Caribbean Channel by Cuban TV

Today a new television signal will begin to be broadcasted, which will seek for the continue approaching of the Caribbean, a region that although it’s geographically near, is still unknown to us

By: Yuliet Gutiérrez Delgado


2017-03-15 | 13:09:29 EST
Canal CaribeCanal Caribe Photo: Juventud RebeldeZoom

The new television signal named Canal Caribe (Caribbean Channel) will begin to be transmitted tonight March 14, on the occasion of the foundation of the Patria Newspaper and the Cuban Press Day, reported the Director for the News System of the Cuban Television Ovidio Cabrera García, who is also Director for the Caribbean Channel, a news space that has been created and produced in Cuba.

Ovidio Cabrera García, Director for the News System of Cuban Television and the Caribbean Channel. Photo: Yandy Ruiz

Cabrera García, with more than 50 years working on television, explained to JR the characteristics, scope and goals of this effort. "The new Cuban channel, in the test phase, arises from the need that any developing nation has to explain all its policies, its economy, culture and history in a close, regional context. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the events in the Caribbean, of which we have little information. In the Cuban case, it has the additional objectives of accompanying the country in all its economic development, in the fight against blockade and against the permanence of the Naval Base of Guantánamo in Cuban territory, as well as to unravel the enemy campaigns against the Revolution.

"This television signal, he said, has been born for the people without a voice in the big media; it will have the same role that Telesur has: to offer the opportunity of making their reality and their life stories known. In this effort we count on the experience by Telesur, which with its example and work has inspired us.

"There are other reasons for its appearance, like having hours of news silence in the Cuban television, because after the Buenos Días journal, you have to wait until the Noticiero (News) at noon, and it’s the same in the afternoon. Thus, our idea is to have a space to be able of providing updated information, as immediate as possible, on national and international events.

"The channel doesn’t have yet an external signal, it could be later," he said. It has been named Caribbean because this is the area to which it’s addressed. Thus,  it has a motto: "From the root that unites us", which comes from a phrase of Martí on the relationship of Cuba and the Caribbean. In addition, the insular and continental Caribbean has been a region that has been always supporting Cuba.

"We owe a debt to the Caribbean; we know more about Spain, Italy and other places than about our geographical region. We want to help develop these relationships between the Caribbean itself. The Caribbean people were the most resistant when the colonial powers came to these lands. Hatuey is a symbol of determination, and this is closely related to the attitude of the Cuban people and all the principles of the Cuban Revolution. That is the reason why, mainly, we are launching this channel of television and we named it like that ".

— What proposals does this channel bring us?

—The channel's project has three main working lines: updated hot information, news journals -the weekly summary and other on comprehensive general culture, science, technology and environment, and another on social facilitation, among them - and historical programs. These spaces will appear gradually.

"There will be a prominence of journalistic genres in the programs. It will have national and international comments, interviews a little longer than those included in the news. It will present chronicles and reports of important areas in Cuba, the Caribbean and the world.

—How will be these transmissions?

— For now, as a test signal, we will broadcast from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 pm to midnight. Later, we will see how we can fill the news space between Buenos Días and News at 1 pm, and the empty space that exits between this program and News at 8 pm. However, these entire projects will take time. This is an experimental signal, because our country doesn’t have great resources and these projects require an important economic support. We are doing it, above all, with effort and from the intelligence of our working staff.

"We decided to begin on March 14 as a tribute to the Cuban journalists, who make so much effort and have been so faithful to the Revolution. Let them know that they have a news channel, where they can contribute all that they want with agility, updated and quality information. »

—What will be the frequency for broadcasting Caribbean channel?

—We will use HD channel one; which can be located on channel 50 in the set-top box. This channel reaches some provinces; but it is not still seen in all the country. It’s expected that at least, all provincial capitals have the HD signal in the course of the year. We are taking the first steps with this channel, because it’s in the test phase, in order to be able to make corrections and improve it every day.

—So far, what will include the programming of this signal?"

—This Tuesday we are going to make an introduction, which includes several interviews related to the foundation of the Patria newspaper and the Cuban Press Day. We will also provide an explanation of how the channel should work. Then, the first program will be broadcasted in two parts, related to information in social networks. It follows a segment for changing the program, which will include promotions, messages ..., after which will begin a program with a permanent broadcasting, always at the same time and throughout the week, consisting of 25 minutes of national and international sports information.

"Then, a space named Justo en la diana (Just Right on the Target,) which proposes an analysis on international information and important news of the day, will be broadcasted, followed by a cultural segment, about 25 minutes. At 10:30 pm, a short newscast of 12 or 15 minutes will be broadcasted, which should end from 11:30 a.m. to 11:55 p.m. with a summary newscast of everything that has been happening in the day and at the last minute. The Caribbean channel also counts on a host. "

—Which organisms or entities have supported the creation of the canal?

—The Caribbean channel is a creation by the Cuban Radio and Television Institute (ICRT,) the television and news services. So, there is no external financing, it has been achieved with the few resources we have. And, this has been made possible by the use of the new technique: Chinese BCN digital television technology, which uses memories, servers and must be filmed in high definition.

—Who collaborate in the project?

—We mainly have a group of young journalists. For example, more than 20 young students from the Faculty of Journalism have been incorporated to the News. They have been invited to come here to work. When they will graduate in the fifth year, they will be journalists already trained, who can collaborate with us because they know the television technique.

"We have had the support of the Cuban TV centers, which will continue collaborating through their correspondents. We have foreseen several ideas with the Cuban Friendship Institute, with the goal of having the collaboration of the people who are linked with friendly associations. Likewise, there is a group of agreements that we are going to make with ministries and other entities, so that they guarantee the information. We are asking for the collaboration of the whole country: newspapers, radio stations, news agencies, state or independent audiovisual producers. It must be said that this is a news channel of the Revolution, to help make more Revolution ".

—How will this project grow?

—The actions we are going to carry out step by step; first we will consolidate this transmission from eight and a half to 12 at night. Then, as far as possible, we will expand the broadcasts from nine in the morning to one in the afternoon, during this semester and the other. We don’t want to take false steps, we will consolidate these transmissions first and then we will continue to advance. From now on, HD, channel 50 for the box, is exclusive a news channel. However, it has the characteristic that if at the end of 2017 we are capable of broadcasting 18 hours, from six in the morning to 12 at night, it will include news spaces which already exist like Buenos Días and different news programs, in addition to the programs that are created for HD, that is, it will be a support or base channel of all the news services of the Cuban television.

—What audience is the channel aimed at?

—It’s a channel of a general nature with respect to the audience. The programming will have spaces specifically aimed at the youth, women and the elderly. However, this is not possible at the moment; for now, we only have national, sports and cultural news spaces. Education and health are topics that we also hope to boost. Those are ideas that we will be putting into practice gradually.

-—What are the experiences that serve as background to this project?

“We had the first experiences during Matthew Hurricane, when we broadcasted for three or four days to give information about the hurricane. That gave us experience. We have done other journals also during summits, and the ultimate experience was to broadcast the death of the Commander-in-Chief and the transfer of his ashes to Santiago de Cuba, where we spent nearly nine days transmitting all the time, practically from 18 to 20 hours, without leaving to broadcast the news. This was done with a parallel structure: one group of working mates was involved in producing the news report and another group the news journals.

-—What does the Caribbean channel mean for you?

—For me is a dream that I have been caressing for some years, because I represented Cuba in the creation and foundation of Telesur. It’s a great honor to be able to contribute until the end of my life. I would say that this is my last great task in the Revolution. It’s very important for me to be useful, to help Cuba and my people. That is the most stimulating task, and we are doing it with a lot of effort, putting enthusiasm, creativity and the search for practical solutions before each difficulty.

 Translated by ESTI

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