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CMC lauds commitment of former chairman to regional media development

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Barbados-based Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) has lauded the “commitment, contribution and diligent work” of its former chairman, J Lester Spaulding, who died at a hospital in Jamaica last weekend.

“Lester Spaulding was a class act, a visionary media stalwart who in many respects was ahead of his time,” said the CMC chairman, Ella Hoyos, noting that Spaulding had also contributed to the development of the Caribbean News Agency (CANA) as a director until 2011.

“He believed in and sought to establish and lead local and regional media houses of record like the CMC, which were independent, credible, balanced and reliable.”

Spaulding, 76, died last Friday, following a brief illness and Hoyos in her tribute said “his fearless, professional, non-partisan approach earned him the respect, admiration and regard of his peers, his boards, his advertisers, business people, politicians, leaders of civil society and persons at all levels, both in Jamaica and across the wider Caribbean”.

Hoyos noted that Spaulding's leadership of the Barbados-based news agency came at a time when the regional political climate was less than serene and freedom of the press could not be taken for granted.

She said a group of Caribbean media leaders, many of them at the helm of fledgling media houses had to stand at the vanguard to promote and protect press freedom.

“Across the Caribbean, newly independent states were witnessing the rise of the black power movement in Jamaica and Trinidad, the blossoming of democratic socialism in Jamaica and Guyana, a revolution and an invasion in Grenada and a later coup in Trinidad. Media colleagues in some territories like Guyana and Grenada were in a fragile state with threats to liberty.

“Lester Spaulding along with other media heads like the late Hector Wynter, Gary Duesberry, Neville Grosvener, David DeCaires, Leslie Pierre along with Mark Conyers, Owen Baptiste, Ken Gordon, Oliver Clarke and Sir Fred Gollop sought to successfully forge a new media order for the Caribbean. Out of this movement the CBU, CMC, CANA and the now defunct CPBA were forged,” she added.

Spaulding spent his entire career in broadcasting was associated with the Jamaica Broadcasting Company, then renamed Radio Jamaica and Rediffusion Limited and subsequently Radio Jamaica Limited which eventually became the parent company of the RJRGLEANER Communication Group.

“The Caribbean Media Corporation wishes to extend condolences to the family of our former chairman and director, Mr J A Lester Spaulding.”

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