ANTIGUA & BARBUDA The country has a new administration, the United Progressive Party (UPP), following the March 23 elections. This comes after 28 years of unbroken rule by the Antigua Labour Party (ALP). There is a perception that the state-run radio and TV stations, ABS, has taken a page from ALP’s book and is pushing the UPP’s agenda. The biggest thing to have happened in recent times was the transfer of six employees from ABS in August. This came following public statements that there would be a shake-up in an effort to improve output and professionalism, by Minister of Information Jaqui Quinn-Leandro. Post election the ALP has started a newspaper, the Guardian that is critical of the government and pushes the party’s agenda. Julian Rogers, formerly the GM at Observer Radio, in conjunction with the Guardian in Trinidad, started a weekly paper, which hits newsstands on Saturdays. Cabinet has broken the monopoly on cable that was enjoyed by Vere Bird Jr, elder brother to the former prime minister who last held the post of minister of agriculture, lands and fisheries. Many are hoping that the Media Congress, which is operating with an interim executive until the constitution is completed, will help to raise the bar of fair and balanced reporting by the media in Antigua. BARBADOS There have been no legal issues, press freedom violations or crimes against journalists. GRENADA The Press continues to enjoy complete freedom and the newspapers continue to carry material (and some of them editorials) that are highly critical of the Government without interference. The principal broadcasting network in which the Government retained 40 per cent upon privatization often has to deal with complaints from Government (and Political Parties including Opposition) that some reporters/announcers and/ or stories are biased against them, but there is no overt attempt at control. This might explain why there are reports that the Government is about to set up a radio station for the Government Information Service with equipment donated after Hurricane Ivan. GUYANA Two privately-owned newspapers, the Stabroek News and the Kaieteur News and several private television stations operate freely and without censorship or interference. The continuing blot on the record is that the Government maintains a radio monopoly that it inherited from the previous government twelve years ago. New broadcasting legislation has been promised for some time and a government spokesman has said that private radio licences will then be issued. But this process has been taking a long time. This will complete the liberalisation of the media. TRINIDAD & TOBAGO There have been no new developments impacting on press freedom. TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS The Turks & Caicos Islands enjoy press freedom and the “new” government approximately one year in office has been very reasonable with their flow of information and access to public business. JAMAICA The Access to Information Act has now been passed in Jamaica so there is now a fully operational Corruption (Prevention) Act and an Access to Information Act in keeping with the country's obligations as a member state of the Organisation of American States. The media has been testing the Access to Information Act and the government agencies have performed fairly well in accordance with the statute. The quantum of the libel award of US$750,000 which was upheld by the U. K. Privy Council in July 2003 (and settled in full by the Gleaner Company Limited), has been submitted to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights for a ruling and now awaiting a date for hearing and subsequent ruling. The submission argues that the quantum of damages acts as a hindrance to freedom of expression, (and by extension, Freedom of the Press) not only in Jamaica but in the entire English speaking Caribbean. The law firm used by Associated Press has, as promised, prepared and submitted To the (IACHR) an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones & Company Inc., The New York Times Company, Gannett Company Inc., The Hearst Corporation, NYP Holdings Inc., Reuters America LLC and The Washington Post, in support of the case. Amicus Curiae briefs were also submitted to support the case by The Press Association of Jamaica, the RJR Communications Group, IAPA, The Nation Corporation (Barbados) and Joel Simon (Of the CPJ). In 2003 The Supreme Court awarded J$20 million in libel damages against a local television station (CVM TV)and during that same year the same TV station reached an out of court settlement with the country's leader of the Opposition, also for J$20 million. The court award is on appeal.