Jamaica Gleaner / THE EDITOR, Sir:
I found myself doing something I would normally never do: listening to the radio. I was tuned into Hitz 92 FM listening to Jenny Jenny’s daily radio show.
As is the nature of all radio talk shows, they tend to focus on the most popular topics and the most current of events. This week’s, as we all know, is about the mother who disciplined her daughter with a cutlass in Bath, St Thomas.
Let me be clear: I am not about to debate whether the beating was justified or not; that is for another time. I’m concerned about the thoroughly shameful performance by the radio host. In my opinion, no one was made any better by having listened to it.
This was a clear case of pure opportunism mass media at its worst. There are so many things about the interview that bothered me. Let us examine the main ones individually:
1. Who gave you permission to publicly interview a minor? At the time of the incident with the mother, the girl was 12 years old. She’s now 13, which makes her still a minor.
2. So many of the questions that Jenny Jenny asked the girl were extremely leading. Meaning the radio host was asking questions that made the child answer the question how Jenny wanted her to answer.
3. The radio host seemed to have gone into this interview with the child with all her preconceived notions of how the interview should go. This made it difficult for anything the child wanted to say that contradicted Jenny Jenny’s opinion to not be heard or understood.
4. Many questions that the radio host asked the minor were egregiously inappropriate. One such question was: “Does you mother always walk around naked?” When Jenny Jenny asked this question, I was so annoyed. It makes absolutely no sense.
5. It is also highly inappropriate to interview a minor on a national programme given that there is an active police investigation taking place. From this, the police could have an issue with this interview because of details on the investigation being put in the public domain.
The one positive thing that I can pull from this interview is the ending, where Jenny Jenny promises to help with the child’s schooling, which, I believe, is a great gesture.
Student, UTech, Jamaica