Community broadcasters, journalists, students, educators and experts meet to discuss key communication industry themes this week in Montego Bay at the UNESCO Forum of Community Media Partners. The opening session of the forum will be addressed by Minister with responsibility for Information and Gender, Senator Sandrea Falconer.
The future of journalism education in the digital age will be a priority theme with presentations expected from Dr. Nova Gordon-Bell – University of Technology and Natalie Campbell News Editor of IRIE FM. Rhoma Tomlinson, Chair in the department of Communication Studies at Northern Caribbean
proposes that academic programmes may become irrelevant if they do not meet the changing needs of journalists.
A highlight of the forum is the students’ plenary session, “Free, Independent and Plural Media post 2015” organized by students of the University of the West Indies, Mona – Western Jamaica Campus, Carissa Warner, Niyokia Hines, Pamela Diaz, Onica Grannum, Andrae Hewitt. The presentation proposes that social media is the new community media, describing clear indicators that point to the accomplishment of sustainable development for the media and the wider society.
Other presenters include Wesley Gibbings, President of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers who will focus on digital security for journalists, Linda Hinds, Finance Manager of Trinidad and Tobago’s award winning community radio station Radio Toco; Lloyd B Smith Founder and CEO of the Western Mirror and Cordell Green, Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica.
The main aim of the forum is to promote media diversity and freedom of speech by building the capacity of community media workers and including the sector in conversations about current trends and critical issues. Patrick Prendergast Campus Director of UWI-Mona, Western Jamaica Campus is the main facilitator of the plenary sessions.
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