President of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), Gary Allen has expressed the need for a sincere commitment to the preservation of indigenous broadcasters in recognition of the integral role they play in social and economic development.
Speaking at the just concluded 50th Annual General Assembly of the CBU in San Andres Island, Columbia, Allen, in his report, hailed the forerunners to the present leadership for their vision and hard work for the industry.
He also urged equitable business models to be approved for the change in media from analogue to digital broadcastings and called for the recognition of the value of the content produced by broadcasters and used on other platforms to generate listenership, viewership, likes and other forms of commercialized engagements.
The CBU President also cautioned regulators and policymakers against establishing new monopolies to serve broadcasters, but encouraged them to allow broadcasters to grow and expand their businesses to provide multiple services.
In their plenary session on Wednesday, members charted the way for a new strategic direction to improve the visibility, communication, membership and cooperation for its existing and future members. T
he membership also underscored the importance of monitoring media rights and freedoms, in safeguarding democracy.
During the assembly, UWI TV was inducted into membership of the Union as an Associate Member and Chief Executive Officer, Janet Caroo expressed her enthusiasm in making a broader contribution to the region.
Attendees also heard from Inter-American Press Association, IAPA Vice President, Christopher Barnes who urged delegates to be vigilant in the fight for media freedom and not to allow “minor” censorship infringements to grow into major media freedom rights issues for the region.
During delegates’ contribution it was highlighted that vigilance is required because during the 50-year life of the CBU, journalists have been imprisoned, faced the prospect of imprisonment and could barely keep newspapers open due to censorship threats in the Englishspeaking Caribbean.
Eutelsat, one of the world’s largest satellite companies presented options to assist with the process of digital switch over (DSO), improving data access and penetration across the region.
One of the outcomes of the assembly was a proposal from the Government of Colombia to provide training for regional media workers on the new Latin America and the Caribbean Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy framework that has recently been approved for Colombia.
The Union received messages of support and commendation at the 50 th Annual General Assembly from previous presidents Vic Fernandes, Stewart Krohn and Shida Bolai, the CARICOM Secretariat and the Public Media Alliance.
The CBU re-elected five new members of its Board for a full board compliment at the end of the meeting: Gary Allen on RJRGLEANER Communications Group (President), Amalia Mai of Great Belize Production, Channel Five (Vice President), and Directors: Anthony Shaw of Starcom Network/Nation Corporation, Kayleaser Deveaux-Isaacs of Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas, Sushilla Jadoonanan of DIRECTV Caribbean, Keith Campbell of the Public Corporation of Jamaica, Enrico Woolford of the National Communications Network in Guyana, Victor Torres of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television and Emiliana Bernard Stephenson of Teleislas in San Andres Island, Colombia as its new nine-member Board.