Bahamas PM urges Caribbean broadcasters to maintain high standards of ethics

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) – Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert A Minnis has called on Caribbean broadcasters to maintain the highest standards of ethics and security in a changing environment that's characterised by various initiatives utilising the social media platform.

Addressing the opening of the 48th annual general assembly of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) on Monday night, Minnis said that the Barbados-based organisation has the responsibility to ensure that the highest standards of ethics and security are maintained in the Caribbean broadcast industry, as it expands beyond the 4.8 million people it reaches in the region.

“Helping its members to understand the new and emerging protocols and dangers of the world of the internet, is one of the major tasks of the CBU.

“We live in a period when career broadcasters are subject to much scrutiny, and, also, a lot of amateur competition from everyone who has a phone. It is of paramount importance to ensure that the broadcasting industry is not undermined by those who call themselves journalists, but who produce fiction and call it news,” he said.

Minnis said that communication is a reciprocal process of reaching a mutual understanding, of exchanging information, news, ideas, and shared meanings and goals.

“Communication, the heart and soul of broadcasting, is one of the keystones of keeping our region vibrant and vital in the global arena. CBU is central to maintaining the high quality of broadcasting that the 21st century demands.”

Minnis said the best use of broadcast and communication technology must be driven by values and principles that will guide policies and programmes, adding that 'these values must include a commitment to social equity, and the advancement of the poor and less fortunate in all of our countries”.

Minnis told the broadcasters from the English, Dutch, Spanish and French countries that the Caribbean is an incredible archipelago, where young people and the not so young, should venture around, explore and get to enjoy the region and its rich history, echoing with the rhythms of calypso, reggae, soca, Junkanoo, punta rock and other genres.

“We should revel in and celebrate our Caribbean imagination, which has created out of many cultures and histories, the brilliance and ingenuity of a new civilization called the Caribbean. In academics, athletics and the arts, we have punched way above our weight and have offered the global commons the richness of the Caribbean tapestry, with its many threads.”

He said the region has tremendous potential when “we combine our talents and aspirations, as you did in 1970” to form the CBU that tapped into the vivid, creative and collective Caribbean imagination and created unique Caribbean programming spotlighting our rich cultures and history.

“The broadcast media plays an essential role in connecting our far-flung Caribbean archipelago. From news to entertainment to sports to hurricane preparedness – broadcasters are vital as a communications and information network,” he said.

In his address, Minnis said he was pleased that the three-day conference would address issues such as social media guidelines and cyber security for journalists.

“Helping its members to understand the new and emerging protocols and dangers of the world of the internet, is one of the major tasks of the CBU.

“We live in a period when career broadcasters are subject to much scrutiny, and, also, a lot of amateur competition from everyone who has a phone. It is of paramount importance to ensure that the broadcasting industry is not undermined by those who call themselves journalists, but who produce fiction and call it news,” he said.

A highlight of the opening ceremony was the induction of Victor Torres Crespo, the Creative Director with Cuba's national broadcaster, the Instituto Cubano de Radio y Televisión (ICRT).

CBU President Gary Allen in welcoming the 16th inductee into the CBU's Hall of Fame, said Crespo, a graduate of the State Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography in St Petersburg, Russia has served Cuba and the region for more than three decades through television direction, training and production.

“He has previously been recognised in his homeland with the “ICRT Artist of Merit” and the José Martí Distinction for National Cultural Service. Among his regional achievements is leading the production of CBU coverage of the Summer Olympics,” Allen added.

 

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