Thu | Aug 16, 2018

Rein in rogue radio disc jocks

Published:Friday | January 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM


The chairman of the Broadcasting Commission, in his commentary ('Broadcast watchdog wants more teeth') published on January 21, stated, "While there are many fully compliant broadcasters, a minority continue to be repeat violators, transmitting vulgar or abusive lyrical content or irresponsible programming that promotes violence, denigrates women, and exposes children to explicit and inappropriate sexual content via the airwaves."

This is a well-established fact.

There are many mornings when I turn my radio on to FAME FM and ZIP FM, and I hear lyrics that are jaw-dropping. I have to really wonder at times if the regulator is asleep or if other listeners are not offended.

Two of the complaints to the Broadcasting Commission that were also published in The Gleaner related to violent lyrics from the songs Touch You by Alkaline, aired on FAME FM, and To The Point by Sizzla, which aired on ZIP FM.

My first report concerning the song Touch You was made to the Broadcasting Commission on December 17, 2014 and was published on December 18, 2014 ('Radio jocks must do better'). I was surprised when I heard the same song with the lyrics inciting violence against women on the same radio station (FAME FM) on December 23, 2014.


The second report was made to the regulator concerning the song To The Point on November 19, 2014 and was published on November 22, 2014. I was dumbfounded when I heard ZIP FM air the lyrics on January 13, 2015, promoting the death of politicians and the Pope.

It is hard to believe that strident action isn't taken by the regulator against the offending stations when violent songs are repeatedly aired.

Let us continue to call for the Broadcasting Commission to pressure the Government to enact stronger legislative amendments to the Broadcasting and Radio Rediffusion Act, since obviously issuing apologies is not enough.