Local Journalist calls for regional media outlet
By Devina Samaroo
Guyanese journalist Denis Chabrol has issued a call for the establishment of a sustainable regional media house that can provide extensive and in-depth coverage on issues affecting the wider Caribbean, such as the recent disasters which struck over the last two months.
Chabrol, who is also the second Vice President of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers and an Executive Member of the Guyana Press Association, debunked the perception that the media chases only sound bites and sensational headlines.
During a panel discussion at the ongoing Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association Conference, he highlighted some of the real challenges media outfits face in covering issues such as the recent disaster.
“Much of the information that is required is public service information that does not find its way into the newscast. What they ought to find themselves in is the public service programmes whether it be features or public service announcements or documentaries. While we may view news as being partly sensationally driven, the kind of content that is required by the public really should come through these other types of content,” he explained.
He noted however that these production pieces are expensive and unless it is profitable, private news entities will not invest in producing them.
Chabrol also lamented that media entities have to turn to international media for reports of issues happening regionally.
“There is no real established regional media house anymore that can respond in a timely manner to situations like these … this is required, this is a situation where we’ve seen, no one was in place in Dominica to provide us with the first few hours of coverage. We had to rely on (other) sources of information coming out of Guadeloupe, the UK about what is happening in our own Caribbean. This is intolerable, this is something that the region needs to fix urgently,” he stated.
Chabrol recommended that the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) consider the establishment of a trust fund responsible for the management of a sustainable regional media house.