SCARBOROUGH, Tobago, CBU – In the first CBU Caribbean Media Awards (CMA) presentation ceremony held in person since 2019, media houses from the Dutch, English, and Spanish Caribbean topped the list of awardees announced during the 53rd Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) general assembly held in Tobago, at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex on August 16.
The excellent work of regional media professionals was recognised in a competition that invited entries from Caribbean media houses, whether or not they are members of the CBU. The main event partner was the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT).
RJRGLEANER Group took five awards in the television categories. They included: Best Documentary Programme for ‘Housing Crisis’; Best Entertainment Programme for ‘Marcia Griffiths’; Coverage of Disaster Risk Reduction which was sponsored by UNDRR for ‘Erosion in the East’; Health Education Journalism Health Education Journalism, sponsored by Sagicor (Barbados) for COVID:Crisis:National Chest Hospital; and Best Producer for ‘Big Youth’.
In addition to its five TV awards, RJRGLEANER won awards in the media of print (a total of five) and radio (a total of four). The print award winners comprised: Coverage of Disaster Risk Reduction, sponsored by UNDRR, was awarded to ‘We’re Taking This Global’; ‘Holness Faces the Music’ won Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic; Health Education Journalism which was sponsored by Sagicor (Barbados) was awarded to ‘Pregnant Kids Alarm’; Coverage of People with Disabilities went to ‘Dread for the Disabled’; and ‘Instacrooks’ received the win for Financial Literacy Journalism which was sponsored by Sagicor (Barbados).
In the radio categories RJRGLEANER winners were: ‘Year in Review-2020’ credited to Giovanni Dennis who won Best Sound Engineer; ‘Beyond the Headlines (January 14, 2021)’ won Best Magazine Programme; ‘Sim Swap Scam’ won for Best News Item; and ‘Oxygen Crises: Perspectives & Probe’ earned the award for Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Another Jamaican media company, Nationwide News Network, also came out among the winners for Coverage of People with Disabilities (Digital) with the entry ‘Missing Without A Trace: The Jasmine Deen Story’.
Great Belize Productions also received multiple awards in the television categories. They included: Best News Item for ‘Fish Right, Eat Right – Catch to Kitchen App Tested’ which was sponsored by Trinidad & Tobago Unit Trust Corporation; Best Investigative Report for ‘Coastal Piracy – An Interagency Approach to Combating Criminal Network at Sea’; Financial Literacy Journalism, sponsored by Sagicor (Barbados) for ‘Doing Business Under COVID’; Coverage of People with Disabilities for ‘Visually Impaired Students Adapt and Excel Despite Covid’; and Best Commercial Spot for ‘Nex’Us Promotional Adv’.
The People’s Choice Award which is determined by public voting was also won by the Belizean media house for ‘No Art Academy in Belize, So Kevin Morales Finds His Inspiration Online’. Additionally, the Great Belize Productions’ Chris Mangar was awarded for Best Videographer for its entry ‘Fermentation Fridays’.
Host of this year’s Awards, Trinidad and Tobago performed strongly with three media companies coming out victorious in television categories: TTT Limited whose entry ‘Penny on Point – The Re-cap Show’ won Best Magazine Programme and WESN Content Capital won Best Comedy Item for ‘We Comedy’. The UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area Office-sponsored television award for Responsible Coverage of Children’s Issues went to the Caribbean Communications Network (CCN TV-6) for ‘Venezuelan Migrants Want Help to School Children’.
Canal Teleislas from San Andres Island, Colombia walked away with two television awards – Best Director for Sergio Bent for the work ‘CLIPFEST: The Last Drum’ and Best Sound Engineer TV Mateo Luque for the entry ‘Emancipation Freedom Concert Live’.
Also garnering two television awards was the Barbados Government Information Service who won the category Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic with its entry ‘Covid Stories 246 – Not the Common Cold’ and Best Public Service Spot for ‘Covid 19- Contact Types Explained’. The media house also received the award for Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Digital) with its entry ‘A COVID-19 Story: The Mathematics of a Virus’.
Fellow Barbadian media company Starcom Network Inc. won Best Documentary Programme (Radio) with its entry ‘Fighting Crime’.
Suriname’s DIME Network Ltd. was also among the winners. It took the radio award for Best Public Service Spot with ‘Kibri Wi Mama Gron (Protect Our Mother Nature)’.
The Institute of Cuban Radio and Television (ICRT) also received an award for Best Drama Programme (Television) thanks to its entry ‘Demonios en la almohada (Demons in the pillow)’.
“It was an opportunity to celebrate excellence produced in challenging circumstances,” said CBU President, Dr. Claire Grant. She continued by emphasizing, “the CBU wanted to acknowledge the work done by the entire Caribbean media sector, and not just its thirty-seven (37) member organisations. It is heartening to note the wide range of organisations, around the region, small and large who produced award-winning work.”
The entries were judged by a five-member panel comprising chief judge Mr. Enrico Woolford, Dr. Sharon Marshall, Dr. Yvonne Weekes, Ms. Zadie Neufville and Mr. Andrew Millington.
In a message to the winners, Mr. Woolford said, “The process highlighted the fact that an awful lot of production is needed to get great content out there on any or all of the platforms. With the plethora of platforms available, winning in any category is an achievement. The process shows that the Caribbean can produce Content.”
Submissions were invited in 46 categories, all but 7 of them open to non-members. With the opening of a wide range of Awards categories to entrants outside of the Union’s membership, of the total entries, 231 were from 16 CBU’s members, while a total of 9 non-member media houses together submitted 27 entries, adding up to an overall total of 258, the highest number for the past three years.
Category sponsors included Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation, UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area Office, UNDRR, and Sagicor (Barbados) with TATT as the overall Awards partner.
The full list of winners is available on the CBU website.