What the people say about…Television

Interviews by Femi Harris
and photos by Jules Gibson

This week we asked the man/woman in the street their views about television programmes and if they thought that there are adequate educational programmes.

20090907seanSean Abel, private sector employee: ‘I really don’t think that some of the programmes shown on TV are healthy for young people’s viewing and at times for anybody’s viewing at all. However, I am not sure that anything can even be done to curb the situation since it seems as if it’s one big competition in the TV industry. I do agree though that there needs to be more educationally stimulating programmes. People must be able to turn on their television sets and view something uplifting, not garbage. We must also remember that the TV is a big influence on young people and a medium through which we can effectively reach out to them; as a result, we need to ensure that we uplift them through what they see and hear on TV. More national geographic, spelling Bs, History programmes and such like should be shown; things that will positively impact their lives and serve as a meaningful supplement to what ever they would have been thought in school. By taking such measures, we will also be protecting both the moral and social fabric of society.’

20090907ocieOcie Gilbert, private sector employee: ‘Yes, much is to be desired by the owners of some of the television stations as it relates to some of the programmes they show. At times it seems as if they have no discretion and consideration for young people and children. I know of times when they show certain programmes that children ought not to see even during the day. The least they can do is reserve adult material for the late hours of the night when children would have already retired to bed. I have a little daughter and the programmes are at times so disgusting that I had to resort to purchasing DVDs with material appropriate for her to watch, because I don’t want the TV to influence her negatively. I know I have a duty as a parent to bring her up in a certain way, but when she goes out there what will happen? The TV stations can really play a part in bringing up the society’s children by carefully selecting and screening programmes before they are aired; especially since the said TV is a major influence on young people. There is really a need for more educational and proper programmes.’

20090907hermanHerman Jones, private sector employee: ‘I really think that lots of the TV programmes are not worth viewing for young people and children and at times even adults. The message sometimes is so full of hatred, separation and violence that it is sad. There are these shows like Jerry Springer and Maury that are filled with so much garbage; children and women in particular should have no business viewing them. These programmes cause our young people to lose a proper sense of decency. I am of the opinion that more educational programmes should be shown that will benefit not only the children and young people, but all of us. National Geographic Explorer, school programmes, the history channel and even sports would be really healthy for our viewing, both young and old.’

20090907vinodVinod Shivnaryan Samaroo, private sector employee:
‘Today we really have a lot of garbage on our television that will do no one any good. Not all the TV stations are bad in the things they show, but then we need to know where to draw the line and strike a balance. We need to remember that children and young people are looking and the TV really impact them, therefore since we know that they are big fans of the TV, we need to ensure that what they watch and hear is clean. They need to have things like school programmes that the Government and Ministry of Education should ensure be shown during the day and then adults can stay up late at nights to watch whatever they want to. Even movies with too much fiction I see as being total junk and garbage. People should look at comedy it helps to take away some of the stresses of life. Example, Everybody Loves Raymond, Three’s Company and so on.’

20090907onielOniel Berkely, public sector employee: ‘We need to realise that the TV influences young people a great deal and as such, clean things should be shown for them to watch. Some of the movies and music videos that are shown can be a real eyesore at times. What is even more disturbing is that some of these programmes pop up on the television screen in the middle of the day when some children are home. Even though some amount of relaxation comes from the TV, we should all be able to learn a lot from it as well.’

Rohini Latchman, private sector employee: ‘I can’t say 20090907rohinithat all of the TV stations are to be blamed for the material they air, what I do believe however, is that a balance needs to be struck. I know for a fact that there are some channels that show adult films in the middle of the day, what I would like to suggest is that such material be kept for late-night viewing when children are already in bed or should have been in bed. We know that children are influenced through so many other mediums and not only the TV, the TV is still however a major player in the game and as such its programmes should be modified, carefully monitored and selected; a step the Government should be involved in.’

Alvin Barclay, private sector employee: ‘Way too much nonsense is shown on TV20090907alvin these days, and I really think that it is about time that the Government or someone in authority take some action. In the middle of the day or early in the nights these television stations show some things that children should really not be watching. Come on, we all have a responsibility to speak out against such issues and make a difference in our society for our young people’s sake. I think that the Ministry of Education should have school programmes run on TV all day every day; we will all be surprised at the level of things that children, especially the small ones would remember and not even realise it, pretty much just the way they remember all the filthy things that are shown on TV.’

Suzanne Sunich, public sector employee: ‘Channel 72 in particular is chief for 20090907suzanneshowing garbage on the television. Sometimes you are looking at some nice gospel programme or something and then out of the blues they would just spontaneously come with something immoral. This should not be. These TV station proprietors really need to do better. Since we all know that irrespective of what children are taught at home they are all so influenced by the TV, an effort should be made to keep the programmes clean. Sometimes we blame so many things for the breakdown of decency and morals in society but fail to realise that something as simple as the TV that can be controlled so easily is adding to so many social ills. There is an urgent need for more educationally stimulating programmes.’

Desiree McClure, public sector employee: ‘As a parent I feel really sad at times with 20090907desireethe amount of garbage that is being shown on TV. Channel 72 in particular takes it over the boundary. Children should be able to use the television as a means of supplementing whatever they would have learnt at school. Nothing is wrong with them watching relaxing programmes, but it should be kept clean. I think also that the Government should intervene in such a matter and some of the senseless music videos that are sometimes shown should be banned. It makes no sense in banning Mavado if dirty lyrics can still find its way on the airwaves.’

Roxanne Hazel: ‘It’s a fact that some of the TV programmes show utter nonsense at 20090907roxannetimes, but as parents, and responsible adults we need as far as possible to do our part and ensure that we select programmes for our children to watch. The TV stations are not going to do it for us because they seem to be in a competition and we can’t take it for granted that they are going to remember our children when they are selecting their programmes. In addition we need to let our children know what we expect of them and be there to provide that undivided guidance and attention for them. The influence that the TV provides to our children is so overwhelming that it can erase what we teach them at times. The TV stations can however think about having more educationally stimulating programmes, this would be something good for us all.’

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