PRESS RELEASE – At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization for Music Rights (ECCO) Inc., it was revealed that out of a sum of Two hundred and sixty thousand ($260,000.00) dollars available for distribution to members, less than ten(10%) percent would be distributed amongst local artistes.
This is so because, it is claimed, that the majority of radio stations in St. Lucia play mainly foreign music during their program hours.
The Directors present at that meeting, which was held at the CSA centre, Sans Souci, suggested that the only way that this damning statistic can be reversed is for our radio DJ’s to play more local music and directly challenged members to develop some form of strategy to get those DJ’s to include more local musical content on their programs.
Whereas this might be a good suggestion, I am of the view that it leaves too much to the discretion of the Disc Jockeys who have, over time, developed this love, affection and appetite for foreign music except, perhaps ,at carnival time.
I would like to suggest ,therefore, that the Government makes an intervention in this matter by first, through the Minister responsible for Information and Broadcasting, directing the officials of the State-owned Radio Station(RADIO ST.LUCIA) to ensure that at least forty(40%)percent of the music played on this Station every day is of local content.
Secondly, and after my discussions with a reputable Trade Advisor, I would like to recommend that in order to be issued with a license to operate a Radio Station the applicant must agree that at least forty (40%) percent of the music played on his/her Radio Station must be of local content.
Our music is a product of our creative writers, singers, arrangers etc. and just as the Government can, by way of policy, guarantee that importers of poultry and pork must first purchase about thirty percent of these local products before a license in approved for the importation of these foreign meats, the same can be done to guarantee that our locally produced music is given such protection.
All members of ECCO should be ready to lobby their respective parliamentary representatives in that regard.