THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN REGULATORY AGENCY BANS BROADCAST CONTENT THAT “GLORIFIES” CRIME
The Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica has issued new rules that will impost a ban on television and radio broadcasts of content that it deems “glorifies” drug abuse, scamming, illegal firearms, or other “criminal activity.” The ban includes specific phrases and words used in songs, including “bank/foreign account,” “food,” “wallet,” “purse,” “burner phone,” and “client.” Specific banned language also includes references to making money, wire transfers, lavish lifestyles, or getting rich. The Commission’s action represents its stated attempt to address an increase in the level of violent crime in Jamaica. Lawmakers have expressed concern that the “wrong impression” is being communicated to the world that criminal activity is an accepted element of Jamaica’s culture.
JAMAICAN FARM WORKERS COOPERATING WITH FACT-FINDERS REVIEWING COMPLAINTS
A team established by Jamaica’s Ministry of Labor and Social Security is investigating the status of seasonal farm workers in Canada and looking into their working conditions. The team will visit a total of 70 farms that employ seasonal workers from Jamaica; some of the workers have been part of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers program in Canada for many years. According to Wayne Chen, president of the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation, the workers were happy to see the team, while Helene Davis-Whyte, the team’s chair and the president of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, most of the workers expressed their “joy” at seeing the investigators.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC RESPONDS TO UNREST IN HAITI BY CRACKING DOWN ON MIGRANTS AT BORDER
In response to deteriorating conditions in Haiti, the Dominican Republic is building up its military presence on the border between the two countries and cracking down on migrants. Critics of the move believe it will worsen the current xenophobia that exists against migrants from Haiti, causing harm to the economies of both nations. Luis Abinader, the Dominican president, announced that his country had made its largest purchase of military equipment since 1961 in an attempt to strengthen the border. Construction of a wall along the 240-mile-long border has started as well. Violence in Haiti has worsened since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021 as gangs gained power as the government became weaker.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
NEW MAYOR OF WOLVERHAMPTON IN THE UK PROUD OF HER JAMAICAN HERITAGE
Sandra Samuels, who was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, is the first Black individual to serve as mayor of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom. Samuels worked as a nurse for 40 years and has seen on the first-hand basis the lack of minorities’ political representation, so she decided to enter politics in 1998 and was elected a councilor in 2004. While she loves the UK, which has provided her with a good life, she values Jamaica as the country of her birth, and as mayor, she plans to celebrate Jamaica at every opportunity. She has urged Jamaican parents with young children who want to live in the UK to make sure they have adequate support and a commitment to education when they migrate as many young immigrants become sidetracked in British society. Samuels is the 163rd mayor of Wolverhampton and has made “Dare to Dream” the them of her tenure in office. She believes that to make a difference, more Black people must be elected to office and become involved in making decisions. She views her role as supporting and elevating others toward this goal.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
HOTEL AND TOURISM ORGANIZATIONS PARTNER WITH JAMAICA TO CELEBRATE GLOBAL TOURISM RESILIENCE DAY
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) have joined with Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism in Jamaica, to provide support for officially designating February 17 as Global Tourism Resilience Day. The partnership of these major leadership groups in the Caribbean also called for other countries in the world for support of the initiative. Bartlett said it was well known that the Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent area in the world and participation in a three-day summit meeting in Jamaica in February 2023 to celebrate the inaugural Global Tourism Resilience Day will mark an important contribution to the tourism industry’s success.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
ARTISTS, PRODUCERS OF DANCEHALL MUSIC UNHAPPY ABOUT BROADCAST BAN
Artists, producers, and other stakeholders in the music industry have criticized the decision of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica to ban television and radio broadcasts of must that promotes or glorifies criminal activity. Younger producers in particular argue that the ban has surprised them, saying that it will do nothing to actually stop crime as the Commission stated was its goal. The artist Di Genius sarcastically stated that crime and violence will stop now that the ban is in place. He also noted that most young people do not even listen to public broadcast radio, getting their music from online services like Spotify and YouTube instead. Romeigh Major, an artist manager and producer, says he understands the desire to eliminate crime and does not agree with glorifying guns or drugs, creative artists cannot be stopped from “singing about what they see around them.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
SHELLY-ANN FRASER-PRYCE, SHERICKA JACKSON NOMINATED FOR FEMALE WORLD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR TITLE
Jamaican runners Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson have been included on the shortlist of female athletes competing for the title of “Female Athlete of the Year” for 2022. Jackson ran the second-fastest time in history in the 200-meters at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, this year, and won her first individual World title and the 200-meter title in a record time of 21.45 seconds, becoming the second-fastest female athlete at the distance in history. With her win of the 200-meter Diamond League title in 2022, she has taken home World Championship medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters. However, the competition for the award is strong in 2022, with the other shortlisted athletes vying for the title of Female Athlete of the Year in 2022 including Chase Ealy and Sydney McLaughlin of the United States, Tobi Amusan of Nigeria, Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela, Shaunae Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas, Yaroslava Mahuchikh of Ukraine, Faith Kipyegon of Kenya, and Kimberly Garcia of Peru.