The new St Helena Sentinel and its sister radio stations will be an important part of island life during a period of massive upheaval, according to the St Helena Government (SHG).
The island’s Independent newspaper has announced it will close when the Sentinel newspaper is launched tomorrow – 30 March 2012 – by the new St Helena Broadcasting Corporation.
There has been criticism that the new organisation will not be independent of government because it is being subsidised until it becomes self-supporting. Its predecessor was also state-funded, but was not allowed to compete for advertising.
In a statement to this website, the government says:
“Unlike the existing St Helena News Media Services (SHNMS), which is overseen by a statutory Board appointed by the Governor, the new media company is community-owned, and appoints its own Board. This is in keeping with SHG’s strategic priorities to strengthen communities and family life on St Helena.
“It will continue to receive a subsidy from SHG but this will reduce over the short and medium term. SHBC will have full editorial independence across its services, and will be expected to explore all opportunities for generating revenue, including advertising.
“SHBC will introduce its five services (3 FM radio stations, new newspaper and new website) in a phased manner over the coming weeks.
“A sustainable and independent media service is important for St Helena, particularly during this period of change and development.
“The new media company’s services are an exciting prospect, and will have an important role in ensuring the delivery of a comprehensive and professional media service that will benefit Saints and the island as a whole.”
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