Find Media and Broadcasting expertise in Jamaica
- Print media
- Broadcast media
Jamaica enjoys total freedom of the press compared with 39% press freedom in the Americas overall (Freedom House 2012). The Jamaica Observer, the Jamaica Gleaner and the Jamaica Star are the leading dailies in the country, while the Sunday Herald is also a widely circulated weekly. All these publications are privately owned. Jampress is the government-run press agency.
Media is relatively developed with the main newspapers and broadcast media bodies having their own internet sites. There are six national and more than ten international internet news media sites concerning Jamaican affairs; international sites include Jamaica Sport and Jamaica Times.
Whilst the majority of print press and broadcast media is in English, the increased popularity of Patois, the Jamaican Creole language, has had an influence on media as a whole. It is now commonplace to encounter Patois in advertising and in broadcast media, though the principal newspapers remain in English. Since the publication of the first bible in Patois in 2011, however, the mainstreaming of Patois may mean that printed press becomes more open to publishing in other languages. Concerns have also been raised by some that a move to Patois in the media and press would lower literacy rates amongst school children.
Broadcast media, for the most part, is of a commercial nature. There are three terrestrial TV broadcasters and a few local cable channels. The primary television stations include Television Jamaica Limited (TVJ), CVM Television and Love TV, while the key radio stations include Radio Jamaica Ltd (RJR), Love FM, Kool 97, Hot 102, Klas FM and Power 106. Access to television media is good, approximately 88% of households have TV sets.
The Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica is a statutory body established by the Broadcasting and Radio Re-Diffusion Amendment Act of 1986, and functions as the primary regulator in the media and broadcasting sector. The commission strives to assist with the development of a vibrant electronic communications sector that directly benefits Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean Community. It does not regulate the internet and states that the internet is not currently regulated by any kind of body in Jamaica.