Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Declare your political bias

Published:Friday | January 8, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

It is time that political, social and economic commentators/analysts be labelled according to their political alliances. For too long many such persons have used their privileged access to mass media for furtherance of their personal and organisational agendas.

At a time when genuine debate is needed to aid Jamaica on the path of arriving at solutions critical to our survival as a country and people, too many disingenuous persons are parading themselves as fair and neutral, while beguiling an unsuspecting public. Genuine criticisms and solutions are needed and, in order to decipher accurately what opinions being posited fall into that category, the political affiliation of the individual(s) opining that position must be known. Such measures would significantly mitigate attempts at political skulduggery.

If we look at some modern and civilised societies, for example, the USA (I am not advocating a wholesale adoption of the practices of any other nation. However, it is of great benefit to examine more developed nations observing best practices, and implementing any that might be suitable to the Jamaican context), we realise that the political leanings (right, left or neutral) are declared. This enhances the public debate.

Jamaicans, largely, tend to accept all that is put forward in the print and electronic media as fact. As such, these commentators are quite influential and often sway public opinion and actions, and even political and governmental policies. With great power comes great responsibility and, therefore, all such opinion shapers must declare their hand so the public debate may be meaningful and effective.

I am, etc.,

G. KING

Kingston 20