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Our Children, Our Media: A Guide for Caribbean Practitioners

The media in the Caribbean region have been pivotal in breaking the silence around violence and abuse of children. Greater awareness of child rights deprivations and violations in this region is in part due to increased media focus on these issues. In 2016, I edited Our Children, Our Media: A Guide for Caribbean Practitioners - for the region's journalists and broadcasters on behalf of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers. It's intended to help build the capacity of the media executives and professionals in traditional and new media institutions to implement policies governing reporting on children’s issues. Also included is a model Caribbean children's broadcast code. This work followed from a workshop that brought together legal, child rights and communications specialists, editors, reporters and broadcasters from across the Eastern Caribbean and Suriname, held in Antigua in late 2015. It is the product of a collaboration involving the ACM, the Caribbean Broadcasti…
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Two Guides to Radio News - Writing and Production

Back to basics.

Below are two guides to writing and producing radio news, with an emphasis on newswriting, used in my training and journalism education work.

A Caribbean Guide to Radio Newsis part of the original text for my MA International Journalism thesis project, used subsequently to develop station style guides. It was also the main text that brought together the basics of writing, interviewing and presentation in the UWI Open Campus's course on broadcast journalism. Chapter 3 on page six covers writing.

The chapter, News Broadcasting, is from the Handbook for Caribbean Journalists, this classic, must-read text still used by veterans, though long out of print, sadly.

Yes, there is such a thing as Caribbean Standard English - not a dialect per se, but a variant of Internationally Accepted English in usage in the Anglophone Caribbean. Read more about this in the excellent Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage (Oxford University Press) by the renowned Caribbean linguist, the late P…

What Canadians think of their CBC says much about what we think of our own public broadcasters... the opposite

I shall return to the topic of the future of public broadcasting (now more often and perhaps more aptly referred to in the Caribbean as 'state-owned broadcasting'), particularly in the wake of the Allan Chastanet administration's decision to close Radio St Lucia after a near-half-century of service - based on specious but popular misconceptions about technological access and public broadcasting as inefficient peddler of government information. As I said, more on that later.

For now, the focus is on the public broadcaster in the land where the St Lucian PM studied as a young man - Canada. While the poll discussed focuses on what one political party's supporters think of the state-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), much is revealed of the extent of the Canadian public's support for their bona fide public broadcaster, considering not only expanded choice of commercial Canadian channels but also the all-consuming footprint of next-door neighbour, United St…

VIDEO: Andrew Millington, Filmmaker, Part Two of Two (UWItv)

Part two of my interview with Barbadian independent filmmaker, Andrew Millington, for the University of the West Indies television programme, Research Room.

This episode begins with a discussion of his recently re-released second feature film, "Zora's Dream",

He touches on themes of the spiritual realm, memory, and struggle, not the least of which is the struggles of independent movie-making in the Caribbean.


VIDEO: Andrew Millington, Filmmaker - Part One - From UWItv

First, full disclosure: Andrew Millington is an old friend from our days at Howard University. There he sat at the feet of the renowned Ethiopian director Haile Gerima, and alongside a fellow fine filmmaker in-the-making, Yao Ramesar of Trinidad and Tobago.

We explore those relationships, Andrew's journey in independent film ("Guttaperc"; "Zora's Dream") and his art that has a sharp political (small p; big ideas) edge in an edition of Research Room, from UWItv, the new television service of the University of the West Indies, which streams online and is transmitted on the Caribbean Media Corporation's international channel, CaribVision.


VIDEO: Some Thoughts on Investigative Journalism and Broadcast Media in the Caribbean

A video version of a presentation delivered in March 2017 at a workshop on investigative reporting and financial journalism organised by Jamaica's transparency organisation National Integrity Action (NIA) in partnership with the Caribbean Media Institute and the Association of Caribbean Media Workers.

The presentation gives some of my thoughts on the state of play in accountability journalism in the English-speaking region, as it plays on television screens. (37 minutes)



WATCH HERE: Investigative Journalism and Broadcast Media in the Caribbean

The Documentary 'Script': Sheila Curran Bernard on Creative Licence vs. Creative Arrangement

By Sheila Curran Bernard·Sheila Curran Bernard is an award-winning filmmaker and consultant and the author of Documentary Storytelling: Creative Non-Fiction on Screen, now in its third edition.
A teacher of screenwriting emailed me recently because he'd been asked to write a documentary. He didn't know where to start, and was trying to locate some completed scripts to study. While these might prove useful, I knew they wouldn't adequately convey the work ahead, or reveal important differences in the scripting process. How does one write a documentary?

To explain: Fiction screenwriters have long borrowed documentary techniques, and documentary filmmakers rely heavily on the tools of dramatic storytelling. As I wrote in an earlier article, Documentary Storytelling: The Drama of Real Life, both groups need to worry about protagonists and antagonists, rising stakes, and viewer investment in the outcome of a story. They both serve audiences that don't want to be preached at or…

FLASHBACK: 2010 CARIFTA LIVE, Truman Bodden Sports Complex, George Town, Grand Cayman.

​ In 2010, the Caribbean Media Corporation pioneered live coverage of the 39th CARIFTA Games to television stations across the region and via the World Wide Web on Easter weekend from the Cayman Islands.
The CMC, which has produced ground-breaking television coverage of the Olympic Games and key IAAF world events, collaborated with the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) with the sponsorship of the telecommunications company, LIME, to bring all three days of coverage from the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
The three days of live coverage included commentary from broadcast journalists Jason Harper and Hubert Lawrence with analysis by Kareem Streete-Thompson, the Cayman Olympian who now coaches in Florida. Sports journalist Terry Finisterre, who is now a LIME corporate communications official, covered the previous edition of the games in his native St Lucia, and he proved no less instrumental in providing track-side interviews.
In the run-up to the…

Camillo Gonsalves Hits a Six...

It is not every day you find a Caribbean philosopher-politician (not every day you find one of those creatures either, I hear you say) who hits the mark - or rather hits it out of the park - on a subject close to six million hearts, West Indies Cricket.

But Camillo Gonsalves, who just happens to be the foreign minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, delivers an incisive commentary of the abundance of racism in cricket commentary and writing, cloaked as it often is in the stereotypes of the tourism: sun, sand, skin.

The victory of the West Indies over the rest of the world in T20 Cricket at the teenage, women's and senior men's levels continues to reverberate through the region. Sadly, though, the road to victory has been strewn with the worst of our cricket critics abroad.

Here, Gonsalves dissects with the precision I'm sure he expects from a good Cabinet Paper, the hearts and masks of racial and ethnic prejudice that have toiled to set expectations of under-achievement…