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Jamaica: 24- hour cable TV for business news

By Douglas McIntosh

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – The regional investment community now has a 24-hour cable television channel, the Caribbean Business Exchange (CBX), dedicated to providing comprehensive information on industry developments. A division of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), the CBX will broadcast on channel 143 on the Flow Network and 28 on Digicel.

The channel was formally launched by JSE managing director, Dr Marlene Street Forrest, during a semi-virtual ceremony at the entity’s office on Harbour Street, in downtown Kingston, on Wednesday, August 24. In her remarks, Dr Street Forrest said the CBX is committed to providing market news, daily updates, and programmes reflecting local and regional business realities, along with global developments, in a timely manner.

“As we seek to provide value to our issuers and investors, we believe through our rich storehouse of data… and those from other content providers of business information we can provide another source of business news to the public, which will redound to further development of our region,” she noted.

This, the managing director added, would enable Jamaicans and regional interests “to have a more rounded view of the Caribbean business community and assist [countries globally] to better understand us”.

“In fact, I believe this network will be a tool to build regional business and financial development,” she added.

Dr Street Forrest said the JSE is cognisant of the “heavy responsibility” it has taken on to provide its target audience with first-class information but pointed out that “we think we are up to that challenge”.

“Over the coming months. We will be rolling out programmes under [various] business pillars. We believe we must explore and deliver through all avenues to reach our audience and for our brokers and listed companies to reach and be reached. We are also encouraged by the support we are already receiving form our business community, who have come on board with sponsorships,” she added.

CBX station manager, Fitzroy Prendergast, who described business as the “engine of growth” for any country, noted that news in this area in Jamaica and the region “is limited to one to five minutes of air-time with multiple businesses mentioned within that space”.

He contended: “This cannot be adequate for viewers and listeners to appreciate what such businesses are doing,” adding that “[this] will not provide the news and educational content that is needed to develop the… sector.”

“We believe that businesses should get not only an entire day of reporting and analysing but also a whole night of persons in the Caribbean to hear, digest and make the most intelligent decision about how to do their business,” Prendergast added.

Consequent on this, he said the JSE stepped forward to fill the vacuum by establishing the CBX, noting that this intervention “was needed”.

Prendergast maintained that the channel’s creation will support the JSE in its mandate of, among other things, empowering and educating the Caribbean-wide investment community, guiding investment decisions, and strengthening stakeholder participation in the local and regional capital markets.

He said the CBX launch represents “a particularly exciting time for us, here at the Stock Exchange”.

Guest speaker, international consultant, Therese Turner Jones, who praised the JSE on the initiative, pointed out that “I think we have the content, we have the creative talents, and we also have the audience that’s yearning for this kind of development”.

The Caribbean Business Exchange will broadcast under the tagline ‘Your region, Your Business, Your Source’.



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