Last September, the Permanent Commission on Media of the Chamber of Deputies received part of the Board of Directors of the Dominican Academy of Arts and Entertainment Journalists (ADOPAE), to address the issue of the use of bad language and violent content in music and media.
The Commission, chaired by Deputy Elpidio Báez, listened to the Academy’s recommendations, considering that, as arts and entertainment journalists, its members can contribute ideas to help curb the negative impact of the degradation of musical content and inappropriate language in the media, a practice that affects society and culture in general.
Severo Rivera, president of ADOPAE, thanked for the invitation to this dialogue and exposed the reflections and recommendations that the Academy considered as the factors that influence and allowed the degradation of Dominican art and culture.
In addition, Rivera spoke about the deterioration of urban song lyrics and the use of inappropriate language in the media. He said that this is a matter of concern because it does not contribute to the education of young people and civic decency.
Advances in technology, monetisation of digital media, lack of regulation by competent authorities, lack of education and opportunities as well as low support for cultural programmes, were cited as some of the causes Rivera read out in a document provided by the Academy to the Media Commission of the Chamber of Deputies.
Similarly, Ynmaculada Cruz Hierro, a member of the Academy, explained that ADOPAE is not in favour of adopting measures that imply prior censorship and understands that all sectors of society must come together to seek alternatives so that, through cultural programmes, young people participate in arts and culture workshops.
She said that artists of the urban genre come from marginalized places and have had the same education opportunities. “The music is not the problem, it is the result”, Cruz Hierro added.
For his part, Alfonso Quiñones, also a member of ADOPAE, said that Dominican cultural identity is under attack, and the problem is multi-systemic. He recommended that schools should offer extracurricular classes that encourage an appreciation of arts : “We need to give resources to culture and take culture to the neighbourhoods”, he added.
Napoleón Beras Prats, former president of the National Commission of Public Entertainment and Radio (CNEPR), and member of the Advisory Council of ADOPAE, considered that this institution, which he previously chaired, should be provided with tools to monitor effectively and in a timely manner the type of content disseminated in the media.
For his part, MP Braulio Espinal, member of the Culture Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, considered that, while it is true that it is necessary to work on Dominican education, it is also necessary to increase the penalties for those who violated the laws and regulations which are an affront to morals and good customs.
The deputies Luis Sanchez, Betty Geronimo and Aida Lopez agreed that all sectors have their share of responsibility in the issue of the degradation of the lyrical content of music in the Dominican Republic. Families, school authorities, media entrepreneurs, legislators and the government must ensure that laws governing the sector are developed and those that already exist are strengthened.
Also present at the meeting were deputies Gustavo Rodríguez, Luis Vargas, Rafael Cuevas, Betty Gerónimo, Israel De la Cruz, María Suarez, Lily Florentino, Luis Enrique, Omar Rojas and Gerardo Casanova.