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CBU wants to be engaged in decisions on changing media landscape

Published:Wednesday | August 14, 2019 | 12:09 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

Caribbean Broadcast Union (CBU) President Gary Allen is urging governments across the region to involve the media in the conversation as they develop policies that may affect the industry as they continue to move into the digital age.

“As a new information, communication and technology ecosystem takes shape globally, print, radio and television are being reshaped. As this happens, it is important for governments and regulators to take charge of designing the right successor framework for indigenous media and not leave them behind in this change,” Allen said as he addressed the CBU’s 50th annual assembly in San Andrés Island, Colombia, on Monday.

The RJRGLEANER Communications Group CEO said that the right policy framework must be put in place to ensure the survival of traditional media and its ability to deliver quality programmes.

“Getting it right includes getting the business model right. We cannot be expected to serve the best interest of the public, allocate hours of time and tens of millions of dollars in airtime to Government-reserved time for broadcasts, pay regulatory and licence fees, face competition from all forms of new media technology players and still find enough resources in building excellent quality programming that uplifts our citizenry,” Allen said.

The CBU president charged that even in this highly digital world, traditional media remains the source for credible information.

“While we push for universal access and connectivity for all, let us not forget to pay attention to what happens after connectivity – what content will they connect to, connect with, and what content will our people be connected by when we secure this access. Clearly defined direction is required,” Allen said.

He added: “The credible, independent, public-serving and commercially driven media remain relevant and needed. Spontaneous, uncorroborated user-generated content cannot be elevated to credible broadcasting and trustworthy publication.”