories of young creators and mentioned United States-based Jamaican social media entrepreneur, Saadiq Rodgers-King and the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) Cup team, who are national and regional champions in the Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition. She reminded the students that they, too, can do “phenomenal things,” noting that the inventors were not much older than the students.
“We want you guys to become a nation of uploaders, to lead us away from just being mere consumers or downloaders of content,” she added.
Commenting on the project, Mrs. Johnson said over the past two years, the Commission has visited over 20 schools across the island and has engaged over 2,500 students.