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Radio stations are helping to destroy the Barbadian society, charged social activist and attorney-at-law, David Comissiong today.

He made the charge this morning while speaking at the launch of veteran entertainer Richard Dick Stoute’s new album, Dedication to Women, at the Clement Payne Centre in Crumpton Street, and urged the radio stations to play a greater part in the fight against violence against women.

Comissiong, who was also a founding member of The September 3 Foundation, described Stoute’s new music, Stop The Abuse and Wake Up Everybody, as two powerful songs. These messages were even more powerful, he added, because the content in them was meant to place focus on “institutionalised violence”.

He said that just as Stoute had done his part by writing and producing them, now was that the time for radio stations and programmers to follow suit by ensuring that the message is broadcast via the airwaves.

“Radio programmers have now got to do their part because we have artistes who produce brilliant works of art but they are not given the airplay that they deserve. Instead, compositions that really do a disservice to the community are highlighted and played again and again,” he said.

“When you play a song, it seeps into the consciousness of people. In fact, that is the hallmark of musical compositions — a musical composition is designed to seep into the consciousness of the listener, even if the listener is not aware that is happening.

“When the radio programmers refuse to play the truly positive and uplifting and meaningful songs and instead give priority to songs that are really pushing negative messages they are helping to destroy the society.

“So there can be no excuse now. Richard Stoute has done his part, he has produced these beautiful songs lifting up our Barbadian women and I now challenge all the radio programmers … to let us hear these songs being played over and over on our airwaves.”

Celebrated entertainer, Anthony Gabby Carter, also supported Comissiong’s challenge to radio station managers, stating that what was currently being played on radio stations for children to hear and emulate was “trash”.

“I say they are playing trash on the people’s radios,” the entertainment veteran said. “Not on one radio station but on all stations… they are playing trash and they are not bringing the songs that are uplifting. Whether they are sensitising our nation [or] our Caribbean to the abuse of women, the abuse of children, the abuse of drugs; they are playing the wrong music and making it big and saying it is good for Crop-Over or hard for Crop-Over parties.”

Stoute, however, recommended a solution to the non-playing of uplifting Barbadian music on radio stations. He advised that if artistes really wanted to ensure that their music was played they should pay the stations to do so. By paying for a segment of airtime, he added, this ensured not only that their work would be heard but that revenue earned from the broadcast stayed within the country. (KC)

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