Oranjestad- The BES-Reporter, an initiative by psychologist and part-time journalist Harald Linkels, will from now on have a local representative on St. Eustatius in the person of Daniela Richardson. Richardson will be the new contact person on the island for both news and for those who want to advertise on the news medium for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
“I love media and I am always engaged with whatever happens on the island” says Richardson. When Mr. Linkels told me he was looking for someone on St. Eustatius to represent the newspaper, I immediately applied. Richardson says that she just loves to interact with people and that she is a sociable person with a lot of ideas and energy. Richardson, who has a background in Administration from the Gwendoline van Putten school, has worked in the past at Marriott in Aruba and is currently also setting up her own business on St. Eustatius, Blue Island Gem, where she is organizing events and also functions as a Wedding Planner.
According to Harald Linkels, the idea always was to expand the group of people engaged with the BES-Reporter and to further build out the online news site. “I have always stated that there was no medium exclusively focused on the three BES-islands and I wanted to change that”, says Linkels. “Everyone who knows me, knows about my interest in St. Eustatius. If I would not be living in Bonaire, where I grew up and where my family lives, I would be living on St. Eustatius”, according to Linkels.
Linkels admits he needs help to further expand The BES-Reporter. “Actually I am quite busy as it is with my own company Linkels & Partners and on top of that I also function as the chairman of the board for Pension Fund Caribbean Netherlands (PCN), but news is also something that interests me”, said Linkels. Linkels has over 30 years experience as a substitute-journalist for his father Hubert Linkels who, for decades, used to write for the Beurs- & Nieuwsberichten, Amigoe and Antilliaans Dagblad. After having functioned as correspondent on Bonaire for Antilliaans Daglad during a period of 9 months in 2016, Linkels decided to start with the BES-Reporter.
Linkels said that St. Eustatius may not be an island with a big population, but that doesn’t take away that a lot is happening on the second biggest BES-island. “I know there are a lot of issues on St. Eustatius and especially in politics these days. I do feel however that St. Eustatius is a very nice island with a great potential”, said Linkels.
According to Linkels, the addition as Richardson to the group behind the BES-Reporter will help the online newspaper to grow even more on St. Eustatius. “We are really well read on St. Eusatius”, said Linkels. At present the BES-Reporter has a news desk of 3 persons, including Linkels himself, Sylvia de Leon and Ellen Breel from ABC Online Media.
“We currently have over 4100 people following our Page on Facebook, while we have a ever-growing number of readers on our site www.bes-reporter.com. According to Linkels, most readers live on the BES-Islands, followed by those living in Curaçao, Aruba, St. Maarten and The Netherlands. However, the news site is also well-read by people living in the United States.