Media having negative impact on youths
November 19, 2004

Media having negative impact on youths

Crown Counselor in the Attorney General’s office, Candace Wyllie, is of the opinion that television and other forms of media are having a negative impact on our youths.

She made her sentiments felt last Saturday, while delivering the third annual Marlene Arthur Memorial Lecture at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown on the theme of crime and violence. {{more}}

Addressing over 70 people, including students, Wyllie said that it is still recognized that our young people have an important role to play in the social, economic and political development of our country.

“However,” she said, “it appears that our youth are being bombarded by negative influences like never before; the media, unemployment, breakdown of family relationships and lack of positive role models are a few examples of youth problems.”

Describing crime and violence as interconnected, Wyllie said that the strong influence of media also contributes to this dilemma.

“The American culture seems to have superseded our own,” Wyllie said. “In the majority of homes, there is access to cable television and scenes of violence can be witnessed throughout the entire programming.”

Wyllie added that from cartoons to movies, all of the characters seem to settle their disputes violently without fear of reproach or punishment.

“The Internet, video games and certain forms of music also contribute to the negative attitude of our youth,” stated Wyllie.

She charged that we are living in a time where censorship is considered to be undemocratic; therefore, our youths are faced with many of these negative influences and succumb to them.

Wyllie also expressed concern about the availability of firearms and noted that the statistics regarding crimes being committed with firearms has also increased.

“Furthermore, there appears to be several incidents of gang related offences. This ‘gang culture’ that has taken root in our society is as a direct result from the negative influences of the American media which portray it as being ‘hip’ or ‘cool’ to be a gang member,” observed the young lawyer.

She also expressed concern about the involvement of the youths in drug trafficking. She said that the Caribbean is a major transit area for illicit drugs and that drug trafficking has contributed to drug abuse and has increased crime and violence in our communities.

“Our youth see it as a means to acquire money easily without hard work and determination; moreover, there is always a don or a boss man in these types of offences who offers protection and security; the qualities missing from our youth’s family life.”

Crown Counsel Wyllie ended her presentation by telling the youths: “Remember that the future of our blessed nation rests in your hands, to be shaped and moulded by you; shape it well.”

The Marlene Arthur Memorial Lecture is held every year by the Soroptimist International of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Arthur is remembered for her contribution to education. In 2002, the lecture was delivered by author and consultant Karen Hinds, and in 2003, by Dr. Cecil Cyrus.