Sunday 28 May, 2017

Broadcasting Commission distances itself from responsibility for Kartel music on airwaves

The declaration follows controversy that has emerged amid a backlash and threats being issued against the life of South East St Ann  Member of Parliament (MP) and former Youth Minister, Lisa Hanna, over a suggestion from her that consideration be given to banning Kartel's music from the airwaves. 

The commission stated in a release on Thursday, that in respect of the sentencing of the artiste on a murder charge, the court made no order in relation to him producing music in custody.

The commission said in the circumstances, it views the Department of Correctional Services as the appropriate authority to determine whether the artiste is allowed to produce music in custody.

“To be clear, as it concerns convicts, their privilege or ability to create music whilst incarcerated is governed by correctional rules,” the commission indicated.

The agency said in July 2016, it initiated a meeting with the Commissioner of Corrections and officials of the Ministry of National Security, to discuss its (the Broadcasting Commission's) concerns about anecdotal evidence that Kartel has been making music from prison.

“We were made to understand that the Correctional Services were investigating the allegations, and that no determination had been made on the matter,” the commission stated in its release, adding that the agency was told then, that the prison rules were under review to deal specifically with that issue.

The commission indicated that there is no provision in law barring the transmission of music, simply because it was created by a convicted person.

It said only if it is proven that the music was created in contravention of a law governing the correctional services, and a broadcaster knowingly facilitated that contravention, could there be a lawful determination that the broadcasting rules were breached.

The commission also noted the wider social media platform outside of radio and television, on which many people, particularly youth, receive, create and share content, including music.

The Broadcasting Commission said the agency does not take public concerns about broadcast content lightly, and is taking note of the range of views that are being expressed in the public domain.