September 2010

Marcia Forbes PhD

Using the internet changes how people relate to each other and with the wider world. It also changes how people use the media, all media, including radio, TV, newspapers and cell phones. Media houses in Jamaica have wised up to this and so for the first time the MRSL Media Survey (2009) included data pertaining to internet use.

Marcia Forbes PhD

At the beginning of my research on the possible influence of television on the sexual culture of Jamaican adolescents, I told myself that I had absolutely no intention of getting embroiled in any controversy surrounding Reggae versus Dancehall. There are numerous experts in that area and I had no interest in joining them.

Marcia Forbes PhD

After a few false starts I finally arrived in Cairo, Egypt. As one photo exhibition pronounced, “Yes, Egypt is an African country”. It’s situated right up there to the north of the huge continent. Cairo is one of the largest cities in Egypt and boasts anywhere from 15 to 18 million people, depending on who you believe.

Marcia Forbes PhD

I distrust hearsay and second hand reports, preferring to see and hear for myself, especially when politics is involved. So I dropped everything to sit in front of the TV for the Parliamentary debate on terms and conditions of the IMF Deal. Additionally, a media house had billed it as offering “fireworks” and I love a good display. One Minister rushing to Parliament said, “there may be fireworks, but hopefully no fire.” Well what I caught was good. Dr.

Marcia Forbes PhD

Policy formulation takes time. It also takes focussed determination and a driver to stay with the process and follow it through to completion. My less than one year as Permanent Secretary in the service of the Government of Jamaica has allowed me the opportunity to actively participate in working toward the completion of four policies—the Draft Comprehensive National Minerals Policy, the Draft ICT Policy (formerly the Telecoms Policy), the Draft National Energy Policy 2009 -- 2030 (formerly the Energy Green Paper 2006) and the Draft Carbon Emissions Trading Policy.

Marcia Forbes PhD
Marcia Forbes PhD

The first part of the title of this article was the topic of a presentation I watched on-line by a young, female Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Adichie. It fired my imagination to apply the essence of her thoughts to Jamaica and our present conditions. She made the point that by showing a people as one thing over and over again, that is what they become. Many of us in Jamaica can easily relate to this as we consume the all too frequent images of our country as a ‘murder capital’, rife with dons, drugs and dancehall.

Marcia Forbes PhD

I told him I had to ride a camel. I didn’t bargain for a horse as well—and for one full hour in the sands of the Sahara! An Egyptian man is hard pressed to take ‘No’ for an answer.

Marcia Forbes PhD

The recent launch of the timely and important book Media & Violence in Jamaica edited by Marjan de Bruin and Claude Robinson, not surprisingly, saw discussions regarding the influence of media on audiences. In the panel presentation I spoke to research findings pertaining to the subject and through this medium want to widen the dialogue.

Marcia Forbes PhD

‘Twits’ may be a better name for ‘Twitter’. It more aptly describes some of the ppl (internet language for people) and the things they do and say via the brave new virtual frontier of Twitter-sphere. Having been tweeting regularly for about three months, I confess that the point of it all continues to largely evade me. I keep at it though, since tweeting is now an integral aspect of social networking, a subject which is of great interest to me. Everyday I try for about eight tweets and for all that work I am blessed with the grand number of about 60 followers.

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