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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:  23 had begun to abate by the late 1980s. However, by then racism was subordinate to sexism and class. These prejudices are still prevalent in contemporary Bahamian society and in broadcasting. During the 1980s the Broadcasting Act was amended to include a minister responsible for broadcasting. Under this new act the minister had far-reaching authority. The minister’s power included appointing the general manager, directing the content of broadcasting, approving loans and prohibiting broadcasting of particular matters. 52 Also in the 1980s, ZNS TV-13 began developing local programming. These programs competed with the popular American programs. Some of them were well received, particularly, the local news, and the talk shows "Focus," "Reaction," and "Nighttime." However, by the 1990s, none of these programs were still on the air; they were victims of cost and competition. The 1980s also saw a proliferation of new technology, satellite dishes and VCRs, which competed with the local television network. Thus by the end of the 1980s broadcasting and the country were experiencing new challenges and changes-- new technology, cultural shifts and the question of sustainability. In 1983 in an effort to improve the quantity and quality of its news program, the BCB bought a satellite television receive-only system to receive satellite transmission for re-broadcast. These rebroadcasts were mostly sports programs (NBA play-off games and the Olympics). The rebroadcasts also competed with the availability of other media. For, besides sports and the local news programs, Bahamians prefer the American programs. Easy access to American media products continues to subordinate local television offerings. In addition to the mix of accessible media products from the United States, in 1993 eighty percent of ZNS-TV 13’s programs were U.S. products. 53 The economic dictates of operating a television station forced managers to import cheaper television programs and rely on cooperative strategies like bicycling (the sharing of programs in the Commonwealth Caribbean) to survive. When television began in 1977 most of the imported programs came from Britain or a Commonwealth country. As with radio, by the

Authors: Storr, Juliette.
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had begun to abate by the late 1980s. However, by then racism was subordinate to sexism and
class. These prejudices are still prevalent in contemporary Bahamian society and in broadcasting.
During the 1980s the Broadcasting Act was amended to include a minister responsible
for broadcasting. Under this new act the minister had far-reaching authority. The minister’s
power included appointing the general manager, directing the content of broadcasting, approving
loans and prohibiting broadcasting of particular matters.
52
Also in the 1980s, ZNS TV-13 began
developing local programming. These programs competed with the popular American programs.
Some of them were well received, particularly, the local news, and the talk shows "Focus,"
"Reaction," and "Nighttime." However, by the 1990s, none of these programs were still on the
air; they were victims of cost and competition. The 1980s also saw a proliferation of new
technology, satellite dishes and VCRs, which competed with the local television network. Thus
by the end of the 1980s broadcasting and the country were experiencing new challenges and
changes-- new technology, cultural shifts and the question of sustainability.
In 1983 in an effort to improve the quantity and quality of its news program, the BCB
bought a satellite television receive-only system to receive satellite transmission for re-broadcast.
These rebroadcasts were mostly sports programs (NBA play-off games and the Olympics). The
rebroadcasts also competed with the availability of other media. For, besides sports and the local
news programs, Bahamians prefer the American programs. Easy access to American media
products continues to subordinate local television offerings. In addition to the mix of accessible
media products from the United States, in 1993 eighty percent of ZNS-TV 13’s programs were
U.S. products.
53
The economic dictates of operating a television station forced managers to
import cheaper television programs and rely on cooperative strategies like bicycling (the sharing
of programs in the Commonwealth Caribbean) to survive. When television began in 1977 most of
the imported programs came from Britain or a Commonwealth country. As with radio, by the


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