Wednesday, October 5, 2011


The recent arrest of  Vybz Kartel has led to the discontinuation of his Mobile TV Reality show "Teacha's Pet"  by broadcasting giant LIME .

Via Antiguaobserver

The debate is once again raging over whether restrictions should be placed on the public broadcast of music and other media that include a heavy violent and sexual content.

The discussion was sparked yesterday after Adidja “Vybz Kartel” Palmer, one of the most popular global dancehall stars, was arrested and slapped with multiple charges including murder and conspiracy to murder in his homeland Jamaica.

The social networks were abuzz with activity on Tuesday as the news of Palmer’s arrest sparked heated debate on the place of violent and sexual music in society.

While no charges have been proved against Palmer, persons argued that his alleged infraction with the law put in the context of repeated run-ins with the law by other dancehall artistes proves the violent lyrical content of such music can no longer be seen as fiction.

Veteran promoter Roger Perry, now retired, is among those who believe it’s high time restrictions are placed on publicly broadcast music.

Perry said while he defends people’s freedom to listen to what they chose, the youth need to be better protected from the negative influences of certain songs.

“I think we need to put strategic things in place for the radio stations so for instance certain songs cannot be played at certain times, some of those songs from Vybz Kartel are being played in Antigua on all the radio stations, yet a lot of them cannot be played in Jamaica but we bring them to Antigua and play them on the radio and that is wrong,” Perry said.

“We have to find censorship for these things. You have to start to fine the radio stations, fine them when they start to play things that are not suppose to be played. Certain things are PG and certain things are R-rated,” Perry added.

Perry suggested more ‘mature’ music should only be played after a certain time when most children are asleep.
The veteran promoter said age restrictions also need to be strictly enforced at clubs and concerts to ensure young people are not exposed to any vulgar content.

However Perry was keen to point out that the debate should not be centred on personalities but rather the music should be judged by its own merit no matter the artiste involved.

Former Island Scholar Jamion Knight, who is also a former Caricom Youth Ambassador, is in agreement with the need for some form of censorship. But Knight said the restrictions must take into account all media content that is broadcast to the public.

“I think it’s really an issue in terms of the content for entertainment … I do believe in personal freedom. What I don’t believe in is having derogatory music being played on the public broadcast system,” he said.
“If you want to play it at a party, that is fine, but there should be some sort of restriction as it relates to the public dissemination of this sort of music.”

Knight added, “It’s going to be a very, very hard thing to do because if you ban something from one area it means people are going to get it from somewhere else … I think we need to look at having some sort of broadcasting commission that would be responsible for monitoring broadcast content across the board,” Knight said.

However local radio deejay Denver Parillion, known better as NozeDogg, said it is easier said than done.
Parillion said deejays face a great challenge in being able to properly evaluate the huge number of music that comes to them on a daily basis.

He added that even if they are able to sift out any negativity from their music, their audience simply turns elsewhere for the content they desire.

“We cannot hide them from it, so even though we cut it off from the radio station, they stop listening to the radio station. They are not going to stop listening to the music,” Parillion said.

Read more at Antiguaobserver.

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