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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:  26 Caribbean have used state-owned media to retain their power. 56 Both the PLP and the FNM have used the broadcast media to control the dissemination of information. However, the FNM’ government is credited with the introduction of private radio, thus breaking the government’s monopoly on electronic media. In 1993, the FNM government granted private licenses for the operation of private radio broadcasting. Foreign media ownership was prohibited by the PLP (until Freeport allowed cable television, CATV, in the early 1980s). The FNM government adopted this policy with modifications. The FNM government’s economic policies on privatization and commercialization have led to an expansion of media outlets and media activities. Private radio broadcasting has increased employment opportunities within the Bahamian media industry. Simultaneously, the Bahamian media environment has become more competitive. In October 1993, the Tribune newspaper began operating the first private commercial radio station in the country, 100 JAMZ FM. There was some dissent when the Tribune was granted the first license, and some Bahamians commented on the monopolistic advantage this gave to the Tribune. The Tribune operates the new radio station in an adjacent building to the newspaper and has called the broadcasting side of its business the 'Tribune Broadcasting Network'. 100 JAMZ FM is a contemporary hit radio station and targets the eighteen to thirty- four age-group. Two additional private radio stations, LOVE 97 and MORE FM were granted licenses to operate in Nassau in 1994. Today there are seven private radio stations operating in the Bahamas--four in Nassau, one in Freeport, one in Abaco, and one in Eleuthera. These new FM radio stations have further fragmented the limited audience of The Bahamas. Privatization was further extended in 1996 to allow cable television to compete with local television in Nassau. 57

Authors: Storr, Juliette.
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26
Caribbean have used state-owned media to retain their power.
56
Both the PLP and the FNM have
used the broadcast media to control the dissemination of information. However, the FNM’
government is credited with the introduction of private radio, thus breaking the government’s
monopoly on electronic media.
In 1993, the FNM government granted private licenses for the operation of private radio
broadcasting. Foreign media ownership was prohibited by the PLP (until Freeport allowed cable
television, CATV, in the early 1980s). The FNM government adopted this policy with
modifications. The FNM government’s economic policies on privatization and
commercialization have led to an expansion of media outlets and media activities. Private radio
broadcasting has increased employment opportunities within the Bahamian media industry.
Simultaneously, the Bahamian media environment has become more competitive.
In October 1993, the Tribune newspaper began operating the first private commercial
radio station in the country, 100 JAMZ FM. There was some dissent when the Tribune was
granted the first license, and some Bahamians commented on the monopolistic advantage this
gave to the Tribune. The Tribune operates the new radio station in an adjacent building to the
newspaper and has called the broadcasting side of its business the 'Tribune Broadcasting
Network'. 100 JAMZ FM is a contemporary hit radio station and targets the eighteen to thirty-
four age-group. Two additional private radio stations, LOVE 97 and MORE FM were granted
licenses to operate in Nassau in 1994. Today there are seven private radio stations operating in
the Bahamas--four in Nassau, one in Freeport, one in Abaco, and one in Eleuthera. These new
FM radio stations have further fragmented the limited audience of The Bahamas. Privatization
was further extended in 1996 to allow cable television to compete with local television in
Nassau.
57


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