CARIBBEAN Antigua & Barbuda Observer Radio filed a constitutional motion in the High Court in December 1996 after its equipment was seized by the police in September of that year. Justice Benjamin stated in court that he would have a ruling on whether Observer Radio would get back on the air or not by January this year. To date, there has been no such decision. Government continues to control the TV and radio stations. It also funds a paper the National Informer, which attacks the Observer newspaper on every issue. While it is a taxpayer-funded paper, it is seen as nothing more than an Antigua Labour Party propaganda vehicle. Barbados During the period under review, the press functioned in an environment free of any interference or threat of interference. Jamaica The Gleaner Company, publisher of Jamaica's oldest newspaper (founded in 1834), was ordered in July 1996 to pay approximately US$2.3M plus costs to former Minister of Tourism Eric Anthony Abrahams in a libel case arising out of an Associated Press story it had carried. The report alleged that Abrahams had received kickbacks from a U.S. advertising agency. The Gleaner Company has appealed andits lawyers are confident that the award would be substantially reduced. No date for hearing of the appeal has yet been set. Guyana There are only two daily newspapers in Guyana, the privately-owned Stabroek News and the stateowned Guyana Chronicle. There has been no interference with publication of the Stabroek News and the paper is free to import all the newsprint and other materials it requires. The state has a monopoly of radio broadcasting. This has been criticized in editorials by the Stabroek News on several occasions and there is some prospect that private radio stations will be licensed under new broadcasting legislation. A draft Broadcasting Bill has been published, but will reqUire an amendment to remove several features seen as objectionable. It is expected that the legislation will not be revised and passed until next year. Trinidad and Tobago In sharp contrast to its experience of the past, Trinidad and Tobago has entered a prolonged period of hostility in government-media relations. At the center of the debate is the government's Green Paper on Media Law Reform. This document was published almost exactly one year after the prime minister's crusade against the editor-in-chief of the Trinidad Guardian, which culminated in exodus of the newspaper's entire group of editors. Media organizations, including the Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association and the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago, have called for the withdrawal of the Green Paper, describing it as punitive and contrary to the philosophy of a free press within the democratic tradition. The controversy degenerated into numerous personal attacks by the prime minister on members of the media, the sharpest being against Caribbean Communications Network Chairman Kenneth Gordon. Gordon has taken legal action against the prime minister over the matter. The Green Paper, however, remains on the agenda of the government, which has pledged to take public opinion into consideration before developing its White Paper (policy position) on Media Law reform.