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Will Other Caribbean Powers Ban ‘Criminal’ Content Like Jamaica?

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Will other Caribbean governments follow suit? This is the hot button question following Jamaica’s Broadcasting Authority’s announcement that content found to be glorifying illegal activity would be banned from the nation’s airwaves.

The revelation made a few days ago has been highly criticized in some quarters. “We can’t stop the creatives (artists) from singing about what they see around them or grew around,” said artist Manager, Romeich, via an Instagram post. “Jamaica the only country that has children? Because the same children listen to these same songs elsewhere,” he pressed.

Jamaica’s broadcasting authority’s move covers both radio and television, listing specific topics that are strictly prohibited, such as drug abuse, scamming and the illegal use of firearms.

In a social media post, reggae artist, Queen Ifrica warned her fellow creatives that a similar ban had taken place some years prior to the incarceration of Vybz Kartel. She said the artistes need to come together now more than ever.


The agency’s decision comes amid high levels of violent crime in Jamaica. As a result, content that openly promotes illegal or criminal activity are prohibited, in an effort, the authority said, “to keep the airwaves clean.” The broadcast authority further explained that it feared that such offensive content could normalise criminality among young adults and “vulnerable and impressionable” youth.

In 2009, regulators banned music promoting sex, violence, murder or arson, when “daggering” – a type of sexually-suggestive dancing -gained in popularity in Jamaica.

The broadcasting commission’s statement said while there had to be regard for freedom of expression, content promoting criminality conflicted with the “tenets of responsible broadcasting”.

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