Sunday, March 27, 2011

March 29th 2011, BBC Caribbean Shuts Down

A few weeks ago people in the Caribbean were told that the BBC was closing it offices in a number of countries; including the Caribbean.  
D Day is finally here, the station is actually shutting down its  Caribbean Services within hours. 
There are literally thousands of people in the Caribbean who will miss this station.  It's the only radio station in the western hemisphere that provided news from a global perspective.  A yesteryear CNN.

If you ever needed to keep abreast of what's happening in any part of the world, the BBC had a correspondent there or would get one in as soon as humanly possible. The Briish lost there influence on many parts of the world in the last fifty years but the BBCs became a staple for people of many countries.

Human interests and breaking news from the Caribbean, Korea, Africa, the Middle East, Libya, or Afghanistan, they are have covered stories in countries whose names I cannot pronounce, . 

They provided almost instant news of people, events, catastrophes  and even conspiracies in government or business.  It was as though they were everywhere at the same time. Even the final shut down was done professionally done. . 

During its final week the BBC's Caribbean Service was busy as ever finding time to bring us breaking Caribbean news.

Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar made exclusive comments on Britain's Privy Council  and the Caribbean Court of Justice.

They were even scooped the official enquiry into support by Jamaica's ruling party for strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.

For your listening pleasure and prosperity the Caribbean Blogger presents the final broadcasts of each BBC Caribbean presenter during the final  week of operation.  Click on the link to listen to the presenters:

A brief history of  BBC Caribbean 
Excerpt from BBC site

Una Marsden
It all started with WW2 Calling the West Indies'
The origin of the Caribbean Service was a programme called Calling the West Indies.

The programme began in 1939 featuring West Indian troops on active service during World War Two reading letters to their families.

From 1943 to 1958, the output became a programme called Caribbean Voices, highlighting West Indian writers.

Its producers and contributors included VS Naipaul, George Lamming, Andrew Salkey and Samuel Selvon.

In 1949, We See Britain  was introduced as part of the programming for the Caribbean under the management of cricketer-turned-producer Ken Ablack.

Over the next three decades, the Caribbean Service nurtured producers and presenters, including Trevor McDonald who became one of the best-known newsreaders on British television and Jones Madeira who returned to the Caribbean to work with Caricom and many regional broadcasters.

The Service closed in the mid-1970s, but in 1988 it re-opened as a news and current affairs department.

It started with a 15-minute evening drivetime programme BBC Caribbean Report which then grew to a short morning drivetime news edition and a weekly BBC Caribbean Magazine programme which dealt with cultural issues and the human face of the news agenda.

By the 1950s, the programme 'Caribbean Voices' allowed producers the room to work for the BBC and write their early novels.

From now on people in the Caribbean can still connect to the services on the Internet but sadly the news will not be about events in the Caribbean unless it is of global significance. This link is to the current BBC Caribbean page, it may change shortly.
I think we can all agree that we hate to see it go.


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