Media Houses In Barbados Charged With Dereliction Of Duty


In the aftermath of a short and intense political campaign which ended Tuesday, 15 January 2008, with victory for David Thompson and his Democratic Labour Party (DLP), we continue to worry about the perennial problem of an ineffective media in Barbados – read Barbados Free Press. The willingness of our media practitioners to sway and buckle to political and other pressures should be of concern to defenders of our democracy. It is not acceptable that as a country we should pride ourselves on a high standard of education, yet our media practitioners continue to demonstrate that they are devoid of any courage by demonstrating their spineless disposition. We have written extensively about the importance of the role of the Fourth of Estateenter keywords ‘fourth estate’ in our search area on the top of the page.

The time has come for media houses in Barbados to stop failing the people and to awake from their slumber.

There is a saying that people get what they deserve – well, something like that anyway – and in very much the same way that we are able to send a clear message every five years to the political directorate, so too we need to send a message to the owners of the Fourth Estate in Barbados. The only way we can expect balance reporting from our media houses is to speak-out against the inequities when they occur, embarrass them with our public comment, let them suffer by our lack of financial support, let us write to stakeholders such as the unions, and to their important clients and international watchdog agencies to help agitate for justice. The actions we can take as civic minded Barbadians are limitless.

Recently we have learned that the Nation newspaper have increased their advertising rates effective 1 January 2008. This increase comes against the back drop that the Nation Publishing Company is a very profitable company with a healthy market penetration in Barbados. Why is it that we are allowing this newspaper to disrespect us in this way? They continue to renege on their role as an important member of the Realms of the Estates, yet as citizens we pay them for doing so. Their commitment to improve shareholder value is laudable. Why should we blame them if they practice the free market concept of charging what the market will bear. The Starcom Group of companies is quite boastful when they publish the results of their Systems Surveys. Starcom Network currently dominates the media market in Barbados and command unrivaled market share. They are currently lobbying to get a TV license.

Certainly our Fair Trading Commission would have something to say about this if they apply the 40% rule.

The Media Houses in Barbados don’t care about freedom of expression, they care about making money. Any noises which they make in this regard must be labeled as lip-service only. Let us remember that Starcom Network is a publicly traded company trading under the name One Media based out of Trinidad. They are currently pursuing an acquisition strategy which will ultimately see news dissemination in the Caribbean consolidated in the hands of a narrow interest. The much respected Harold Hoyte and Sir Fred Gollop should be called to account for selling out Bajan majority interest in Starcom Network to fatten their bank accounts. Who are they fooling by spouting the rhetoric that a pan-media company is a visionary strategy. Give us a break!

In the same way that Starcom Network publicly asked former Minister of Tourism, Barney Lynch, how he acquired his perceived wealth, we, the public, should ask people such as, Vic Fernandez at Starcom, Harold Hoyte, retired publisher at the Nation and others, how they acquired their wealth. (It was only a short time ago Vic was the anchor for CBC TV news.) We are not seeking to sully the reputations of anyone. We simply want to highlight that a few people in our media houses have benefited tremendously from the support of Barbadians over the years. It is time some of these ‘fat cats’ in the media start to give something back. We have still not forgiven the Nation newspaper for feeding the behaviour which ultimately led to the departure of Roy Morris from that company!

The media practitioners in Barbados should be ashamed that after benefiting from our rich education system they do not have the will or the common sense to appreciate the benefit of coming together. Why is it that the Barbados Association of Journalists (BAJ) has been dormant for so many years? We will warn the media houses in the same way that we warned the previous government. There is a desire for change which is starting to gather momentum in our country. The Barbados Labour Party underestimated the power of the people. We hope that the learned people of our Fourth Estate can take heed.


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140 thoughts on “Media Houses In Barbados Charged With Dereliction Of Duty

  1. Tourism Minister??? Whomever came up with that idea for Adrian has really missed the whole point of his blog. I see Adrian as the Ralph Nadar of Barbados, though it wasn’t consumerism that fueled him initially but politics. After what has happened with the Arthur administration — stifling of the press, reducing natives to the status of squatters in their own country, economic suffering for the majority and list goes on and on. This era will usher in a new type of activism in Barbados, and people like Adrian Loveridge will be at the forefront in fighting for justice for the masses. I think Adrian can take his blog a step further to help with the enactment of laws, political oversight and things of that nature. He will be a dynamic political watchdog. Kudos to you Adrian!

  2. Mr. Cadogan, Please, may I kindly remind you that those Guyanese that are presently in Barbados are in fact the decendants of Barbadians who came here in the early days to seek their fortune. Yes, in the old days many Bajans came here to work and started families, and now these decendants of the early Bajans feel it’s their right to come home to Barbados. This is true, because the real Guyanese prefer to go to England, Trinidad, Suriname or the USA, and not Barbados. So please stop the rhetoric about protecting your children from Guyanese.

  3. Wishing in Vain // January 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    “You did your period of damage and you had your period of control and you lost your way and were thrown out of office”

    Are you some sort of mental nutcase? You are obviously suffering from delusions of some sort. Do you have high blood pressure?

  4. Magnum // January 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Adrian Hinds,

    YOU SAID: “I think you are confusing Adrian Loverage with Adrian Hinds.”

    Let me tell you that there is no confusion from my end between Adrian Hinds and Adrian Loveridge.

    I know my DLP yardfowls very well… one is black and one is white.

    One flew out of Barbados to settle abroad, and one flew in from the UK to settle here… in the same Barbados which they both love to denigrate.

    Origin, colour, circumstances and geographical location may vary, but birds of a feather STILL flock together.

    Tek dah!

    ha ha ha ha h aha so when i return to Barbados and i form an alliance with Adrian L, kind of like “co-leaders” in the ministry of government watchdog 😀 what will you accuse me off? I am black and a born Bajan. Then again we know the BLP’s opinions of am wuh duh does call we now? Returning Nationals. 😀

  5. Sister Baby,

    YOU SAID: “Mr. Cadogan, Please, may I kindly remind you that those Guyanese that are presently in Barbados are in fact the decendants of Barbadians who came here in the early days to seek their fortune.”

    This is NOT true. Many black Guyanese have black Barbadian foreparents, but not the East Indian ones.

    YOU SAID: “real Guyanese”

    What is a real Guyanese? A black one? An East Indian one? An Amerindian one? A Chinese one? A brownish Portuguese one? A whitish European one?

    I think you need to learn your own country’s history, because I as a Bajan seem to know more than you in some regards!

  6. Did I get that right? Did Ezra Alleyne write:
    “The other matter is the anonymous peddling of smear and innuendo and sometimes downright lies aimed at politicians on the Internet blogs…. …. in which he or she has no recourse to the law courts.”
    and “That is a virulent threat to democracy”
    1. Please identify what is not factual. I am sure we all are eager to know.
    2. Anybody, anywhere can comment on a post or complain. Anybody, anywhere in the free world can be sued for libel.
    3. Not having a free press is documented as a great threat to democracy.

    If you made these statements, you have “smeared” a branch of the media, and I politely ask you to explain yourself.

  7. Adrian Hinds,

    Returning nationals are Bajans.

    Even when they are deported and sent back to Barbados.

    In the case of Adrian Loveridge, there are probably still certain conditions under which he could be stripped of Bajan citizenship and deported OUT of Barbados.

    Hmmm… just writing it makes my heart spring with delight! What a sweet thought.

  8. Adrain, Do you know that Michael Caine is married to Shakira Baksh a former Miss Guyana and Miss World runner up. And Lord Wahid Ali, member of the House of Lords and one of the richest men in England is Guyanese, and of course Baroness Valerie Amos, the former Bristish Secretary for Foreign Affairs., and C.M. Rubin the white Guyanese author of children’s book now residing in New York City. And how can we forget Aunty Olga Lopes Seale who lived so many years in Barbados–a geat Guyanese woman who so wonderfully contributed to the cultural life of Barbados.

  9. Magnum, I gather the Guyanese problem in Barbados is an East Indian one. I sort of sensed it, but I was not sure. East Indians are lovely people, and I might add hard working so I don’t know why the problem. Well, have a nice night, I am going off the computer to cook some egglant curry, which we call boulange curry, and I will also cook some nice Karibbean rice to go with my eggplant curry and of course hot pepper suace. Bye Magnum.

  10. “ISSUES & IDEAS: Arthur’s proud record
    Published on: 1/18/08.


    “Outgoing Prime Minister Owen Arthur has everything to be proud of in his long tenure as Prime Minister and leader of this country. The record shows that in 1994, he took over a country whose confidence was fractured and shattered, and rebuilt it to the stage where young Barbadians particularly, now believe that the sky is no longer the limit, but that there are no limits to their aspirations.

    He leaves office at a time when, thanks to him, Barbadians enjoy a very high standard of living and when his far-sighted planning leaves behind firm foundations on which our future progress was to have been built. Not least among these are the record low unemployment and the comfortable level of foreign reserves. Quite the opposite was the position in 1994, when he arrived at his office to find the International Monetary Fund point man.”

    Yeah Ezra! We’ll see how great a man he is after the verdict is in on the audit. We’ll see how much money Owen and his band of embezzling cohorts left in the kitty. I swear there are two Barbados and people like you could only see the one side where the minority can afford to live comfortably, while the majority suffers economically.

  11. Magnum, Magnum, Magnum, East Indians are nice people, hard working, and very loyal people. Just think that our East Indian Guyanese bring to Barbados their beautiful East Indian culture, and I see nothing wrong with that. I am going now, going to cook egg plant curry, so have a nice evening, and it’s not late to catch the late night LIAT flight into Tinehri, for Georgetown is quite the place to be on Friday night, but of course there is always tomorrow. Have a nice night, and please leave Adrian L alone. He is nice and a citizen forever of the Caricom of which your Barbados is a memberof. Bye

  12. Sister Baby:

    Who are you trying to fool on this blog about Guyana? Since 1835 when they started stealing Indians and importing them to Guyana as indentured servants the problem started. Indian people thought themselves better than Africans and hence Guyana became a pluralistic society fueled by the Indian with his “so called superior attitude”. The Indo-Guyanese is trying to escape dirt poor poverty in Guyana and runs to Barbados. But instead of humbly assimilating, he brings his hatred for African people, which causes a lot of tension in a society where two races co-existed for hundreds of years by basically ignoring each other. The arrogance of the Indo-Guyanese would not allow himself to be humble in a society dominated by African people who have made great strides since landing on these shores as slaves. In a nutshell that is the problem of the Indo-Guyanese.

  13. Magnum

    Both Captain Hutt and his wife have passed on. As far As I am aware they had no children. I endorse your comments about him being a true gentleman

  14. Donald Duck, Esq,

    Thank you for informing me of their deaths. I had already done some checks on the internet after I asked the question, and I found a statement from Karl Watson mentioning the death of Captain Hutt though no date was given.

    He was the sort of person we need to attract to Barbados… men of integrity, not frauds and false pretenders looking for POWA.

    Do you know when they died? Or which one passed away first?

  15. Planter, Oh it is so hard for me to come down on anyone, but I do know what you mean. Some of my dear friends are East Indian, and they are lovely people, very respectful and kind, so I don’t know my dear. I just ignore the bad people and focus on the good ones. Have a nice night!

  16. I told you all already that this sister baby character is an attention junkie.

    You notice the rubbish and inconsistencies she writes.

    She wriggles herself into the conversation not understanding most of what is being discussed and with some rambling off points.

    I think the best advice is to ignore her and don’t respond to her craziness.

    I get the sense that she thinks she is riling the bloggers up and is enjoying that as well as the attention she is getting.

  17. Annoymous, I am not doing anything of the sorts. You just jealous because Gary Cole responded to me, Adrian Hinds responded to me and Adrian Loverridge loves Guyana that is why you are saying those things about me. You are right I don’t know 99% of the topics discussed on any blog, even the Guyana ones, but I like to send messages to the people, anyway. it’s is fun. And I know the readers like to see me here, and besides Adrain pays for this blog and I am former British subject so I can write here.

    Sister Baby you write about Guyana but do you live in Guyana or resorting to your memories of Guyana?


  18. All this talk about white foreigners holding office would lead a white foreigner (read as tourist) to believe we were kind of mad!!

    However, a former Prime Minister has come up with a solution not entirely different from a suggestion I made a while back to advertise the post of minister worldwide and try and get the best person for the job.

    Basdeo Panday has recommended to the President of Trinidad and Tobago that the post of Chief Justice be advertised and not filled in a mad hurry.

  19. Dave,
    I suggest that the fear factor has since been removed and it would be wonderful to read this story.

    BU Regrets….
    October 21, 2007 · 1 Comment
    We promised yesterday to deliver the latest decisions to be made regarding the 3S project. We have to reverse our decision because of the possibility that our sources maybe compromised. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to the BU family.

    To our sources: We would appreciate if you open hushmail email ( accounts so that it can facilitate easier communication. Refer to your last emails to authenticate!

  20. Do not encourge people to use Hushmail believing it to be safe. IT IS NOT.

    “A court document in a drug smugging case has shown that the private email service Hushmail has been cooperating with police in handing over user emails.”

    “The DEA agents received three CDs of decrypted emails which contained decrypted emails for the targets of the investigation that had been decrypted as part of a mutual legal assistance treaty between the United States and Canada.”

    Beware of Hushmail.

  21. This is a quiet incredible thread. It really shows the function of blogs to allow people to vent their feelings and frustration that otherwise get surpressed.

    There is a lot of bickering, snipping, but some really thoughtful pieces that make you think and make you feel proud for local people (white, big-up, guyanese, partisan, just plain outright nasty too) It does present a problem that people think they can dismiss them because they are uninformed, but thats non-sense. This is democracy in action.
    Really, really, this is a wonderful thing the BU.
    Eve what you wrote, i hope more people get to read. Mr Loveridge i new the original owner of Arawak Inn, he was a good family friend – that is a special place, and you are a special person – all the best and dont let them get you down: Adrian i cant understand you, all the time, but appreciate your comments most of the time, SisterBaby, i cant stand the company of men all the time with their beating chest and pissing matches, so i really appreciate the comments, that Nation employee seems to have been trembling too much to get his typing straight behind his bosses back, Carson your a good decent person, and all the rest great.

    I am going to continue with my long posts, I’ll break them into parts, and i promise you if you havent already read my books, that you certainly will be informed about Barbados, and also i think if i succeed the reading of them will be a journey in themselves.

    Richard Hoads article was great, i miss going up to his goat farm evry couple of weeks and getting fresh goats milk for my son, as i used to do.

    The link to Terry Alleys article, who is a good journalist, and proven himself many times, and people who have never done serious research, will not appreciate the significance.

  22. We listened with great interest to Dr. Don Marshall as he hosted the call-in program yesterday. In response to a caller to extract his position on the freeing up of a TV license we got the impression he was squirming a little. Could it be that he agrees with us that Starcom network is not worthy of a TV license but to say what he really feels would conflict with him being able to host the show in the future? If we are wrong Professor we will be the first to apologize but again we got the impression that you were not your usual candid self when this matter was raised. Although you did not mention Barbados Underground and elected to mention our friends Barbados Free Press we know that all of you including the journalists now read the blogs as a matter of routine.

    To your concern about the good, bad, and ugly which the blogs will attract. Let us focus on the positive. In order to get rid of the rotten apples, a few good apples may fall when we shake the tree.

  23. I post every now again over at Barbados free press whenever i believe that there needs to be a clarification on the law or when i wish to give an opnion on somoething relating to the law. I wish to start doing the same here (i find this blog more balanced than BFP).

    Persons reading these blogs often ask themselves why the mainstream media houses don’t bring the same type of stories that one can find here on these blogs. They go as far as to accuse them of purposefully seeking to hide the truth (which I highly doubt).
    The likely reason is that if a defamatory story is published by the nation or advocate newspapers they WILL face a lawsuit for defamation.

    All media corporations pay liability insurance to cover lawsuits but the more law suits that are brought the higher the premiums that must be paid.

    I remind you of the law suit the nation faced in 1997 where they sought to expose and alleged child-pornography ring and were sued successfully. The nation’s initial story didn’t even mention the names of the persons
    involved and they brought an eye witness to court in an attempt to show that the story was true. The moral of the story: Even if a defamatory article is true, you must prove it in court in order to rely on a defence of truth.

    My point: A blog can post a comment or story without having to verify the reliability of the source and without seeking comment from the person defamed. A blog can post defamatory comments and not worry about defamation actions (as long as their identities aren’t know) or insurance premiums. The mainstream media houses can’t operate in the same way or they will be out of business before you know it.

  24. anonlegal,

    Your points are well made, but should people use blogs just to hide and defame others against whom they habour personal grudges?

    I will never stop reading my newspapers, because I know that newspapers in Barbados are more truthful, responsible and reliable than any blog. Blogs have agendas.

    Druze Militia @ B, F, P, E,

  25. Anonlegal, thanks for the facts, I mentioned the same reasons why the fourth estate CANNOT or WOULD NOT print articles that will caused them undue pressure with a LAWSUIT. The laws are rigid with the media, plus the insurance company representing that media ensure that that media to do become reckless whilst publishing articles. Blogs are different, no insurance are required, and the identity of the sponsors are unknown, thus, the law have no one to charge.

  26. Take this blog for example.

    It routinely tries to suppress comments from us at B_F_P_E because we dare to challenge Adrian Loveridge the white foreigner who controls BU and BFP.

    Every effort is made to silence and suppress us, but still we persevere, despite his attempts to stifle free speech online and make BU a pro-DLP propaganda machine.



  27. Anonlegal~thanks for the clarification. We suggest to you though that many of our articles which have touched on the role of the media in Barbados speak about their refusal to carry standard news stories e.g. the delay in publishing the Danos story which was being carried by international news feeds weeks before the Nation published the story, the manipulation of headlines during the recent political campaign, the story which Brandford narrated at Haggatt Hall about the Nation selling all the stickies to the BLP therefore reneging on a verbal contract with the DLP. We could go on. The media in Barbados needs competition. Currently it is too concentrated. We have heard Prime Minister Thompson enunciating the view while in opposition that to bring prices down he will be promoting a policy which encourages competition. If he wants to be viewed as consistent he needs to do the same in the media sector.

  28. even though you all say you are, it seems that NOBODY is impartial at either BFP or BU, they are either pro-Blp or pro-Dlp. We need some real impartaility please! What i have noticed is that some contributers have made claims about being censored under the past Blp “regime” when they critised the government. Don’t you think that the same will happen under this new government? That all critics of this new government too will be censored?What i do hope is that no personal vendettas are taken out under this new government or any other government. Congratulations to PM Thompson and his team… we all welcome change. Live up to all those promises, else we, the people, will vote you out too.


    Why don’t you read our articles and comments made by BU and form your own conclusion. The only commenter we have had to censor so far is a person or persons who makes a nuisance of himself/themselves by spamming all of our topics and has gone as so far as to threaten the life of Adrian Loveridge and his wife. We will not tolerate it. If you don’t like what you read we suggest as Adrian Hinds suggested this morning, anyone is free to start their own blog. To be frank we are starting to become fed-up with commenters who are willing to jump on the bandwagon without any evidence. It is interesting that BU never wanted to moderate our blog but we received a ton of email requesting that we ban the person responsible for spamming and we reluctantly agreed.


  29. i was not referring to censorship from BU or BFP, i was referring to censorship from the local media. The fact the contributors have made claims about their censorship by the local media for their political views.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.


  30. Veteran journalist David Ellis admits that the emergence of the blogs should concern the traditional media. U doubt that the old hacks of Vivian at the nation, Vic at VoB and Cox/Graeme at CBC will listen. Let them look at the USA where there is a strong traditional media but the blogs licking dog.

    There is non so blind that refuse to see 🙂

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