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Dec 6, 2021

5 @ 30: “News Five Remembers” Anchor Ernesto Vasquez

This Friday marks the 30th anniversary of Channel Five’s very first news broadcast. So this week we will be bringing you a series of special features called “News Five Remembers.” We begin tonight with a former news anchor, Ernesto Vasquez. He got his degree in broadcasting from Southwestern Louisiana University, and received additional training at the BBC and in the US. He has decades of experience in radio and television and read news at Channel Five in the 1990s early 2000s. Although he ran a business during the day and was only with us part time, Ernesto was fully committed to reading the news. He brought just the right tone and polished professionalism to every broadcast. We hope you will enjoy his insider’s view of the news.


Ernest Vasquez

Ernest Vasquez, Former Anchor News Five

“Tonight on News Five live, remains of murdered man found days later in Belize City, San Pedro police investigate death of young woman, and tour guides say causeways key to port project that could give them a lot of business. We will have the details of those stories and more coming up in tonight’s newscast. Well, that is just me, Ernesto Vasquez, reminiscing about how I used to read the news here at Channel Five many, many years ago.”


[clip: 1993]

“Good evening, welcome to News Five, I am Ernesto Vasquez.  It is a greeting that has become familiar to thousands of Belizeans. Since December ninth, 1991, on every weeknight at six thirty myself or one of our other anchor persons has brought news five into your home or wherever you happen to be watching tv. Tonight we take the opportunity to look back over the twelve months of 1993. From the two hundred and fifty newscasts broadcast during that period, we have twenty-one of what we consider to be our best stories.”


Ernest Vasquez, Former Anchor News Five

“I was lucky to work with Steward Krohn who was a writer, and he was familiar with writing for radio and television, as opposed to only magazines and newspaper. We were very meticulous about sentence structure and pronunciation of words. And coming myself from old school, in the old days with Radio Belize, I wasn’t allowed to read news, it would at least be a year or more in radio before I was even allowed to touch the news. That doesn’t happen now. You walk in and two days later you are reading the news. They gave it that importance. So we were meticulous about that. Yes. We would get it as early as possible, unless it was a breaking story. But most of the time, half an hour or more, you already have your paper, you can check and if you don’t know how a word is pronounced and so on. But one thing about writing, especially for radio and tv which I think we don’t appreciate here is that you are not supposed to sound fancy. You are supposed to write it plain, in plain English so everybody understands it. We tend to believe we have to use big words and sentence structures so we sound more intelligent.  That’s not the fact.”


[clip: 1993]

“The news continues with Zee Edgell’s second book, in Times Like These which was launched last night at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City.”


Ernest Vasquez, Former Anchor News Five

“We did more on air. As a reader, I didn’t have all the inserts, all the visuals. Which we had to learn about, because tv is about visuals. We know a lot more now. The stories have not really changed. The numbers may have changed, the effect on the community may have changed a bit, but the crime, the politicians, we are always lucky to have them give us news, you know. What has changed it the way we present it, for one. We have different writers now; we tend to look at the news more as a documentary program. We have hour long, hour, hour and a half, you know. It’s because I think our audience, they don’t have, they can’t switch off the news after a half an hour and you can go and watch a documentary about the killings that occurred last week. So we put it all in one. There is, I still think there is a demographic that uses the 6 o’clock news whichever station you prefer, to confirm what you kind of read on social media.  I think that is still there. But I think those who are producing should be more aware of this, so they can– they need to tweak the tv shows to match that. And I am a little afraid that we are not moving fast enough for that. Especially in Belize.  Well happy thirtieth anniversary Channel Five, it brings back a lot of memories. This is where I really started on television. Enjoy yourselves, and of course, keep up the good work! “


[clip: 1993]

It’s ten minutes to seven. Thanks for joining us. I am Ernesto Vasquez. From all of us at News Five have a pleasant evening.”


And as our viewers are aware tonight is also the start of “Gimme Five,” nights. If you were not among the many people who stopped by our studio on Coney drive already, make sure you come by to purchase your tickets to win giveaways. There are some exceptionally good prizes this year as we mark the thirtieth anniversary so make sure your name is in the box before the end of the week.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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