The fate of state-owned Radio Saint Lucia (RSL), could be decided soon with the privatization of the station or its closure not being ruled out as possible options.
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Dominic Fedee, told the Times that RSL is in much financial distress with over a million dollars in outstanding payments.
Fedee, a former Journalist, said he was awaiting a report from the board of the state owned radio station.
He disclosed that the report will help inform the way forward.
“We have to be open about everything, especially when one looks at the fiscal circumstances that we have actually inherited,” the minister explained.
Fedee said ‘deep consideration’must be given to the employees of the station, especially those who have been working there for a long time.
“RSL, it would appear with preliminary evaluation, is perhaps a bit overstaffed and we also have to look at that,” he asserted.
Fedee believes that the radio station has an ‘enormous’ responsibility to enlighten the nation.
“When I look at the Saint Lucian story now and the media space, I think that our story is told in a snippet and the media are dominated by sound bites,” he said.
Fedee spoke of the need to see how public broadcasting can complement the private media rather than attempting to compete with them .
He said there was need to fill the void to create an enlarged media space and a more interesting media sector, resulting in a more enlightened society.
Asked whether closing the radio station is an option, the minister said:
“Everything is on the table.”
He said until the report from the RSL board is received, he did not want to say anything that would prejudice any decision that will have to be made.
Fedee said the report is expected any time now.
“Actually it is rather imminent,” he explained.