The Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) was represented by Mrs. Sheena Warner-Edwards, Communications Officer, at the Caribbean Broadcasting Union’s (CBU) 54th Annual General Assembly from August 14-16, 2023 in Antigua & Barbuda, to which the CMAs were a part of. Under the theme Celebrating the Contribution of Media to Caribbean Development.
Its the first time, the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) Caribbean Media Awards (CMA) have included an award for print journalism under the theme: Healthy Nutrition Food Policy. The Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) with support of the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), welcomed this partnership with the CBU with hopes of strengthening through 2024, with the media advancing its investigative and awareness work around healthy food policies including regulating school food environments, particularly through the restriction or ban on the sale and marketing of ultra-processed foods in schools (including sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs); fiscal policies to make healthy foods more affordable while deterring consumption of unhealthy ultra-processed foods through taxation such as the introduction of or increase in SSB taxes of at least 20%; and strengthening food labelling through the adoption of a regional front of pack black octagonal High-In labeling standard using the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) nutrient profile model (which will again go to voting across CARICOM countries for the regional standard by October 14th, 2023).
The HCC were among the new categories, with this year’s competition featuring three (3) new themed categories in Media and Information Literacy, Healthy Food Nutrition Policy and Climate Change. The category sponsors were the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), and Sagicor.
Sponsored by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition – Healthy Nutrition Food Policy Print:
Winner: RJRGLEANER Communications Group (Sunday Gleaner – Jamaica) – “The Blood of Jesus Is Against That Lying Tongue” Produced by Tanesha Mundle.
Here is an extract from the article:
School administrator denies breaching sugary drinks ban; several institutions found not adhering to protocol.
At the country’s main children and sole specialist paediatric hospital, two cafeterias were observed on site, both offering beverages that should not be allowed for sale, such as sodas and fruit drinks. Plain water and box milk were the only acceptable beverages being sold.
Faced with an increase in the childhood obesity rate on the island, Jamaica, in 2019, banned sugary drinks in schools and public health facilities, but a wide variety of overly sweetened beverages are still being sold at these institutions.
There was also a special mention for an article by Corey Robinson “The Sweeter The Better” – RJRGLEANER Communications Group (Sunday Gleaner – Jamaica)
As we Celebrate the Contribution of Media to Caribbean Development, it is important to highlight the role the media has played in informing our citizens about health risks posed by unhealthy food and beverage consumption and the role the media can play in further encouraging the protection of our children and adults through improved food environments. As has been made clear of the multi-pronged approach required to manage criminal violence across our region, another public health phenomenon, at the recently concluded 44th Regular Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government, this is still required to tackle the scourge of NCDs, as was identified by our heads at the same meeting, through sustained efforts. HCCs first Call to Action (CTA) for the media in 2018 saw us heightening awareness of the risks of Childhood Obesity and how it can be prevented. In 2023, the HCC urges all to promote healthy food policies, given growing evidence which has provided us with a road map of steps we can adopt and adapt in our region to show impact in the area of risk factor reduction.
Below: Delegates were treated to an island tour. (Photo Credits: ABS TV/Radio)
This year’s CBU Caribbean Media Awards (CMA) event was held at Government House, Antigua, under the auspices of Antigua & Barbuda’s Governor General, His Excellency Sir Williams and Lady Williams. They presided over a glittering event celebrating media output from 2022 at which, thirty-five Award winners were acknowledged with the presentation of plaques. There were a noted fourteen (14) entrants whose submissions were given Special Mention by the panel of judges.
There was a strong line-up of regional and international presenters including Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Steadroy O. Benjamin; Minister for Information, Information & Communication Technologies, (ICTs) Utilities and Energy, the Hon. Melford Nicholas; President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Hyginus Leon; UNESCO Representative and Director of the Caribbean Office, Dr. Anna Paolini; Professor Emeritus in the School of Media Arts and Studies, Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University, Dr. Vibert Cambridge, Director of the Caribbean School of Media and Communication, UWI, Dr. Livingston White; media researchers and journalists Dr. Anthony Frampton and Ms. Yvette Rowe; Director General of the World Broadcasting Unions, Ms. Rebecca Hanson; President of the Advanced Television Standards Committee Ms. Madeleine Noland; and CEO of the Public Media Alliance, Mr. Kristian Porter. The hosts, led by Chair of the Local Organizing Committee, Mrs. Erna-Mae Brathwaite, MBE, General Manager of the Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Services (ABS TV/Radio) had a scintillating social programme which was planned and executed.
The CBU Secretariat noted a record number of entries: Three hundred and fifty-five (355) entries were received overall, a more than forty percent increase over last year’s total two hundred and forty-eight (248) entries.
It was also shared that there was a strong participation by non-members: Along with the many CBU members who participated, this round of the Awards saw a marked increase in the number of non-member organisations who submitted entries. The number of organisations who are not currently part of CBU, but participated in the competition went up by thirty-five percent (35%) to fourteen (14) from nine (9) last year. The fourteen(14) non-member organisations represented Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks &Caicos.
The hundreds of entries were judged by a four-member panel comprising Dr Sharon Marshall, Mr. Andrew Millington and Mr. Steve Maximay. The late Chief Judge Ms. Beverly Sinclair was recognised during the In Memoriam segment of the Opening Ceremony of the Assembly.