The OBSERVER Goodwill Project, the brainchild of Dame J.M. Eusalyn Lewis, has been organized to channel donations to the local media house.
The project is spearheaded by Dame Eusalyn, who chairs a newly constituted group set up to undertake the fundraising effort to support NEWSCO Limited as an independent media entity.
The other committee members are Stacy Samuel, Cleon Athill, Arif Jonas, Phillip Harris and Janice Samuel.
“I reiterate the challenge which I made to all Antiguans and Barbudans at home and abroad and to all right thinking persons who support our fundamental rights to freedom of expression, freedom of speech and freedom of the press to make a sacrificial contribution on May 15th, OBSERVER Goodwill Day,” Dame Eusalyn stated on the project’s Go Fund Me page.
“Antigua is in a bad way if it doesn’t have an independent radio. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to all the radio stations … but my station of choice quite frankly was OBSERVER because it was balanced in its reporting and I felt it opened the door for any and all persons who had a contribution to make, to speak,” Dame Eusalyn said as she explained how the idea came into existence.
The aim of the project is to provide a facility and an opportunity for the general public to provide financial support to Newsco Limited, thereby ensuring the sustainability of free and independent media in Antigua and Barbuda.
The first of what is intended to be an annual event, will take place on Wednesday 15th May when the Committee will host a telethon on OBSERVER Radio from 6:30 am to 11 pm.
Samuel, the Human Resource Manager of NEWSCO Limited, described the activity during an interview on the Voice of the People programme yesterday.
“It’s a telethon, persons are going to call in and pledge their donations toward the initiative. Basically, we are giving persons who don’t know the OBSERVER story the genesis; how it started, up to where it is now and the way forward,” she said.
NEWSCO Limited’s predecessor, the OBSERVER media group, was founded in 1993 by brothers Winston and Fergie Derrick, both deceased.
The company, which was subsequently managed by Fergie’s children, ceased operation on November 30th 2018.
However, two former employees, Algernon Watts and Dave Lester Payne, partnered to form NEWSCO Limited, and purchased the assets of OBSERVER in order to continue providing independent news services to the twin island.
Members of the public who wish to make monetary donations can do so through the OBSERVER Goodwill Project’s GoFundMe or Facebook pages.
Donations can also be made to NEWSCO Limited – Account Number 100004883 at the Antigua Commercial Bank.
On OBSERVER Goodwill Day, contributions can be made at donation stations which will be set up outside the ABI Financial Center building on Redcliffe Street.