What will it take for potential Caribbean journalists to get what they need to be the best that they can be?Journalists in the Caribbean
say they can’t find adequate training and mentorship in the region. Can editors and
senior personnel at media houses develop this burgeoning talent? What tools does
this new generation of media workers need to advance themselves?
Journalists from the Caribbean and the Diaspora will look at how the media leaders
can write a positive end to this old story. These and other questions will be put at
the upcoming 8th Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx) in Puerto
Rico, from February 9-13th, 2006.
Its theme is “Sustainable Development: A Balancing Act,” and delegates will take a
serious look at the quality of journalism in the Caribbean as well as at how to
encourage tourism developments which create wealth while cultivating local culture
and conserving the fragile environment.
Anika Kentish, a news producer at Antigua’s Observer Radio, says a lack of qualified
supervisors and quality interaction with senior media personnel present an obstacle
for young reporters.
“It is easy to say young reporters are poorly supervised and
are not being offered attractive salaries, but the bottom line is that there are
many senior media personnel who appear ill-equipped to handle management positions.”
Due to inattention and mismanagement, young media professionals are more likely to
be turned off from the field, Kentish says and “as a result, talented journalists
are either misguided or get frustrated and move on to other fields (usually public
Yahneake Sterling, staff reporter for the Jamaica Gleaner, agrees that senior
editors can do more to nurture young reporters, particularly by creating an
atmosphere of actively learning the “tricks of the trade.”
“[Editors] can discuss in
detail the stories the reporter has written; [they can] point out the mistakes and
give pointers on how to improve on these mistakes, instead of just editing the