South Atlantic Media Services, Ltd. (SAMS), established in 2011, is one of St Helena Island's two media organisations.
SAMS has four full-time staff, who work together to provide the greatest depth and variety of coverage that exists about St Helena Island.
SAMS provides a weekly newspaper (The Sentinel), 24/7 radio, videography and photography services and online content.
St Helena - a remote British Overseas Territory in the middle of the South Atlantic - is best known as the place of exile/death of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte; for it's new and only airport; and for housing in its 47sq. miles more biodiversity than in the whole of Great Britain.
Media, on this remote island, is critical: SAMS plays a role in climate change coverage that is crucial not only to the island but also to the rest of the world; promotes positive and unique community stories that show why St Helena is one of the last places of its kind in today's world; and promotes increased transparency and accountability on an island where there remains no Freedom of Information and no data protection.
SAMS is also increasing efforts to provide media education and career opportunities for young Saints, who otherwise have no exposure to media training. Media education can help increase school engagement and performance, and can also open up greater opportunities for local employment and increase civic engagement.
Emma, age 25, was born and raised in Oklahoma, USA to a St Helenian mother and a British father. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications in May 2016, Emma moved to St Helena in January of 2017 as the Creator/Director of independent journalism project Six Months a Saint.
In the past, Emma served as Editor-in-Chief of an award-winning yearbook and of the university magazine Crimson Quarterly. She has freelanced for The Guardian and The Huffington Post and has interned for the Oklahoma Press Association.
Emma became CEO of SAMS at the end of August 2017.
Emma's grandfather, Fred (Sonny) Ward, was a well-known St Helenian activist/journalist and Emma now works in the building in which he once lived.
Donna is 29 years old and was born in the United Kingdom to St Helenian parents. At age 2, Donna moved to St Helena and has stayed in Jamestown ever since.
Donna has been working in the media since she left school. Initially, Donna worked for Saint Fm Community Radio.
But in September 2015, she moved 'over the road' and took a position as a Junior Station Manager with SAMS, and has been with the company ever since.
Andrew is 22 years old and was born in Hertfordshire, England. His family moved to St Helena Island when he was 7 years old, and he then spent his early years in Blue Hill before moving to Jamestown as a teenager.
Andrew started his journalism career at age 16, right after leaving secondary school. He first worked with the island's other media organisation, the St Helena Independent/Saint FM. After two years there, he moved away from the organisation (now funded by Lord Ashcroft) and joined the team at SAMS, where he started as a "Journalist/Media Production Assistant" before moving up to his current role.
Fiona was born on St Helena Island and lives in the St Paul's District. She is age 21, plus 28 years experience!
Fiona has a career spanning 31 years in administration, accounts and customer services. Fifteen of those years were with the St Helena Government, and 16 of the years with the private sector. She has been employed by SAMS since June 2017, and is also the Secretary of the Half Tree Hollow Rifle Club.
St Helenian Cyril (better known as "Ferdie") Gunnell was educated at Secondary Selective School, and later enrolled with International Correspondence Schools to further his education.
Prior to joining SAMS, Ferdie worked with Radio St Helena as News Editor and Producer.
Cyril was also elected to the St Helena Legislative Council in 1991, and over the years served on a number of committees (including the Education Committee and the Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee). As a Member of the Executive Council for two full terms, on separate occasions he chaired the Health & Social Welfare Committee and the Employment & Social Security Committee. He has represented St Helena at various CPA conferences overseas, including the Overseas Territories Consultative Council and the EU Overseas Countries and Territories forums.
Ferdie's career history also includes work as the Fire Inspector and Medical/Administrative Assistant on Ascension Island; Flight Operations Operator and Progress Control Manager at CSE Aviation, Oxford; Income Tax and Social Work in St Helena; the first Investigations Officer (social benefits) in St Helena.
Currently, as well as freelancing weekly for SAMS, Ferdie is Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Chairman of the Prison Visiting Committee and has recently stepped down from Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce.