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Reflections on the Past, Questions of the Future--Public Service Broadcasting: A Case Study of The Bahamas Broadcasting System,
Unformatted Document Text:  14 from 7 until 10; the mid-day broadcast from 12:30 until 2 and the evening services from 5:30 to 10. Three new positions--announcer, reporter and secretary--were filled by September 1 to augment the staff and meet the needs of the increased hours of operation. 34 The social and political changes in the country in the 1940s also affected broadcasting. For more than 300 years, the country had been controlled by a small oligarchic group of white merchants and white colonial administrators. By 1949 race relations between the minority whites and majority blacks had already surfaced in unrest. The earliest recorded issue against racial inequality was mentioned in the colony in the 1880s in the Freeman, an early advocate newspaper that appeared in Nassau March 8, 1887, and which is now defunct. The next major incident occurred fifty-five years later. The idyllic tranquility of the islands was disrupted on June 1, 1942, when rioting broke out in Nassau. 35 This riot, known as the Burma Road riot, occurred because Bahamian workers protested the wage differential paid to American workers brought in to construct a military airfield in Nassau. The riot led to looting and violence. Six people were killed and many were injured. The Duke imposed a curfew to restore public order and insure a peaceful return to work and used ZNS radio to make his announcements to the public. Bahamian society, like its Caribbean counterparts, is separated along race, class and gender lines. This structure was inherited from the British. Issues of race, class and gender were also evident in broadcast development. Race, class and gender discrimination were most evident in the hiring practices at ZNS. White and upper or middle class colored Bahamians and white foreigners were hired rather than working class black Bahamians. Black Bahamians were not allowed to announce news stories until the late 1960s. Women remained in subordinate administrative positions until the 1990s. The 1940s riots were a preamble to the social and political changes of the 1960s. Those changes led to a change in government and a change in the

Authors: Storr, Juliette.
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from 7 until 10; the mid-day broadcast from 12:30 until 2 and the evening services from 5:30 to
10. Three new positions--announcer, reporter and secretary--were filled by September 1 to
augment the staff and meet the needs of the increased hours of operation.
34
The social and political changes in the country in the 1940s also affected broadcasting.
For more than 300 years, the country had been controlled by a small oligarchic group of white
merchants and white colonial administrators. By 1949 race relations between the minority whites
and majority blacks had already surfaced in unrest. The earliest recorded issue against racial
inequality was mentioned in the colony in the 1880s in the Freeman, an early advocate
newspaper that appeared in Nassau March 8, 1887, and which is now defunct. The next major
incident occurred fifty-five years later. The idyllic tranquility of the islands was disrupted on
June 1, 1942, when rioting broke out in Nassau.
35
This riot, known as the Burma Road riot,
occurred because Bahamian workers protested the wage differential paid to American workers
brought in to construct a military airfield in Nassau. The riot led to looting and violence. Six
people were killed and many were injured. The Duke imposed a curfew to restore public order
and insure a peaceful return to work and used ZNS radio to make his announcements to the
public.
Bahamian society, like its Caribbean counterparts, is separated along race, class and
gender lines. This structure was inherited from the British. Issues of race, class and gender were
also evident in broadcast development. Race, class and gender discrimination were most evident
in the hiring practices at ZNS. White and upper or middle class colored Bahamians and white
foreigners were hired rather than working class black Bahamians. Black Bahamians were not
allowed to announce news stories until the late 1960s. Women remained in subordinate
administrative positions until the 1990s. The 1940s riots were a preamble to the social and
political changes of the 1960s. Those changes led to a change in government and a change in the


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