Jamaica celebrates World Television Day

Today marks the annual celebration of the United Nations’ World Television Day and for the first time, Jamaica will join in on the global festivities in recognition of the immense influence of television in shaping the Jamaican society.

Final-year students of the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) and the Jamaica Film and Television Association will commence the celebration on a national scale by hosting a public forum to be held at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, this evening. The observance can be considered long overdue as the development of local television, as well as the presence of long-running programmes that have kept the public’s attention over the years, are definitely worthy of recognition. Programmes such as Schools’ Challenge Quiz, ‘Profile’, ‘Hill an’ Gully Ride’ and ‘Entertainment Report’ have been, and continue to be, pillars of Jamaican television. The evolution of Jamaican programming is indeed one to commend as just over 20 years ago, there existed only one local channel. However, today viewers not only have access to a variety of content from multiple local channels but can engage in television viewing around the clock.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed November 21 as World Television Day in 1996 in recognition of the increasing impact television had on decision-making and its potential in bringing focus to other major issues within society. The first World Television Forum was held on November 21 and 22 of that year. Local celebrations will present a similar forum in the form of a panel discussion that will give insight into the landscape of television under the theme ‘Creating Relevant Genres for Jamaican Television: Examining Conditions and Incentives to Support Local Producers.’

The panellists include 18 Degrees North’s Zahra Burton; media practitioner and lawyer Michael Gonzales; and entertainment journalist and media marketing expert Winford Williams. The event will be held the CARIMAC Annex 2 Building, Mona, starting at 6 p.m.


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