Jamaicans.com recently asked Calibe Thompson, host and producer of television show The Caribbean Diaspora Weekly, about the show’s latest endeavor – to begin broadcasting on South Florida mainstream television. This is what she had to say.
What is the Caribbean Diaspora Weekly – South Florida Edition all about?
The Caribbean Diaspora Weekly is a TV show reflecting aspects of life for Caribbean people living outside of the Caribbean. It offers news, perspectives, interviews and stories about people and issues of interest to the community at large. The show is fun and light, but still very thoughtful and intelligent. It has already broadcast for a full season throughout the Caribbean and we are now working on bringing it to South Florida, one of the 4 largest diaspora regions in the world, for broadcast on mainstream television. We’re going to run the first season in this market, but we’ll revise the format a bit to involve the sights and sounds that specifically reflect the South Florida community.
Why is it important to have Caribbean content on mainstream TV in South Florida?
Even though South Florida is one of the largest diaspora regions in the world, there is ZERO representation of South Florida’s English-speaking West Indian community on television. Latinos and Haitians are represented but not Jamaicans or Trinidadians or Bajans etc. Some say television is a thing of the past but in reality it still plays a very important role in legitimizing issues, companies, and in this case, communities. The mainstream does not seem to take us seriously as a group with tremendous buying power that should be addressed directly. We want to show in force that we are, and mainstream television will help to do that.
In addition, we want to show the “outside” community what the West Indian community is all about. So we might showcase the best restaurants for Haitian food or Bahamian or Jamaican food. We’ll talk about the popular radio shows and print media for our community. We’ll show carnival and jerk festival and how to cook Caribbean. And of course we’ll go into the community to let the people share their thoughts on Caribbean life in So Flo.
Why did you choose to do a crowdfunding campaign and what is the goal?
We chose to do a crowdfunding campaign for two reasons.
- We need money. We’d like to raise the $25,000 to pay for the airtime to broadcast the show and other physical costs associated. We’ve covered the cost of production so far. We’d like the help of the community to get this part done. We’re also raising funds from advertisers and sponsors so between both revenue streams we’ll get there.
- We’d like to have tangible numbers to show that the community is behind us. The more people donate is the greater the proof that the viewers we’re targeting are actually interested in and supporting the project. It’s validation for us and for anyone else who might want to invest in the community at large. Individuals can contribute at http://igg.me/at/caribbeandiasporasfl. Companies interested in advertising or sponsorship can contact [email protected].
Why should people give up their hard earned money for this television show?
We like to say you can take $10 and buy lunch, or you can take $10 and leave a legacy. Imagine being a part of the reason that an entire community gains the type of visibility they never had before; the type of visibility that could open tremendous new opportunities for every business and every person within that community. West Indians in South Florida talk to each other, but others don’t necessarily see the real us. With this small contribution, as little as $5, anyone can be a part of securing that visibility for the group at large. It is tremendously important and you can become a part of the movement for even less than the cost of a trip to the drive through.
How else can people help?
Currently, money is our greatest need. With a visit to http://igg.me/at/caribbeandiasporasfl and as little as $5, folks can help to get this project to fruition.
The project has been realized thus far with the help of interns, volunteers and consultants. We need more of those until we are fully funded. It is a great project to have on your resume so students and people trying to gain experience in broadcast are invited to inquire. We need marketing and social media interns, graphic artists, journalists, writers, camera operators and editors willing to be consistent and dedicated to putting out a high quality product. Interested persons can contact [email protected].
And of course we need the support of the community. If you have ideas, tell us about them. If you like the show, share the links on social media, tell a media outlet to cover our story. Pray for us, wish us well, and again, please give what you can and tell someone else to do the same at http://igg.me/at/caribbeandiasporasfl.