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Chinese confident radio, TV will be a reality

Published:Friday | April 23, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Jinghua Chen, China's ambassador to Jamaica, is expressing confidence that a Chinese radio and television station will be established locally, which will add to the offerings of free-to-air media entities on the local landscape.

"Chinese programmes are already here through cable and TV programmes; however, it's not without some cost to the viewers," he told The Gleaner yesterday at the launch for the Palisadoes rehabilitation project.

"However, the Chinese government would like to see free access to the information that will be introduced to the people that have an interest in China instead of paying for it."

The initial announcement by Information Minister Daryl Vaz did not go down well with the Media Association Jamaica Ltd (MAJ), which chided the Government for failing to communicate these new developments to members.

Concerns were also raised about the impact such a move could have on a somewhat crowded media landscape, now competing for an already scarce advertising dollar.

Vaz has played down the concerns, saying that discussions were at a ministerial level, but with the Chinese now hunting partners for the project, it would suggest that the implementation is inevitable.

"The process has been making some headway to the point that we now have approval from the government level that we can proceed," he said. "What we now need are partners to cooperate with the technical side of this project.

"The programmes will be for the general public who have an interest in China to consume. However, there is no definite timeline for an actual launch, but I am confident that with concerted effort from both sides, it will be realised."