Power to the Media
The Editor, Sir:
The 'age of communication' has seen a significant increase in the number of individuals taking interest and participating in both local and international affairs. The general election held in Jamaica on February 25, 2016 is no doubt one of such events. Indeed, various highlighted issues would have sparked much interest and at certain stages some degree of controversy. During the election campaign, Jamaicans were at times glued to their televisions, radios, newspapers and smartphones, earnestly seeking information to satisfy their desires. Different factions in the international community should not be overlooked. They also would have been quite keen on apprising themselves of 'developing stories' presented by the media.
The decision taken by the People's National Party (PNP) not to participate in the pre-election debate would have been seen as a significant contributing factor resulting in their marginal loss at the polls. The public was made to think that the PNP had something to hide when they ignored the call made by a wide cross section of the society to participate in the debate.
In all fairness, people in any civilised society need to be informed before making their decisions. Rational decisions are critical for the growth of any economy or business. Politicians in their quests for power, therefore, must be cognisant of the need to adequately inform the public and not to rely too heavily on their diehard supporters. I took note that some media personnel were unhappy when their efforts to facilitate the debate fell through. We all embrace the media when our causes and expectations are promoted but, on the contrary, shun the media to avoid exposing our shortcomings.
The media which act as an engine of transparency can either make or break us. We have been accustomed to hearing the PNP's slogan - 'Power to the People'. Today I say: 'Power to the Media'.