CARIBBEAN Antigua & Barbuda The only new development revolves around the Observer Radio’s ongoing battle to hit the airwaves. In December 1999, Observer Radio was finally granted leave by the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal to appeal its case to the Privy Council in London. Work is now underway for the principals in the case to make their appeal to the Law Lords sometime this year. Barbados No complaints impacting press freedom have been reported, and the exercise of this right exists in all aspects of the profession. Grenada In recent times, there has been the advent of a multiplicity of radio stations coming on air. This includes the Catholic Church, which has a monthly publication of the Catholic Focus newspaper. It has now ventured into the electronic media by having a radio station. In addition, it produces a television program aired weekly on the Community Channel of Grenada Cablevision. Through the number of radio stations, listeners are given the opportunity to participate in various talk show programs to express their views of public interest. The three weekly newspapers are able to produce their publications without fear of intimidation from the powers that be. The same can be said of the other publications, both newspapers and magazines, which are published on a monthly basis. The cases brought by the director of public prosecutions against George Worme, editor of the Grenada Today newspaper, and Stanley Charles, a talk show host on Spice Capital Radio (for a statement he made on another radio station), were called in December and adjourned to March. The prime minister has also filed civil suits against the two as well as the talk show host on whose program Stanley Charles made the allegation that a contract had been issued to kill Dr. Raphael Fletcher. Guyana One privately-owned newspaper, the Stabroek News, and several private television stations, operate freely and without censorship or interference. The state still has a monopoly of radio broadcasting. A draft Broadcasting Bill was introduced some time ago which could lead to changes in this situation, but the government has so far resisted pressure to issue licenses for private radio stations. Trinidad & Tobago The relationship between the media and the prime minister, which had been very strained, entered a new phase with recent calls from the prime minister for a boycott of the Express newspaper and TV6 Television. The boycott, the prime minister said, should be extended to businesses that advertise in those media outlets. The prime minister threatened to withdraw government advertising from those media houses. There has been condemnation by various media houses in the Caribbean against the outburst by the prime minister and the threat it poses to press freedom in Trinidad & Tobago. The irony is that press freedom is enshrined in that country’s constitution. There have been no adverse effects on sales of the Express nor on advertising since the outburst. The situation will be carefully monitored. Jamaica The Gleaner Company Limited’s appeals against the two major libel awards handed down against the company in 1995 and 1996 of approximately US$650,000 and US$2.3 million, respectively, both came before the Appeal Court in 1999. The appeal against the US$650,000 award is expected to continue in the courts this year, while the judges have reserved judgment in the case of the US$2.3 million award. The government is drafting a bill making new provisions for eliminating corruption in the performance of public functions known as the Corruption (Prevention) Act. The media have strongly opposed a section of the bill which would prohibit publication of information contained in “any declaration letter or other document” as long as the publisher knows or should know that it comes from a member of the Corruption Prevention Commission and has no reasonable ground to believe that the information relates to an act of corruption or any investigation into corruption. Non-compliance would bring stiff fines.