Cuba’s slick TV channel that supports ‘more revolution’


BBC’s Cuba correspondent Will Grant reports on a new television channel in Cuba, Canal Caribe. Grant writes that “Slick new graphics, drum and bass theme music and young presenters, at least in its presentation, Cuba’s latest state television channel is a break with the past,” but that Canal Caribe will have to compete for the attention of youngsters with the Internet,” which he feels may be an uphill battle:

Called Canal Caribe, it is an attempt to stand out from the stiffly presented, heavily scripted newscasts that have aired on state TV for decades.

The channel is trying out different formats. They include live link-ups with international correspondents via Skype and the use of social media sites like Twitter – simple devices that are common on most other news channels but new for Cuban TV. The channel’s news director, Ovidio Cabrera, showed me around the station.

As one of the founders of another left-wing Latin American news service, the Venezuelan-funded Telesur, he says this new venture will be unique in Cuba because it will run outside the fixed midday and early-evening slots. “The key difference is that this will be a news and information channel that’s on air for 18 hours a day,” says Mr Cabrera.

“And the vast majority of our coverage, around two-thirds, will be live.”

‘More revolution’

A live, round-the-clock television news channel might not sound particularly innovative, but in Cuba such changes happen slowly. [. . .]

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