BBC cuts Caribbean Service; region’s journalists call for a homegrown replacement

  • By Guest
  • January 27, 2011

By Dean Graber

News this week of major cutbacks to BBC World Service, including the end of BBC’s Caribbean service on March 31, has raised concerns over the loss of news for audiences in more than two dozen nations. At the same time, some journalists are pushing for the immediate creation of a Caribbean-based alternative.

BBC’s Caribbean Service, rooted in the region since 1939, is produced by five London-based Caribbean journalists and supplemented by stringers throughout the region. The team produces a morning and evening Caribbean Report and the Sports Caribbean program (Mon–Fri.), and a weekly Caribbean Magazine of cultural stories. The radio broadcasts are heard on stations throughout the region, and online.

The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) issued this statement commending the personnel and work of BBC’s Caribbean Service. It also called on the Caribbean Media Corp. and the Caribbean Broadcasting Union—whose mandates are similar to BBC Caribbean—to act immediately to create a new alternative.

“The Caribbean needs a distinctive service of high quality news and information that is collected, distilled and explained by some of its veteran journalists, not a hodge-podge of duplicated copy from national media houses,” ACM says. "Let it not be said that in a moment of adversity, the Caribbean media failed to shed considerations of parochialism and profit to create a trustworthy source of Caribbean news and information."

Other Related Headlines:
» BBC cutting 650 jobs, could lose 30m listeners (The Guardian)
» BBC to reduce radio broadcasts to Cuba (The Associated Press—Spanish)

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.

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