KINGSTON, Jamaica — Government back-bencher Jolyan Silvera (Western St Mary) on Wednesday criticised the media over its treatment of the Vybz Kartel case judgment.
Silvera claimed that the media’s broadcast of the Governor General’s Throne Speech in April, was mishandled by the interjection of coverage of the sentencing of Kartel and his companions on a murder charge.
“Perhaps the media’s handling of the broadcasting of the Throne Speech this year at the opening of the Houses of Parliament can be used to personify what I mean about maintaining relevance to the populace of Jamaica,” Silvera said.
“The media, in their wisdom, determined that the sentencing of popular music artiste Vybz Kartel was more newsworthy than the Governor-General, who represents the Queen, our Head of State. The airing of the Throne Speech was interrupted to celebrate the life of a man convicted of murder, who is loved and identified by the population of Jamaica as ‘world boss’,” he argued.
“If we, as those elected by the people, do not set a foundation for our people’s self definition and constitutional identity, then they will follow any cultural icon who emerges with the resolve to lead them; (and) who provides them a type of cultural definition of who they are, as a people, causing the evolution of what is known as Jamaica’s sub-culture into a redefined culture,” he added.
Vybz Kartel was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday (April 3) in Jamaica’s Supreme Court for the murder of a former associate. Kartel (Adidja Palmer) must serve a minimum of 35 years behind bars before he will be eligible for parole.