Perhaps, it’s fitting, at the end of Press Association of Jamaica’s National Journalism Week, that what the media do struck me between the eyes. Yesterday, the Jamaica Observer posted pictures, in its ‘Street scenes’ column/page, of two men allegedly fighting. It captioned them with the headline ‘Fight!’, and the comment ‘What was clear…was that onlookers seemed unwilling to separate the men’.
The caption both annoyed and puzzled me. I wondered if the photographer was including himself amongst those who did not act. Or, was the implication that, after snapping the pictures, he then leapt in to separate the two men. I looked in the rest of the paper to see if there was a story about ‘Brave pressman breaks up street brawl’; I found none. In that case, I assumed the message was to point a finger at Jamaican society’s indifference, as well as towards Jamaican people’s taste for violent problem-solving.
A month ago, to the day, the Observer ran an editorial about how we need to care about each other: ‘As the situation now stands, it’s not that Jamaicans who are better off don’t recognise the pitiable plight of so many around them. The trouble is that most would rather not have to bother about it.‘ Well said! I wondered if the photographer had read the piece and had a copy in his wallet.
As many say, quoting Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. I hope my point is clear.