Multinational broadcaster TeleSUR features a newscast that’s on air 24/7 with a viewing audience of over 500 million. The multi-platform network features programming in Spanish and English, and boasts correspondents across the world including the United States, China, and all of Latin America.
This week representatives of TeleSUR, hosted by the Venezuelan Embassy, met with local media to announce the commencement of a new project entitled ‘Caribbean takes over TeleSUR’. On the occasion it was announced that the network was on a mission to develop partnerships in the region to help share the Caribbean with the rest of the world.
“We have a debt to the Caribbean and want to start paying that debt,” Helga Malavoi, Director of International Affairs and Distribution for TeleSUR said at the meeting held in the conference room of Auberge Seraphine on Tuesday evening. “We want the Caribbean and Latin America to go hand in hand; not only in Latin America, with our specialty we also broadcast stories in the Middle East.”
With assistance from a translator, Malavoi spoke in depth about the programming featured on the network that includes 19 live broadcasts, sporting programmes, three newscasts daily, with special programming on weekends. Science, culture, ecology, sexual diversity, health, technology, politics, and other news and commentaries are also included.
“What makes TeleSUR different is where they point their cameras,” she said, drawing reference to a recent news story featured on the network concerning the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico.
“The people we interviewed were parents and people who live in the area. We look for a story first-hand; people who are actually living what is happening. We want not only for viewers to see headlines, but to know what happened, to know the news in depth. We don’t only want to broadcast the fact that it happened, but to show what was happening in that
particular place, what was happening before, and whether similar incidents had been happening before the actual event.”
Representatives announced at Tuesday’s meeting a proposal for print, radio, television, and web media to be partners of TeleSUR. As part of the agreement, partners would have access to TeleSUR’s extensive media, and to their correspondents. A large part of the collaboration would entail the sharing of news stories and resources, with the possibility of training and capacity building.
The proposal has also been extended to other islands across the Caribbean, and representatives shared that after their meeting in Saint Lucia, they would be off to Grenada.
“We’re already exchanging information with journalists around the Caribbean,” Malavoi said. “Information is a right and not a business. We are doing exchanges at no cost.”
As part of the drive to incorporate more news from the Caribbean in its programming, the network has already compiled introductory presentations of each country, some of which were shown at this week’s media engagement. “We think it’s a different way to show the Caribbean to the rest of the world,” Malavoi said. “Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda . . . every Tuesday is a different country.”
She added that they had already spoken to various prime ministers of the region, as well as ordinary people, in an effort to get more information, and see what the islands are all about.
“For Saint Lucia we will be featuring the Mayor of Castries,” she announced. “The prime minister has requested an interview in June.”
TeleSUR is sponsored by the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and Bolivia and is headquartered in Caracas, Venezuela. Interested media were asked to contact the company for more information, ahead of developing the information-friendly “love relationship” between Latin America and the Caribbean.