MIAMI — Two years ago former Bloomberg TV reporter, Zahra Burton, promised to turn the Caribbean news industry on its head with 18 Degrees North ( 18° North), a weekly half-hour TV news magazine. The Jamaican-born and raised Burton founded the program to fill the void for investigative reporting on Caribbean issues.
“There are millions of people in the Caribbean and its Diaspora who want credible news from the region,” said Burton. “I am determined to deliver news that digs deeper,” she said.
18 Degrees North, now in its second season, will air on My 33, the local CBS station in Miami, every Sunday at 2:30 p.m., starting June 15. The program is a production of Global Reporters for the Caribbean, a consortium of journalists around the world.
Named for the geographic coordinates of Jamaica,18 Degrees North features three segments, each exploring topics as varied as politics, science, business, health, sports and culture.
This Father’s Day, the second season of 18 Degrees North will delve into, among other issues, the topic of absentee fathers in the Caribbean, with a rebroadcast of an exclusive jailhouse interview with the Washington, D.C. Sniper and Jamaican-born Lee Boyd Malvo. The young murderer blames the absence of his biological father for his own downward path into a life of crime.
Season two will also feature investigative stories about the alleged nefarious activities of several Europeans with offshore accounts in the Caribbean and alleged death squads in the Jamaican police force.
On the lighter side, it will also carry profiles on Caribbean celebrities like Guyanese-born TV actress CCH Pounder, who’ll star in NCIS New Orleans this fall, along with special cultural features like bird whistling competitions in Trinidad & Tobago and dancehall funerals in Jamaica.
Among the highlights of a successful season one include, a story on cholera victims in Haiti, the Jamaican lottery scam that has bilked American seniors out of millions, the rampant incidence of domestic violence in the Dominican Republic and Jamaican Songstress Tessanne Chin, winner of season 5 of The Voice.