Ja, Belize top historic CMA awards
In the first Caribbean Media Awards (CMA) in which submissions for two years were judged and there was no face-to-face ceremony, media houses from Belize and Jamaica topped the list of awardees announced during the 52nd Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) Annual General Assembly held virtually and unveiled on August 17.
The excellent work of journalists over the 2019 and 2020 period was recognised, not through the traditional awards ceremony but in a pre-recorded production as the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the customary event.
“We look forward to rewarding media workers every year, and although we are not able to have the awards ceremony in the way we usually do, we felt it was necessary to shine the spotlight on the excellent work of the awardees,” said Acting Secretary General of the CBU Hilda Cox-Bullen.
A total of 112 entries from 11 CBU member organisations were received in the 2019 & 2020 Caribbean Media Awards that were judged by a three-member panel comprising Chief Judge Andrew Millington, Sharon Marshall and Jennifer Grant.
Millington said the panel had the pleasure of viewing a diversity of work from the region which explored themes such as education, mental and physical health, the environment and climate change.
In a message directed at the winners, he said: “You have exhibited the highest standards of broadcasting at a time when Caribbean institutions are also facing immense challenges to telling the Caribbean story.”
Submissions were made in 15 categories, including for awards sponsored by UNESCO, UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area Office, The Embassy of the United States of America, Bridgetown and Sagicor.
This year, nine awards were also given in honour of some of the inductees in the CBU Hall of Fame.
Great Belize Productions Ltd took five awards in television categories.
They include Best News Item for ‘The Benefits of a Migrant Community: Spanish Lookout’, which was sponsored by The Embassy of the United States of America, Bridgetown; Best Commercial Spot in honour of CBU Hall of Famer Vic Fernandes for ‘Sargent Pepper’s Pasta Ad’; Responsible Coverage of Children’s Issues, sponsored by UNICEF for ‘The Serious & Growing Problem of Obesity Among Children’; and the Sagicor-sponsored Best Health Education Journalism for ‘The Neglected HIV Vulnerable Population’.
The People’s Choice Award which is determined by public voting was this year named in honour of CBU Hall of Famer Shida Bolai. The trophy was won by Great Belize Productions Ltd for ‘Corona the Hawksbill Embarks on an Information Gathering Journey’.
RJRGLEANER won awards in both television and radio categories.
BEST FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORT
Its ‘Ganja Farmers’ submission won Best Investigative Report (Television), awarded in honour of CBU Hall of Famer Jones Madeira, while it earned the award for Best Magazine (Radio) in honour of CBU Hall of Famer Lester Spaulding for ‘Beyond the Headlines’ and Best News Item (Radio), sponsored by The Embassy of the United States of America, Bridgetown, for ‘Climate Change in Jamaica’.
Best Documentary (Television) in honour of CBU Hall of Famer Stewart Krohn was won by The Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas for ‘Category 6: A Hurricane Dorian Documentary’.
The Bahamian media company also took Best Health Education Journalism (Radio) sponsored by SAGICOR, for ‘HIV/AIDS: What Next’.
The Cuban Institute of Radio and Television walked away with two radio awards – Best Drama, in honour of CBU Hall of Famer Rafiq Khan, for ‘Paper Boat’ and Best Documentary, in honour of CBU Hall of Famer Rose Willock, for ‘We are from Mayabeque’.
Teleislas in Colombia won Best Drama (Television) in honour of CBU Hall of Famer Victor Torres Crespo, with its entry ‘Don’t Give Up’.
Suriname’s DIME Network Ltd was also among the winners. It took the television award for Best Public Service Spot, in honour of CBU Hall of Famer Olga Lopes-Seale, with ‘Your Vote, Our Future’.
The UNESCO-sponsored television theme award for Highlighting the Resilience of
Caribbean People to Natural Disasters and/or Health Crises went to the Caribbean Communications Network (CCN TV6) for ‘Dominica Resilience and Recovery’.
Winners in all the categories except People’s Choice, Best Commercial Spot and Best Public Service Spot will receive a US$500 cash prize in addition to a trophy.