Plans are in the pipeline to establish a youth media watchdog group that could see young people lobbying to clean up the airways in Antigua & Barbuda.
Speaking at the Teen Forum held yesterday at the Multipurpose Centre, Director of Youth Affairs Cleon Athill said the country intends to partner with UNICEF on a project to have young people be producers of music as opposed to enthusiast to derogatory and degrading lyrics.
“The time has come where we have a youth media watch; a group of young people who are there to look at the media, lobby and agitate to clean up the media. That can happen because I have just spoken with UNICEF and they are interested in doing a Caribbean-wide programme for youth on media,” Athill said yesterday.
Representatives from Antigua State College, T N Kirnon, Seaview Academic Foundation, Villa Primary, St Mary’s Secondary, Pares Secondary, Christ the King High, All Saints Secondary, Antigua Grammar, Princess Margaret and Ottos Comprehensive schools turned out in their numbers to give their views on lyrics to popular music and the implications of listening to degrading and derogatory music.
Facilitator Asha Challenger said the sessions focused on the lyrical content of popular music of Jamaican singers Movado and Vybz Kartel. She charged the students to look “beyond the lyrics.”
“We had quite enthusiastic reaction from the young people, the crowd got energetic at times. They are very involved and influenced by the music. We were just trying to draw out of them some of what the songs mean to them and implications for their sexual practices, violence and how they see themselves growing older into productive citizens,” Challenger said.
At the conclusion of the forum, the young people were charged with the responsibility of returning to their schools and forming clubs where they could further the discussion.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)