Renowned media personality, Alex Bruno, has lamented the recent suspension of the ‘Diaspora Link’ programme, which he hosted at the Dominica Broadcasting Corporation (DBS Radio), alleging that the action was politically motivated.
In an interview with Dominica News Online, on Friday, Bruno revealed that his services had twice been interrupted previously— once in 2000, following the general election, when his contract was discontinued, and again somewhere in 2009/2010 when he was dismissed. Both times, he challenged the decisions of the corporation’s management, with favourable outcomes.
This time, in a letter, signed by Cecil Joseph, the manager of DBS Radio, dated December 30, 2019, Bruno was informed that “in an effort to position the Corporation to better suit its present needs, some programmes will have to undergo some form of restructuring, while some will have to be suspended. In light of this exercise, a decision has been arrived at to suspend Diaspora Link from the First Saturday of January 2020, until further notice, with new objectives and guidelines for the way forward of the Station’s On-Air Programming.”
However, Bruno insisted that this measure was pre-meditated and politically motivated.
“In terms of how I know, there have been plans over the year or so to try to discontinue to arrangement by the manager, in writing… and again based on public utterances, and what I have been hearing, and the personal threats of discontinuation, and the actual suspension, I believe that all of this is partisan and politically motivated,” he explained.
Yet, according to Bruno, Diaspora link, which has aired for two decades, was not a forum for political discussions.
“There was a direct order in terms of the arrangement for the program that we do not deal with politics in any way, shape or form… so we never had any partisan political discussions on the program whatsoever,” he said. “It was always about people—people’s achievements and people’s interactions… Never were we in breach of that in that specific arrangement.”
Instead, he claimed that the programme served to “[bring] Dominicans in the homeland and those overseas together. The program takes away space, ocean, air between Dominicans and creates this oneness, in terms of communication and understanding realities.”
He continued, “We sought to promote Dominican life… especially people who have achieved remarkable feats: academic excellence, entrepreneurship, cultural and artistic happenings, and the like…As long you’re a Dominican and you have some association with the diaspora and you wanted to share, you had an avenue to do that.”
Bruno has said that he will challenge the decision by the Dominica Broadcasting Corporation to suspend the programme if it is not re-instated.
Dominica News Online reached out to the manager of DBS Radio, Cecil Joseph, for a response to Bruno’s statement but Joseph declined our request.