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, touted as the 60 Minutes of the Caribbean. 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.
She has certainly had an impact. Last season the show aired in 27 countries. One feature was picked up by the BBC's The World, Public Radio International and WGBH in Boston. 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.
18 Degrees North is now celebrating the launch of its second season, with an eye on the South Florida television market. Burton says My 33, the local CBS station in Miami, has announced it will air 18 Degrees North every Sunday at 2:30pm EST. starting June 15, Fathers' Day. The program is a production of Global Reporters for the Caribbean, a consortium of journalists around the world committed to raising the bar on in-depth storytelling and investigative reporting in the Caribbean region.
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 DC 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.
18 Degrees North reporters look to uncover stories related to the Caribbean that have gone unreported or been underreported for too long. "If it’s political corruption or a celebration of success, this show offers a bold, fair and in-depth look, all while maintaining the highest level of journalistic standards," Burton said.
18 Degrees North is distributed on mainstream television, radio and on digital platforms in the U.S., the Caribbean and Diaspora. The program is sponsored by Grace Foods the Caribbean’s leading food manufacturer and distributor.
About Zahra Burton
Zahra Burton is the founder and principal of Global Reporters for the Caribbean, a consortium of journalists around the world committed to raising the bar on in-depth storytelling and investigative reporting in the Caribbean. The Consortium produces 18 Degrees North (18° North), a Caribbean focused global news show. Burton serves as host and executive producer. Ms. Burton is a former New York-based reporter for Bloomberg Television. During her seven-year tenure there, she covered the stock market from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as well as other major business stories, including the global financial crisis, health-care reform, the BP oil spill and the trial of Bernard Madoff.
Prior to joining Bloomberg Television in 2005, Zahra was a segment producer for NDTP Productions based out of KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles. It was there that she earned her Emmy nomination for her contributions to producing a weekly show on local entrepreneurs - Making It: Minority Success Stories. While in Los Angeles, she also served as guest host for The Young Turks, a national radio show focused on politics, sports, pop culture and entertainment. Burton's inspiration for 18 Degrees North came from her days working as a reporter in Kingston at Television Jamaica.