The Belize Times is a Belizean newspaper published once a week and the official organ of the People's United Party. It was established in 1956 and sells for BZ$1.00.
Its offices are located at the PUP's Belize City headquarters at 3 Queen Street, Belize City. As of August 2006, it has published over 4,500 issues, making it the longest continuously published newspaper in Belize since 1950.
Its motto is "The Truth Shall Make You Free", a shortened form of Bible verse John 8:32: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (King James Version)
- Editor: Michael Rudon
- Office Manager: Linsford Castillo
- Printing Personnel Supervisor: Doreth Bevans
- Desktop Publisher: Christopher Williams
- Typist: Rachael Arana
- Office Supervisor: Fay Castillo-McKay
- Printers: Mark Wagner, Oscar Obando
The Times began publishing in 1956 under the patronage of then leader George Price, who had just ousted ten members of the PUP from its Central Committee, including Phillip Goldson, owner and editor of the Belize Billboard.
For much of the 1980s the newspaper was presented as "The Sunday Times"; it resumed printing under the Belize Times moniker in the 1990s.
The Times has been involved in several lawsuits and controversies, being the chief print organ for the PUP. Though the major political parties rarely sue each other over accusations printed in the other's newspaper, allegations have at times become serious enough to warrant a response.
Longtime columnist Emory King died in August 2007. King's column officially ceased with the August 19 issue of the Times.
Sections of Newspaper
- Top national news stories
- Editorials (official editorial, "Hard-Hitting" and "Outspoken" guest editorials)
- Seniors Column (compilation of columns from Emory King and "Aunt" Grace Coleman)
- Feature articles and international news
- Classified ads
Writing style and criticism
The Belize Times was established in 1956 after a split in the party lost it the support of the Belize Billboard, owned by Phillip Goldson.
The Belize Times is the official organ of the People's United Party and generally supports the actions of that party. Its feature articles contain information which promote the achievements of the PUP, and are generally critical of the opposing United Democratic Party, whether in or out of government. The Times has also gained a reputation for its support for the arts through its weekly reviews of many Belizean artists.
2006 libel controversy
The Belize Times answered to a recent libel suit in the Supreme Court, filed by Attorney Lois Young and her former husband Opposition leader Dean Barrow over articles printed in the newspaper in October 2006 which they claimed defamed Young Barrow. Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh issued an injunction, which the Times appealed.
On November 9, 2006, Chief Justice Conteh lifted the injunction and set the case for January 2007.
In February 2007, Conteh ruled against the Times and set damages at BZ$40,000, the third highest award (including lawyer fees and costs) in legal history. The Times will consider an appeal, and in its Friday issue for that week continued to proclaim its innocence and accuse other media houses of unfair treatment of PUP public figures, which it says approaches libel.