Media Charged to Inspire Social Change

Photo: Mark Bell Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (third left), shares with Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) award recipients (from left) General Manager, Television Services, RJRGleaner Communications Group, Claire Grant; representative of the Caribbean Communication Network, Odette Campbell; General Manager of the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas, Kayleaser Deveaux-Isaacs; Vice President of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), Amalia Mai; and Creative Director with Cuba’s Instituto Cubano de Radio y Televisión (ICRT), Victor Torres Crespo. Occasion as the CBU’s Caribbean Broadcasting Awards (CBA) held on August 14 at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has charged media organisations to use their platform to teach, influence, sensitise and mobilise people to build a climate of change in their societies.
  • He urged greater emphasis on highlighting social issues such as good governance, poverty reduction, environmental protection and community development.
  • “You, the media, have immense influence on society and have the capability to change the mindset of our nations’ citizens. Now, more than ever, the Caribbean needs media professionals, who use this power for national good,” he said.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has charged media organisations to use their platform to teach, influence, sensitise and mobilise people to build a climate of change in their societies.

He urged greater emphasis on highlighting social issues such as good governance, poverty reduction, environmental protection and community development.

“You, the media, have immense influence on society and have the capability to change the mindset of our nations’ citizens. Now, more than ever, the Caribbean needs media professionals, who use this power for national good,” he said.

Minister Bartlett was delivering the main address at the Caribbean Broadcasting Union’s (CBU) Caribbean Broadcasting Awards held on August 14 at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.

The awards programme, which is in its 24th year, recognises excellence in Caribbean media.

Minister Bartlett commended the CBU for its work to prioritise regionalism through information dissemination, while promoting journalism excellence.

“We need, in fact, more media bodies like CBU that facilitate discussion and analyses of development issues affecting the region and its people,” Minister Bartlett noted.

He also hailed the news agencies and journalists recognised. “It brings me great pleasure to celebrate the very best in Caribbean media and pay homage to those individuals and organisations whose exceptional work help to inform, educate, entertain and tell the region’s stories,” he said.

President of the CBU, Gary Allen, saluted the entrants for promoting the best of the profession.

“In our industry, if you are committed to ensuring that our democracies remain strong in the work that you do, you know that you are all winners,” he said.

The award ceremony, under the theme: ‘Building Resilience to Climate Change: Business, Content and Technology Options for Caribbean Media,’ recognised broadcast material from 2017.

There were more than 180 submissions from over 12 countries in the English, Dutch, French and Spanish-speaking Caribbean, including entries selected by the public through online voting for the People’s Choice Award.

Great Belize Productions Limited and the RJRGleaner Communications Group were the big winners, each copping awards in categories including best in: climate change; coverage of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support; documentary; magazine; news item; investigative report and disaster resilience.

Both media entities also won the inaugural Golden Conch Shell Award. Entrants for this category submitted a portfolio of at least four publications (television, radio, print or digital) exhibiting outstanding coverage of events or issues that had regional impact or significance.

Winners received trophies and cash prizes of US$500 each.

Attendees included Vice President of the CBU, Amalia Mai; Chief Executive officer of Public Media Alliance (PMA), Dr. Sally- Ann Wilson; Chairman of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica, Professor Anthony Clayton; Executive Director of the Commission, Cordel Green; among others.

JIS Social