One year of Caribbean Intelligence

Debbie Ransome
By Debbie Ransome, Editor
They say a week is a long time in politics, but a year is nothing in journalism.
We see political parties come and go. Meanwhile, we chart developments over the years until they become historical archives.
But a year is a good time to stop and take stock on a project which set out to join the dots between the Caribbean and its Diaspora.
It’s also a very good time to stop and say a big THANK YOU to those who have supported us in the Caribbean and Diaspora communities and beyond.
And also it is very important to say “Thank you” to those of you have already wished us a happy anniversary.
What have we done?
In the last year, we may not have set the world on fire, but we have reached out to a wide range of people. Not just across the Caribbean, but also to its communities abroad – no matter how long they’ve been away.
Even second and third-generation descendants have felt that their “Caribbean-ness” is reflected in the profiles and coverage we have devoted to musicians, filmmakers, sportspeople, actors and DJs in our Caribbean Abroad pages.
All these interviewees have stressed just how Caribbean they feel – a question Caribbean Intelligence© has put to all those being profiled
Our format has set a trend: other media operators have echoed, and attempted to appropriate, our “Caribbean one-stop shop” slogan. All we can say is that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.
We’ve even attracted a vibrant community of people on Twitter, who proudly project both a pan-Caribbean identity, Diaspora identity, taking a joy in news of familiar things “back home” and those seeking to do business and visit the Caribbean.
Is there such a thing as one Caribbean people?
Probably not.
But when the chips are down and you scratch our surfaces, there’s a Caribbean skin beneath our metropolitan exteriors in London, New York, Washington, Florida, Toronto and anywhere else you might find us.
According to analysis of our website traffic, our readers come from the expected places – the UK, the US, and the Caribbean.  But, it also reflects page impressions from the Netherlands, Spain, India, Switzerland, Australia and Finland.
We are such a widespread and far-flung diaspora; no wonder online and social media work so well for us!
Have we achieved what we set out to do in June 2012?
I think firm foundations are now in place – and I look forward to the year ahead.
It hasn’t always been easy. Some have asked for a BBC Caribbean replacement (“where de audio?” “When are you introducing the radio and TV?” - I’ve been asked).
But in the months since the closure of BBC Caribbean, journalists in the region, the UK, the US and Canada have become increasingly aware of 21st Century needs – how to keep a burgeoning, but increasingly distant Diaspora in touch with the Caribbean.
Online and social media, until new platforms emerge, appear to suit us well.
Caribbean Intelligence© represents the basis on which I trust, and hope, we will be able to build.
You can’t wish for more than that, can you?
Once again, my thanks to all the brilliant contributors to Caribbean Intelligence© over the last year and thanks to those who have supported it, in both word and deed, over the last 12 months.
Let us know your thoughts on what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t work, as we move into year two of Caribbean
Top page impression stories during the first 12 months:
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