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Over 20 media professionals from across the Caribbean were given the opportunity to sharpen their skills and meet new like-minded contacts, after completing the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s International Communications Skills Course last week.

The prestigious UK-funded course, which wrapped up on Friday, took participants from Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the CARCIOM Secretariat and the OECS Unit, through the paces of print and digital media best practices for well-rounded media professionals.

Effective writing for print and broadcast media, visual journalism, mastering interviews, podcasting and using digital tools to advance one’s career, were some of the training modules in focus during the comprehensive four-day course.

The British High Commission in Barbados said the UK Government remains committed to improving media freedom at home and abroad.

“A key part of this commitment is working with partners and allies around the world, to create training opportunities that will help retool members of the media fraternity and empower them to do their jobs even more effectively,” a press release stated.

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British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Scott Furssedonn-Wood said:

“I am pleased that the UK could support such talented and committed media professionals across Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and wider region. A strong and free media is fundamental to democracy, and protects and empowers all of our societies.

“You should all feel very proud of the crucial role that you play as front-runners in this vital profession. I have no doubt that the certificates you earned recently will continue to serve you well, and give evidence of your commitment to professional development.”

Lead course facilitator of Caroline Black and Associates, Caroline Black, said:

“My fellow trainers and I were so impressed by the course participants — what an incredible group of dedicated people. It was a week where everyone shared their experiences, played with new ideas, and had a lively debate about standards of journalism across the world and locally. The long term effect will be even higher quality journalism across the Caribbean.”

Last week’s International Communications Skills Course builds on previous cross-regional media training, which was facilitated by the UK Government prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and review how to effectively modify such training opportunities, building capacity across the Caribbean media landscape will continue to be a priority for the UK Government,” the press statement further stated.