Ban Placed on Dancehall Music
Music has thrived in Jamaica since its establishment over two centuries ago. In those two centuries people have enjoyed listening to music but in recent times the music has been seen as obscene and vulgar to today’s society. Jamaica Broadcasting Commission, whose role is to monitor and regulate the music and television industries for the benefit of consumers, has therefore ordered a ban on lyrical content of that nature. In a Gleaner article dated February 10, 2009, Hopeton Dunn, chairman of the Commission, stated that the proposed amendment to the regulations is to place a restriction on the materials to which children are exposed to on air.
The Media Association of Jamaica (MAJ) stated, "Our association has generally been wary of the imposition of bans, as there is a thin line between a ban and the stifling of creative expression and so the creators and producers of the music are now directly challenged to get that balance right." We are living in a society that places emphasis on freedom of speech, and that means allowing even those we disagree with to have their say. However, if our musicians are creative in their expressions, they should be able to express their views in a more appropriate fashion. With freedom of speech comes a responsibility to protect our children and if the lyrics are written in a creative manner, that goal will be achieved.
The popular musical artiste Adidja Palmer, also known as Vybz Kartel, in an article published by senior music writer Stan Evan Smith on April 30, 2009, stated that the Commission is biased as other genre of music is given airplay; there is a difference between vulgar lyrics and suggestive