The Economic Development Committee (EDC), through a sub-committee reviewed media services on St Helena in 2016. As a result of the review, two Service Level Agreements (SLA) were agreed between St Helena Government (SHG) and South Atlantic Media Services (SAMS) for radio and print journalism. The SLAs came into force on 1 April 2017 with clear conditions that SAMS had to deliver in order to access an agreed lower subsidy.
In January 2018 the EDC reviewed the SLA and SAMS' performance against the conditions.
The Sentinel has delivered a range of content including articles featuring children and young people as well as contributions from the community as required in the SLA.
SAMS have increased the amount of live radio broadcasts and they continue to relay the World Service.
SAMS are delivering on the elements of the SLA successfully while ensuring quality and journalistic integrity is maintained.
Despite a reduction in subsidy the SAMS team has adopted a new business model and credit must be given to the leadership, staff and volunteers.
The Sentinel continues to promote the Island and bring it to new audiences through the online edition. However, it may be that a speedier way to enable people to access online editions may be prudent and be worthy of consideration.
The EDC noted the progress made to date and will be provided with a further update at the end of the financial year.
Source: St Helena Government