I continue to work with Global Reporters for the Caribbean and was delighted to learn last week that their investigative television program 18 Degrees North won an award for its coverage of the Tivoli incursion in May 2010.
The episode looked at the victims of one of Jamaica’s bloodiest incidents, in which at least 70 people were killed when authorities attempted to extradite convicted criminal Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke to the United States on drug charges. Producer and CEO Zahra Burton and her team worked diligently to uncover the real number of civilian deaths, which is still shrouded in uncertainty. They also paid tribute to the lives lost.
The episode was so well-received (and perhaps in an indication of just how little is still known about the incursion) that the current chairman of the ongoing West Kingston Commission of Enquiry, INDECOM and several other notable parties requested copies of the 18 Degrees North episodes. The episodes have also been mentioned several times in the ongoing testimony.
The team was awarded third place, with the honor officially called the Jamaica Broilers Group Fair Play Award for Excellence. Congratulations to Zahra and the team! Here is the link to the story on the topic. It is clear that more of this type of investigative journalism is necessary here in Jamaica and the Caribbean at large.