Mon | Sep 26, 2022

Morgan: Media must evolve or lose employees

Published:Thursday | July 14, 2022 | 12:09 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Robert Morgan (left), the de facto minister of information, chats with Madeleine Noland (right), president of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, and Cordell Green, executive director of the Broadcasting Commission, during the opening session of the
Robert Morgan (left), the de facto minister of information, chats with Madeleine Noland (right), president of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, and Cordell Green, executive director of the Broadcasting Commission, during the opening session of the ATSC 3.0 boot camp and seminar at the Ocean Coral Spring Resort in Trelawny on Tuesday.

WESTERN BUREAU:

ROBERT MORGAN, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for information, has declared that the modern media must be willing to evolve its practices to match technology’s evolution or lose a significant chunk of its workforce.

Addressing the opening day of the Advanced Television System Committee’s ATSC 3.0 boot camp and seminar at the Ocean Coral Spring Resort in Trelawny late Tuesday evening, Morgan cited the evolution of information sharing across several decades, from the birth of cable television in 1948 to the creation of YouTube in 2005.

“Businesses form to make profit and create wealth, and, at the same time, providing significant sources of income for their employees. If we do not evolve, our broadcasting ecosystem, then a large portion of persons who have depended on it for decades to send their children to school, and for their livelihood, will no longer have sources of income,” said Morgan.

“We are seeing it across the Caribbean, where because of the changes in dynamics of television and radio, persons’ salaries have fallen, longevity in the market in terms of how long you work at a radio station has fallen, and many persons complain about the quality of journalism. The media has to evolve to meet the market,” he added.

DIGITAL AGE

Morgan also noted that individuals and communities that fail to upgrade the sources from which they get information, will not be able to keep up with the ever-changing dynamics of the digital age.

“There are still communities in Jamaica that do not have Internet, and their only source of information is the television, but they have been left behind in the digital revolution. It is the advancement of technology that is going to make us wealthy, and if you keep adopting technology after everyone else has adopted it, you are always going to be playing catch-up,” Morgan warned.

His admonition follows Jamaica’s adoption of ATSC 3.0 digital television earlier this year, with the launch of a transmitter site for the technology at Television Jamaica’s Lyndhurst Road location in St Andrew in January and the launch of a second transmitter site at Flower Hill in St James in early July.

The ATSC 3.0, also known as NextGenTV, is an overhaul to the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s standard for sending and receiving over-the-air signals since the group first introduced ATSC 1.0 in 1996. Its features include 4K and HDR picture resolutions, along with advanced Dolby audio, and provides data transfer options to viewers.

Television Jamaica is the first Caribbean broadcaster to be granted membership status in the Advanced Television Systems Committee, the creators of the ATSC 3.0.

Additionally, Jamaica is the third country to make an effort to implement the technology, following in the footsteps of the United States and South Korea.

During Tuesday’s session of the ATSC 3.0 seminar, the Broadcasting Commission made it clear that Jamaica must complete the switchover from analogue television to digital by 2023, in line with the Government of Jamaica’s mandate.

christopher.thomas@gleanerjm.com