UNESCO’s IPDC Funds Training Workshop for Caribbean Journalists, 2011

July 2011: Twenty-one journalists from 10 Caribbean countries participated in the training workshop “Media and Democracy” which was held in Kingston, Jamaica. This workshop was organized by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) with funds provided by UNESCO’s International Programme for Development of Communication (IPDC), in collaboration with the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), Television Jamaica (TVJ), Creative Production Training Centre  (CPTC) and CVM TV in Jamaica.  According to Adam Weatherhead, Project Manager at the CBA, “the aim of the workshop was to increase understanding of the crucial role the media plays in Caribbean democracies”.

The two-day workshop was moderated by Ms. Sian Kevill, Former Director of BBC World News and Editor of BBC’s Newsnight programme, and Mr. Claude Robinson, lecturer, author and columnist who writes about Caribbean media.

The two-day workshop was divided into four sessions namely:

The role of the journalists – at its best
Meeting the Challenges
Media and Democracy in a dynamic environment
Covering Elections

The programme had three guest speakers: In the first session Ms. Jenni Campbell, President of the Press Association of Jamaica, made a presentation entitled “Why Democracy Matters”.

Ms. Wyvolyn Gager , Former Editor-in Chief of the Gleaner, was the presenter in session two, which was  entitled “Professionalism in the face of intimidation”, while former Minister of Information in Jamaica, the Honorable Daryl Vaz, spoke about Journalism and Politics: A Politician’s View. The key-note lecture was delivered by Professor  Trevor Munroe of the Department of Government, the University of the West Indies.

In addition to the workshop, a television programme was produced. The programme is called “New Media, Journalism and Democracy in the Caribbean. This programme was produced as part of the Live in Kingston workshop. It contains discussions on news media, the relevance of traditional media, journalism and democracy.  The panelists for this session were Mr. Mark Beckford, Online Coordinator, of the Jamaica Observer, Ms. Annie Paul, Publications Editor of The UWI Mona, Mr. Karyl Walker, Online News Editor of The Jamaica Observer and Attorney-at-law and Political Commentator, Mr. Paul Ashley.  Television stations throughout the Caribbean have agreed to air the programme in late 2011 and 2012 as a public service.

The 10 countries represented at the workshop were: Anguilla, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. (Source: UNESCO Caribbean)