Grenada is gearing up to host the 46th Annual General Assembly of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) at the four star Grenadian By Rex Resort, Point Salines, St. George from August 17-20.
The CBU is a not-for-profit association of public service and commercial broadcasters in the Caribbean.
Close to 100 representatives from the 46 CBU member entities throughout the region are expected to meet at the Rex Resort, to discuss the many challenges and issues facing Caribbean media.
According to CBU Secretary General, Sonia Gill, the assembly will cover a wide range of topics pertinent to Caribbean media development in a changing environment.
“…We will be bringing an update on digital transition that is happening in the region…we will be revisiting media freedoms and communication rights as they affect Caribbean peoples…also taking a look at some of the recent developments, particularly the convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications – that all of us are very aware of…we are also paying attention to the fact that Caribbean media are and always have been an international voice with a regional emphasis,” she said.
Gill told reporters at a media launch for the event last week Thursday at the Grenadian By Rex Resort that one of the items high on the agenda is a change to the bylaws of the Union to allow for social media and other electronic media outlets to become members of the body, which was formed in 1970.
“Social Media is very much significant in the world today, and there is a continuing strong push in the area, so when we meet, one of the things will be an amendment to the bylaws of the CBU to provide for members of digital media houses to become full members,” she said.
Odette Campbell, Convener of the Assembly and head of the local organising committee, who is General Manager of the Grenada Broasting Network (GBN), said that this year’s assembly would also highlight a forum on communication rights and freedoms in the Caribbean, as well as the launch of a new project partnership between the CBU, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Public Media Alliance, formerly called the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA).
Campbell disclosed that a number of entities are collaborating for a successful execution of the event, but chief among them is the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA).
GTA representative, Delysia Decoteau, told the launch that participants of the three-day conference would also be getting a taste of the Spice Isle while here.
Decoteau placed on record the authority’s pleasure to be associated with the assembly, pointing to the high level of exposure inclusive for Grenada’s tourism product among regional journalists.
Meanwhile, event organizers have hailed this year’s CBU assembly as significantly historic, as for the first time, it will feature a Caribbean-China media exchange.
“I believe that this exchange will be a very successful one,” remarked Chinese Ambassador to Grenada Madam Ou Boqian, who confirmed the participation of five top media houses from her homeland.
“We have confirmation from China National Radio, China Radio International, CCTV, China Economic Daily and Xinhua News Agency,” the Chinese Ambassador said.
“We are honoured to have their participation,” Secretary General Gill declared.
The Assembly is receiving support from the Government of Grenada and a number of corporate entities including the Grenada Distillers, Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB), Grenada Electricity Services Ltd (Grenlec), Bryden and Minors, Glenleg Spring Water, FLOW, the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Grenada Airports Authority and GBN.