Regional sport journalists meet with athletics officials

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Representatives of the Sport Journalists Chapter of the Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers (ACM) are encouraged with recent meetings with officials of sporting federations.

The journalists met with Victor Lopez, President of the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Associations (NACAC) and Anna Legnani, Deputy Director, IAAF Communications Department during the recently concluded World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Russia.

“Hopefully this could bring us closer and give us a united voice,” said Michael Bascombe, one of the journalists who met with athletic officials in Moscow.

“We have been excluded from many programmes because of the lack of any meaningful grouping, and through the ACM we hope this could change.”

“We’ll be forging ahead and creating partnerships with other continental sporting federations including CONCACAF,” said Bascombe.

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has already given the ACM a stakeholder status on its Board, representing the interests of regional media professionals in West Indies cricket.

“Sports journalism plays a singularly important role in the lives of citizens of the Caribbean,” said Wesley Gibbings, President of ACM.

“Cricket, for example, is widely recognised as one of the more unifying forces in Caribbean public life. Its value as a barometer of development is long established. Caribbean successes in track and field events at the highest level and in the game of football have perhaps done more to promote notions of self-determination and national pride than many political and economic advancements have brought.”

He said that the ACM recognises the value of higher levels of professionalism in the coverage of this important facet of life in our part of the world.

“We acknowledge benign neglect in this area and propose to address it through establishment of a special unit within the organisation designed to ensure that the needs of sports journalists in the Caribbean are better recognised and attended to,” he said.

“We look forward to a high level of collaboration with international partners in this exercise as we engage this important feature of the Caribbean journalism landscape.”

The first step in the process was taken when the Caribbean sports journalists in Moscow agreed to form a grouping under the auspices of the ACM. This was fully endorsed by officials of the IAAF and NACAC.

“We believe that this initiative to form a grouping of Caribbean Sport Journalists is timely and this augurs well for the development of the profession,” Legnani said.

“We know the importance of sports and particularly track and field to the people of the Caribbean, and the IAAF will continue to work with the personnel to realise these objectives.”

The journalists also met with Lopez, the newly elected NACAC President, who shared the plans for the media under his leadership including the establishment of a Press Commission within NACAC.

“I’ll be talking to you guys about being together as the Caribbean media. We did that back in 1982 in Cuba at the CAC Games and we had a good group which used to be together and promote our sport and that we will be planning to do,” he said.

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