Days after the throat of a five-year-old boy was slashed in Clarendon, Professor Barry Chevannes has said the country’s crime problem is at a point where Jamaicans have become numbed.
“It’s difficult to compare heartless acts, but the slashing of the throat of a five-year-old, what is that?” he questioned.
“The extraordinary has become the ordinary and we have become numb to it.”
Speaking at a forum titled ‘Portrayal of Crime in Media in Jamaica’, Chevannes said murders are now “glamourised” in Jamaica.
He said it would be disingenuous to deny that the media contributed to this, arguing that “people are emboldened when they see the mayhem that is represented as what they did”.
Chevannes said he has heard reports of gunmen gathering before the television to watch news reports of a murder they committed the day before.
“I can’t confirm this, but I would not be surprised if that was in fact confirmed,” he said.
However, he made it clear that this is a problem of the society and not the media.
“Journalists are human beings in a society where lives are being snuffed out in the most horrendous ways,” he lamented.
He also expressed agreement with The Gleaner‘s move to carry the most recent murder statistics on the front page.
“What The Gleaner is doing in keeping that clock ticking on the front page is more helpful than not,” he said, noting that every murder is the loss of a human life worthy of attention.