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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:  4 broadcasting structures are facing internal changes; the one with perhaps the greatest impact is privatization. Privatization has fragmented the market and increased competition. These internal and external forces have focused the discourse on issues of the survival of public/state-owned broadcasting systems in The Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean. These are the challenges of the twenty-first century. But first let us examine history to see how we got here. Broadcasting started in The Bahamas in 1930 with the experimental station V1-BAX. However, several sources have erroneously identified 1936 as the start of broadcasting. Prior to Howard Pactor’s dissertation on Bahamian media history, 3 research scholars such as John Lent believed that broadcasting started in the islands in 1936 with the government-owned radio station, ZNS. 4 In 1985 Pactor presented evidence that firmly established that radio broadcasting began in The Bahamas in 1930. He also proved that ZNS, the government-owned radio station, began in 1937 not 1936 as Lent and other sources, including the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas, have noted. Although Pactor's research is important to the body of work on media history in The Bahamas, it is not a comprehensive account of the history of broadcasting (and the media in general) and does not reveal the integral relationship broadcasting shares with society. The British introduced permanent broadcasting to The Bahamas in 1937 when they started Radio Bahamas, ZNS. The long colonial period shaped the development of the media in general and broadcasting in particular. Based on the British model, The Bahamas, like other British colonies, introduced a public service system with an emphasis on education, information and entertainment, particularly for the rural areas of the country. This article examines four significant periods of growth in the history and development of broadcasting in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas from its inception in 1930 to the beginning of private commercial radio broadcasting in 1993.

Authors: Storr, Juliette.
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4
broadcasting structures are facing internal changes; the one with perhaps the greatest impact is
privatization. Privatization has fragmented the market and increased competition. These internal
and external forces have focused the discourse on issues of the survival of public/state-owned
broadcasting systems in The Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean. These are the challenges of
the twenty-first century. But first let us examine history to see how we got here.
Broadcasting started in The Bahamas in 1930 with the experimental station V1-BAX.
However, several sources have erroneously identified 1936 as the start of broadcasting. Prior to
Howard Pactor’s dissertation on Bahamian media history,
3
research scholars such as John Lent
believed that broadcasting started in the islands in 1936 with the government-owned radio
station, ZNS.
4
In 1985 Pactor presented evidence that firmly established that radio broadcasting
began in The Bahamas in 1930. He also proved that ZNS, the government-owned radio station,
began in 1937 not 1936 as Lent and other sources, including the Broadcasting Corporation of
The Bahamas, have noted. Although Pactor's research is important to the body of work on media
history in The Bahamas, it is not a comprehensive account of the history of broadcasting (and the
media in general) and does not reveal the integral relationship broadcasting shares with society.
The British introduced permanent broadcasting to The Bahamas in 1937 when they
started Radio Bahamas, ZNS. The long colonial period shaped the development of the media in
general and broadcasting in particular. Based on the British model, The Bahamas, like other
British colonies, introduced a public service system with an emphasis on education, information
and entertainment, particularly for the rural areas of the country. This article examines four
significant periods of growth in the history and development of broadcasting in the
Commonwealth of The Bahamas from its inception in 1930 to the beginning of private
commercial radio broadcasting in 1993.


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