Tue | Jun 15, 2021

Telecoms out to control mass media

Published:Tuesday | August 18, 2015 | 11:57 AM


I would not go so far as to say the proposed RJR-Gleaner merger is good for Jamaica, as it will take time for all of the upsides and downsides of the merger to be played out. But I agree with Kay Osborne ('What media ownership means', The Sunday Gleaner, August 16, 2015) that after considering the information as presented, the merger deal is the best option right now.

RJR and The Gleaner had to find a way to survive at the same time that the telecommunications companies are building out their media empire infrastructure and, unbeknown to most Jamaicans, apparently on a shopping spree for the media companies they can get their hands on.

You have to ask yourself, why, what is the endgame? What do they want with Jamaica's media business and why is it so important to them?

No company with big money and serious technology, such as the telecoms companies, is going to invest in another business sector to play second fiddle just because traditional companies were there before them. It stands to reason that the telecoms are truly serious about going into the media business in Jamaica to control it, and I don't think it would be in anyone's interest, except theirs, for the same set of people who control Jamaica's gigantic telecommunications industry to also control the media. The thought of that happening is not appealing to me one bit.