In the Public Interest (IPI), this current affairs talk show has always had a special place among RSL97’s most ardent listeners. A trailblazer in local broadcasting, the show successfully revolutionised evening talk shows and became a staple, even when television had surpassed radio for entertainment and information. Discontinued in 2008, the show was at one point hosted by the current Minister for Broadcasting, Dr. James Fletcher.
Over the years IPI has examined a broad range of topics, including the youth, education, health, gender, environment, employment and business, and established itself as a comprehensive current affairs discussion programme.
Even though the show was aired on a state-owned radio station, IPI fast developed a reputation of empowering ordinary Saint Lucians to hold their elected and other public officials accountable for the country’s problems, and challenged them to find solutions. It became a platform for citizens to voice their opinions on a variety of subjects in a way that was previously unheard of.
According to General Manager Mc Claude Emmanuel “Saint Lucia has traditionally enjoyed press freedom, however most ordinary citizens have refrained from becoming embroiled in open debate, even about issues that directly impact them”.
Host Shelton Daniel says not only did IPI become an avenue for people to express themselves freely on issues dear to them, but they could do it with the confidence that some of that information would get back to the officials and institutions involved, and encouraged Saint Lucians to become more vocal and confident in voicing their opinions — something other and newer talk shows have piggy-backed on, but with limited success..
Once the flagship programme for RSL97, IPI has returned to the airwaves with Shelton Daniel as host. A former Director of News & Current Affairs at Radio Saint Lucia, Daniel has over two decades of experience in media. He has worked as a newspaper Editor, was also a News Reporter with Radio Caribbean International.
He relocated from St. Lucia and worked as a Senior Journalist and Producer with the Observer Media Group in Antigua. That organization includes the popular Observer Radio and the Daily Observer newspaper. At Observer, Daniel wrote a weekly newspaper column and hosted the weekly Big Issues radio programme – in addition to many other tasks performed across both the print and broadcast platforms.
His last assignment in Antigua was as Editor in Chief of a new daily newspaper which he helped successfully launch and establish before returning home to take up new assignments with RSL97.
IPI, which is aired on Mondays between 8:30 PM and 10 PM takes advantage of evolving media by incorporating social media and mobile technology to interact with listeners.