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Last updated: 01 April, 2011 - Published 11:36 GMT
 
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BBC Caribbean tributes - and more
 
TRIBUTES TO BBC CARIBBEAN

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Your say on the closure of BBC Caribbean

Thanks for your years of valuable service to our region. Your progam would be greatly missed by me and my family. We always eagerly looked forward to as it played a vital role in making us aware of important happenings/events within the Caribbean. All the best to your reporters, and thanks again for the contribution you all made to us.
Janelle Jack
Kingstown, St.Vincent and the Grenadines

(The) loss of the BBC(Caribbean) is no small item and the impact of another voice eliminated can be offset by the countries’ journalists.
Ronald Bates
Ontario, Canada

I would like to add my voice to the many who have sent in their regrets at the closure of BBC Caribbean service. BBC Caribbean news has been a truly outstanding service, giving us a broad vision of what is going on in the Region as well as events relevant to the Region. I would especially like to praise the presenters for the professional way in which they brought us the news, right up to the very end. We will sorely miss their voices on this excellent programme.
Cathy Buffonge
Olveston, Montserrat

The death knell of BBC Caribbean Service, a sad day for truly balanced and fair news coverage in this part of the world. With most other news coverage controlled by one political party or another, this is truly a major loss.
David Rider
Corozal, Belize

Very short-sighted to close a service enjoyed by MANY thousands and contributed much to good thinking and mature thinking.
Britain has been losing out to the USA in many areas, especially trade, year by year.... because not able to relate expenditure levels to honourably winning minds. Please think again, or put somebody in charge who is able to think in depth.
Robert Massey
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

What fond memories I will retain of the broadcasts by the BBC Caribbean Service during my 2 year residence on Dominica. The reports served the diaspora as daily icons of recognition and unity with the rest of the world. Ironically, the region has quietly served and contributed to the British Empire for centuries; how utterly humiliating it must be for that same "empire" to cut off their poverty stricken subjects from a vital link they have to the rest of the world. Radio, not the internet, remains the affordable option.
Some things never change, do they?
Best wishes to the people of the Caribbean, the world mourns the loss of the BBC(Caribbean) with you.
Christopher Newell
Orlando, Florida

It would be remiss of me if I did not laud this service and hence, let you know how it will be greatly missed. I recall my moving to the USA and the weeks of home-sickness experienced. It was only after purchasing a short-wave radio which made it possible for me to listen to the BBC World Service that the adjustment became tolerable.
I come from a country where one broadcasting house is solidly behind the party- in-power so much so that the voice of the Opposition is almost silent. The other electronic media appears more balanced. The print media is atrocious. In such an environment you can understand why you will be sorely missed. Your independence, depth of reporting and the kind of investigative stories carried have always been captivating. Case in point, (the) (March 18) report on crime in Jamaica.
My thanks to all concerned.
Carlyle Best

Taking BBC (Caribbean) away from us in the Caribbean is like taking away part of our life. It is so sad that we have to part with our most credible source of news from the Caribbean at a time when politics is involved with radio stations in the Caribbean and Caribbean people sometimes wonder whether the news is credible as some governments dictate what news must go on the air. I get my Caribbean news from BBC in the mornings before work and sometimes in the afternoon. Do we have to send a petition to the (British) government to keep at least some of our Caribbean programs on BBC instead of shutting it down totally? Thanks to the management and staff of the BBC for this great service. It is with sadness and a bleeding heart that I have to come to terms with the closure of BBC Caribbean.
Cornelia Prosper
Roseau, Dominica

I am truly upset about the closure of the BBC Caribbean. As a citizen of the Caribbean living in the Bahamas, I dutifully kept abreast with developments in the Caribbean, listening to the BBC Caribbean news. It is a blow to us in the region, after, what I describe as this long umbilical cord relationship with Britain. If there was one thing they should have left on their will for us, here in the Caribbean, is the BBC Caribbean, so we can remain close to each other. Kindly review this decision.
Gloria Bullard
Nassau, Bahamas

Please don’t stop the BBC feed to the FM stations in the Caribbean. It’s bad enough we wont have Caribbean reports but the loss of BBC would be tragic for all. Please let us know of any petitions.
Ruairidh McGaw
Barbados

The people of St Kitts are extremely upset over the cut back of radio broadcast by the BBC in the Caribbean. Many residents of the Caribbean depend on BBC radio to keep them on top of the world news. I have been stopped by people in the street to inquire as to why this service has been terminated. Please consider the importance of this service to people who have no other access to such vital information.
Peter Allcorn

Sorry to hear that you have to close the BBC's Caribbean programmes. I'm working here in the US, and my nephew who visited for about two weeks last summer, listened - for every day that he was here - to the BBC's Caribbean Service! Antiguans, and I'm sure every West Indian, listened avidly to the BBC; it was one of the biggest wireless forms of education in the region. I remember well when I was in secondary school the teachers gave assignments to listen to the BBC.
Jerome Wynter

I am utterly shocked to hear that you will be cutting the Caribbean English languge service. please, I beg you to reconsider. The majority of those who listen to the service don't have access to the internet and depend on radio broadcasts. Please remember that many parts of the region are behind in their perception of sexuality, freedom of speech and human rights issues. To cut the service now would be tantamount to slowing our March to greater justice anf freedom.
Shaun Lebert

I'm so sorry to see BBC Caribbean go. I wish you and all of your staff the best in your future endeavours.
I would pray that even if the BBC Caribbean radio programmes get cut that at least the website remains active so that we here in the Caribbean can continue to access a pan-West Indian news source and that we will continue to hear BBC radio on a local frequency.
Once again all the best and thanks for all that you and your staff have done
Jon Hunter

I am deeply daddend by the cuts to the BBC Caribbean service. I hate to ask but will there be any alternative to replace such extensive coverage of the Caribbean?
Ryan Nugent
St Croix US Virgin Islands

I have been worried about the withdrawal of radio (actual radio waves) services by the BBC for many years. The financial savings are tiny but the loss of service and influence is huge. The fall back position of the BBC is the argue that the BBC news website is a more than satisfactory replacement because it better represents the typical modern listener and follower. But this is not a comprehensive argument. Radio is a social medium whereas The Internet is not. It separates listeners in to rooms away from family members. The Internet is very important but can't be seen as a replacement for radio. Radio, shortwave and FM relay is essential and cost effective.
Bryce Martin

I am sorry so many natives in the British West Indies are irate about the cuts to the BBC there, but if they want their own radio station, THEY will have to pay for it. Why does the world think the British taxpayers should "foot the bill" for all of their services forever? Let them pay their own way. You're independent now, so live up to your full potential and start a new West Indies station.
Reggie Sainsbury Seale
The Docks, London, England

The Worldservice will always be in my listener's heart, but there will be a void from March.I hope some wise and brave people can rethink the decision.
Ricky Zaid Abdoelrahman

I live in Barbados and I grew up listening to the BBC Caribbean news and sports on the radio. Last year, BBC introduce a dedicated BBC radio channel - 92.1FM - and I enjoy listening to the informative programmes 24 hours a day. I was very shocked to read that the BBC Caribbean will be closed in March 2011. It is only source of obtaining a holistic overview of the events affecting the Caribbean region. It is with great sadness that I will miss hearing the excellent broadcasters who have provided a valuable service to the Caribbean region over the years.
Laurence Hennis
Bridgetown, Barbados

Like most listeners and those with a passion to see Caribbean Integration move forward, I am very disappointed that BBC has made that decision in its effort to cut its expenses. On the bright side, I think that BBC Caribbean has some excellent reporters that have made Caribbean News a virtual franchise. As a result, I hope that a commercial media house could use the talents of these fine reporters and anchors, and sell commercials to subsidize costs. Of course it won't be as effective as it now exists if commercials were included.
Thanks again for this great service.
Philmon Matthew
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

The BBC, by providing a common cultural reference for all English-speaking people in the Caribbean, has had a strong unifying influence. It has also gained respect for the UK worldwide, and has spread British journalistic values across the globe. I personally will miss BBC World Service broadcasts on mid-ocean night watches when almost nothing else of interest can be found. This decision will do a great disservice both to British foreign policy goals and interests and to the English-speaking people of the Caribbean (and all the ships at sea).
HP,
At sea

I am a 73-year old man who was brought up with the BBC. I did the dictation programme at the early stages of my school life. During my latter years it became one the major pillars of our democracy in the Caribbean. Cutting cost is an anathema to freedom of speech and an act of cruelty to the free world.
Hugh Marshall
St John's, Antigua and Barbuda

Terrible news for we the people! Caribbean Report staff must continue to hold their heads up high. Blessings.
Ulric Hetsberger
Maryland

I just wanted to commiserate with you on the impending closure of the Caribbean Service. I listened every day when I was back in Trinidad, and know how much store people in the West Indies set by the Caribbean Service.
Governments have not got their priorities right nowadays and are just shooting themselves in the foot. The BBC Caribbean Service was about the best thing the British had going for them in the West Indies. I feel sad for the BBC, and for West Indians.
John Butt,
Trinidad

The decision to discontinue the BBC Caribbean Service is incredibly sad, short-sighted, and misguided. The service was incredibly popular and filled a great need for the Caribbean audience to have a view of the world not provided by local radio stations. As David Rudder says just one more bit of evidence that the world doesn't seem to need islands any more!
Jacqueline Sharpe
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

I will miss our Caribbean BBC.
I have lived in Guyana and remember listening to the radio growing up this was our only news contacts for years and years. Now I have BBC Caribbean as my internet home page and enjoy reading and listening to news. I wish we could all tell you how important your news is to us. I wish you could stay with us. Especially important to us who travel around once we have Caribbean Report and BBC news we feel we are always "at home" where ever home may be. Thank You!
Margaret Mew
Georgetown, Guyana

Hearing your voice on the phone last year re the interview was like hearing from an old family friend - which you are, to the many people who listen to your programmes. To not hear it any more, well, I am truly sorry.
Without your one-stop cohesive and comprehensive Caribbean service, our islands will (once more) drift in the noise and confusion of a lack of proper enunciation and pronunciation.
Suelin,
Grenada

I'd like to add my name to those offering "sympathy and support" and wish you all the best for the future.
Some years ago you were kind enough to invite me to meet Sir Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge and Wes Hall at your offices. Coming face to face with some of my boyhood heroes was an experience I will never forget - it was a genuine privilege and for that, I thank you.
Paul, BBC

The BBC World Service is one of the most reputable radio services in the World and the Caribbean service in particular is incredibly popular in that region.
It is clear to see that this will be a big loss for the BBC and Britain as a whole. People will lose out culturally, the BBC’s reputation in the world will be sorely diminished, audiences will fall dramatically and most importantly people will be denied a service that is simply not available to them locally. BBC staff have been rocked by today’s news and rightly so, as despite the £42m saving to be made they realise that in the long run the cost of running the service is far outweighed by its benefits. The Government simply must change its mind on this issue.
Diane Abbott MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington

We're all very saddened to hear that BBC Caribbean has been cut. Here at ARCHIVE, we have time and again turned to BBC Caribbean for the latest news not least for our work in Haiti. The cuts in the Caribbean service will be strongly felt, and you will be sorely missed.
Archive - Architecture for Health in vulunerable environments

Some things have no monetary value but I am sure that I am not the only person the BBC’s service has impacted, so I implore those in charge to reconsider.
I left Jamaica and ended up in the Virgin Islands. I had a good radio voice (so I was told), but no experience, so I fashioned myself after Bertram Niles, I tried to sound and speak like him until I found my own voice.
As a 240lbs Jamaican man, I feel quite silly typing with tears in my eyes over the possible closure of the service, but it symbolizes so much to so many and with all that the world has lost I feel we must fight to hold on to some things, let this be one of them.
The BVI has a population of 70% expatriates, and the BBC is the beacon we turn to keep us informed.
I, like so many I’m sure, am prepared and willing to pay a fee for the BBC to remain. I also implore regional governments to step up, if you want citizens to be educated and informed about what our Caribbean brothers and sisters are doing, please step forward.
I will not standby and watch this giant figure in my life pass away, how can we help?
Darvin Jackson
Road Town, Tortola BVI

Please allow your listeners to have at least one broadcast to thank you guys for the great work that has been done over the years. May God bless all of you.
Edward Browne,
US Virgin Islands

I am writing asking to please keep BBC Caribbean. We own a house in Grenada and must get current news, both while we are in the US and in the West Indies. This is our best source of news that covers the Carribean. I was shocked when I read about the proposed cut!
Robert and Sorrel Dod
Roseburg, USA

I know BBC Caribbean Report will be sorely missed here in the US Virgin Islands where, to this day, we still don't have a strong television network for general consumption. Either you get broadcast, if your signal will allow it where you live, or your get cable (if you're financially able), or you get the one public tv channel we have (which does not have a daily news report). And given the number of folks living here who hail from parts of the Eastern Caribbean, bbc is very well regarded.
Judith Schimel,
US Virgin Islands

I am profoundly saddened at the news that the BBC Caribbean Service
is another casualty of budget cuts.
I'm unable to find the words to express my disappointment and I'm sure it's not any easier for the men and women who have made the service the premier news provider throughout the Caribbean.
One of my goals have been to work side by side with the Caribbean team,
which comprises of some of the best minds in the media profession.
My heart goes out to all of us and I wish you all the very best in your
endeaveours, which I anticipate will be very productive given the experience gained through the BBC.
Bertille Maloney
St Vincent and the Grenadines

This is a shock and a disappointment. I toured the BBC Caribbean studios at Bush House in London as a guest of Orin Gordon, and was very impressed with the operations and the professionalism of the Caribbean team of broadcasters. I am sure there is a vibrant life after the BBC for these talented broadcasters.
Francis
(via Stabroek newspaper - Guyana)

It's a shame that we have hundreds of radio stations in the Caribbean and not one, as far as I know, able to take us the slack when BBC goes off the air, and offer the Caribbean people a quality service like that of the BBC or CBC (Canada). It appears that the main interest in many Caribbean stations lie in almost all day low budget "call-in" programmes.
Kaycee
(via Stabroek newspaper, Guyana)

It's sad when the Caribbean is about to go through a rough period in its history.
(Kbaksh, via Stabroek newspaper, Guyana)

This is sad. BBC Caribbean is the biggest thing around. People make it a point of duty to listen to BBC Caribbean especially the evening edition. BBC should have done a survey or allow radio stations to raise the issues on their talk show to see if that would change the heart of those in charge. Right now we people have to return to VOA. I still do not quite understand this.
Imagine when the politicians know they say certain things at press conferences they themselves make an effort to listen to BBC Caribbean Report because they know some of what they said would make it on BBC Caribbean. I think too that some more time should be spent on one of the evening programmes explaining the whole thing to people so they can get a clear understanding of what is going on.
I also think that an opportunity should be given to the people of the region to say thanks or what they thought of the service over the past several years. That could be done on an interactive program or via telephone interviews and have it as part of the evening's edition for at the least a week.
You can't leave like that without allowing the region to say thanks. I hope not.
I'm really sad but if that's the way things have to be then we do not have a choice.
I must say that the service was very good. I always urged my staff to listen to the BBC Caribbean in order to sharpen their reading, writing and presentation skills. I have no doubt that the BBC has not only made my reporters more professional but others in the region. You have served as a broadcast school for us at Kairi and for this we are very grateful.
Thanks again BBC Caribbean, we will miss you
Steve Vidal
Kairi FM, Dominica

It came as a shock to me last evening when I heard on the Caribbean Report that the BBC Caribbean Service will be closing down.
I had to replay the recording to be sure what I had just heard. This equates to the loss of a very close and dear aunt or uncle. This is a massive loss and a huge void to fill.
Thanks so much for the wonderful work of informing, educating and entertaining us all in the Caribbean. You all are heroes and real role models. Thanks a million, my dear friends and colleagues.
Always remember God is in control and He will help you weather the storm. God bless.

Kind regards,
Paul Charles

As a Caribbean born person living in the UK I really depend on BBC Caribbean to stay in touch with what is going on in that part of the world. I hope the BBC reconsiders closing this very good service as it benefits both the Caribbean and latin America.
Jason Raymond
London

I know this will probably not be read on air, and I could hardly mind. I just want somebody to read and understand my point. Today the 24th day of January I came home from school to hear the sad news that the BBC will be cutting its Caribbean service. I would like the man who made the announcement to explain properly why this is being done; please leave out all all the facts and figures and just tell the Caribbean people, why he is doing this. We know we are small nations that many in the world view as insignificant and unimportant , but I still believe we deserve some level of respect. We, just like anyone else all over the world listen the BBC. Is the Caribbean's only purpose to the British is to come on vacations? Do they view us as backward people who don't deserve to hear the news?, Please explain to us.
Leonardo Christie

The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) is saddened by the announcement by the British Broadcasting Corporation that its popular Caribbean Service is to be closed.
The Caribbean Service's journalists and producers deserve the highest commendation. They also deserve the unequivocal assurance that their names - household names for thousands of Caribbean people - will not be lost to regional broadcasting.
While the ACM applauds the sterling work of its colleagues in London, it has long believed that only a truly Caribbean institution that is to the region what the BBC has been to the world can be a vital part of the communications mix in a Caribbean single economy and a Caribbean single marketplace of ideas.
The Caribbean needs a distinctive service of high quality news and information that is collected, distilled and explained by some of its veteran journalists, not a hodge-podge of duplicated copy from national media houses.
Let it not be said that in a moment of adversity, the Caribbean media failed to shed considerations of parochialism and profit to create a trustworthy source of Caribbean news and information.
Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers

I have just heard the news of the cuts to the BBC World Service and am terribly upset to hear that the BBC Caribbean Service is to be cut. Here in Barbados we have ONE television channel with an incredibly poor news service, and unless people can afford to pay for the American influenced cable tv they have NO access to international news or programmes.
We have only quite recently started to be able to pick up a dedicated World service radio channel on 92.1FM here in Barbados, and it has been a joy beyond all words to listen to.
Does this mean that this radio station will now end for Barbados and similarly Jamaica, Trinidad and Antigua or do these cuts only affect the short world news reports that we hear on a few of the other local radio stations such as BBS and VOB?
I am praying these services won't be cut. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. This new radio station has been an absolute God send for people in Barbados.
Thank you and kind regards,
Melanie Watson
St. Michael, Barbados

It's sad when the Caribbean is about to go through a rough period in its history
K Baksh

I value every aspect of the world service, and have done since moving to Singapore 13 years ago. Why doesn't the BBC ask overseas listeners to pay a fee for certain services to help support the services effected by these cuts. The news services should be continued to be enjoyed around the world. After all when I'm in the UK I would pay the license fee - I wouldn't hesitate in paying a fee to continue access. It seems illogical to cut before even asking the question - can you support?
John Bishop,
Nassau, Bahamas

 
 
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