Is STARCOM Network And Nation Newspaper Abusing Their Dominant Market Position?

Submitted by OLD SCHOOL

My problem with Starcom and the Nation Newspaper is that their coverage lack balance.  I focus on them because no one reads the Advocate, CBC has always been CBC, we look to the Nation and VOB for some unbiased, good journalism.

I have problems with the quality of the Nation and Starcom’s coverage of issues.  In my opinion, their columnists and articles in general provide very little context to the issues they opine on, and  very few facts are introduced into the discussions.

For example, Sanka Price provides a solution to the cost of living by removing some taxes as done in Guyana.  Does Guyana provide the same level of social services as Bim? He makes no reference to the cost of such a solution and seems totally oblivious to any trade offs involved.

Albert Brandford flags the level of NIS investment in government but gives no sense of what it used to be in previous years.  A semi-decent journalist would feel the need to provide that context if he wants to make a persuasive argument.

The Nation prints that the government of Barbados has a new policy which denies  non-nationals access to health care in Barbados.  They know full well that is a sensitive issue.  They also know full well  that  non nationals have access but not free of cost.  I think it makes a big difference.  The nation and Starcom seem content to give the impression that if a non-national turns up at the QEH or a polyclinic they will be turned away.  They also know full well that it has always been the law of Bim that only permanent residents and citizens are entitled to free health care.  But do they care, they print what they want anyway.  I am uncomfortable with persons living and working here paying taxes and not being able to access free health care, but I have no time for misleading journalism.

I cannot help feeling that the Nation and Starcom are abusing their dominance of the media space to push and agenda and try to make Barbados look bad. It seems to me that they cannot handle the freedom to criticise.

They feared Arthur because of what he did to them when in office.

79 thoughts on “Is STARCOM Network And Nation Newspaper Abusing Their Dominant Market Position?

    • Not sure if OLD SCHOOL is highlighting a political partisan issue, more so context to news gathering.

    • What ever became of the tiff between former Sun Editor Carol Martindale and Hartley Henry?

      Roxanne Gibbs was booted out, Carol was ‘demoted’ and Henry has moved on from the DLP?

  1. What I find to be outlandish is that they characterize it as a “NEW POLICY” in the aforementioned media outlets.The truth is that this has always been the law in Barbados……. just not enforced till now,I think that if it had been all along then the probability is that Barbados could have saved a lot more money over the years.

    CSME seems to be nothing but a distributor of income amongst the included countries where the higher GDP per capita countries were meant to be bled dry.

  2. @jack spratt: “No one reads the Advocate? Why not?

    Well, for one reason (and I try to buy both papers every day) is many outlets don’t carry The Advocate. Or, if they do, they only carry a very few copies. Even my “paper-man” (who carries both) tells me he sells 10 to 1.

    (Please note that the Barbados Advocate scan every page of their newspaper every day, and make it available to anyone to read online for free. Graphic images only — search engines not welcome. This might have been a really smart, or a really dumb move. Or, perhaps, both.)

    @js: “What is the difference between the two papers?

    Depends on your criteria.

  3. Things are not too well in Barbados and if any journalist does a news item which does not favour the government, we will get comments from the likes of the blogger. This has nothing to do about being fair and balanced, this is about DLP paramountcy.

    For every seemingly anti government story, there is always a counter balance. Peter Wickham supports this government to its every fault. His column is always on the very opposite page to Albert Brandford’s. Ricky Jordan’s column is always pro-government. You also have Richard Hoad and Peter Laurie all with a DLP slant. Do you want everybody to be pro-DLP? What was wrong with Sanka’s column, he offered solutions to the pricing of petroleum products?

    If Albert Brandford reports on government using NIS funds like an ATM card, is this not to be know when so many people depend on the NIS funds? If you had listened to the Estimates Debates, you would have heard Owen Arthur said that this government is using up 69% of NIS funds. Knowing the Dems, if the previous government used up any of the funds anything like them, Chris Sinckler, Donville Inniss or Ronald Jones would have jumped up and let the public know how much the BLP used to borrow. My understanding from an insider is that the BLP did borrow from the NIS but they always paid back the fund. Not so these Dems. They treat NIS as their slush fund.

    Under Harold Hoyte, the Nation was pro-DLP, what has happened since he left? Harold Hoyte let it be known that he brought down one PM and he was determined to see the fall of Owen Arthur. All like OLD SCHOOL had no problem with the journalistic standards of the Nation then.

    When the Bees were in office, every day Market Vendor was on to some story or the other, now you hardly ever hear him on anything political, only stupid internet jokes or of course anything on the T&T PM. He was forever praising DJ Thompson.

    VOB was used by the DLP to win the last elections. They carefully planted their people as moderators, namely……… Tony “Phony” Marshall, Maxine McClean, Harry Husbands (Later), Vere Brathwaite, Don Marshall, Matthew Farley and the latest acquisition is one Maureen Holder. What more do you want Old School? Is this fair and balance for you?

    I heard a diehard DLP supporter telling Dennis Johnson that every time the BLP had a meeting, the first report on Monday morning was from the BLP meeting. Dennis Johnson listened. When the same thing happened again and this was when the DLP had their reporting to the constituency, although these meetings were carried live on CBC, this guy called David Ellis again with the same nonsense who told him they would look into the matter. Now VOB buries any BLP stories a little ways into their newscast, maybe just to please this guy.

    The Advocate supports this government and only publishes pro-DLP stories. You cannot excuse them by saying that no one reads them. Now you are not being fair, where is the Advocate’s responsibility to be fair and balanced?

    This matter of no free medicines or medical care for non nationals go all the way back to David Thompson’s treatment of non nationals. It was a plan from the beginning. What do you want the journalists to say, deny that the people are not getting the free care.

    You know balanced is in the eyes of the beholder. For all the bashing that FOX NEWS gets, I find them to be fair and balanced unlike the much loved CNN and MSNBC by Bajans. For every Republican on Fox, there is a Democrat. Not so on CNN and MSNBC. They are unbalanced!

    Old School, I feel that the Nation is very fair to this government especially during the last by-election even though the DLP refused to spend a cent with them in advertisements. Mara had more coverage than the BLP’s candidate in the Nation and on VOB.

    Every action has consequences, you know!

    • @Prodigal Son

      Did you make an attempt to address the concerns raised by OLD SCHOOL?

      Did he not give examples of the context for his criticism?

    • Didn’t he explain why he has ignored CBC and The Advocate in the argument?

      BU even gave focus to the thrust of the submission in the title.

  4. I sure did.

    He wants that every article Sanka or Albert write must have another view. But refuses to hold the Advocate to account, dismissing it that no one reads the Advocate. He makes no attempt to criticise the blatant misuse of journalistic power at CBC. I re-read his article and I have come to the conclusion that he wants no criticism of the DLP government.

  5. Sombody ought to tell the jackass Ministers in Guyana and Saint Lucia that non nationals are not entitled to FREE health care in Bdos. The clincher here is FREE. They can get health care by paying or whatever means but not FREE. Every country in the world has this same policy. Looks like Sanka Price and Ian Bourne eat from the same cook. Didnt Sanka Price produce a pornographic newspaper years ago?

  6. I read the article written by Sankra Price and I too thought that it lacked true substance. In fact, I believe that some journalists at the Nation need to do more analytical writing and dont abuse their privilege. I am aware that they need to sensationalise issues to increase sales. The company must be aware that some of us that read that paper are ctical thinkers.

    Last week, I read in the said Nation where the President of BAMP made a statement that doctors will not be checking the identy of persons before attening to them. If the writer had checked he/she would have known that the Record Clerks in the polyclinics and the QEH are responsble for doing so. It then took the Minister of Health to point out that doctors do not undertake such a task, but it clear that BAMP and the President have an axe to grind as doctors are for, the first time, being asked to account for their stewrdship.

    I gone

  7. Are the wounds healing?

    “Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Minister of Sports Olivia Grange gave a special welcome to the Barbados contingent during her address.

    “Enjoy yourself,” she said.

    “We want you to know that Jamaica loves you.”

  8. I have kept off this blog but had to ask the question, how does anyone get anything Sanka Price read. It puzzles me and I am not good at puzzles, they are some what like his articles.

  9. You see what I mean, as soon as one does not have a DLP slant, you get the ad hominen attacks. Why did Jack not ask if Donville Inniss’ past was not an issue last election if he dares to ask if Sanka ran a pornographic newspaper? As far as I remember, it was a bit like the Trinidadian Punch and for sure he could not run a porno rag in Barbados!

    So if a doctor in a press conference said that that he/she will not be checking patients’ immigration status, what is wrong in reporting what BAMP said? Fact or fiction? Was that not what the doctors said?

    I read the newspapers and I can think for myself whether an article makes sense or not and I can read between the lines and make my own judgement call.

    Sanka’s article on the pricing of petroleum products resonated somewhere as the minister was forced to admit that they are collecting real revenue over and above what they expected but that they cannot change the status quo because a lot of the stupid (my word) taxes they imposed are not collectible.

  10. Anyone remembers the Nation carrying a report that only two drugs on the Drug Formulary would be available from the 1st of April to treat hypertension? I have been using a diuretic and an ACE Inhibitor for years and was hoping that the ACE Inhibitor would not be pulled. I called my pharmacist immediately after reading the article and he told me that the story was a damn lie. I was hoping that they would have offered Barbadians an apology for misleading them with false information. The level of journalism is at an all time low.

    • Every issue we continue to politicise.

      Has the media in Barbados been responsible enough in not only gathering news but developing news?

      For, example where is the followup to the Sandy Lane Royal Shop BWU matter?

      Why did it take Starcom so long to disseminate information to the public regarding the inefficiency in the administration of our justice system? Before the callin show a couple weeks ago we had to listen to what a glowing job the former CJ did at the expense of everything else.

      The list is endless about stories out there waiting for exposure. There is the current issue being discussed on BU regarding shenanigans and inefficiency in the management of the NUPW.

      Regarding political affiliation in the media, it is so and has always been so. Ask any honest journalist and you will be told they are biases which have to be managed in the newsrooms.

  11. A reporter
    worth his salt should have the other side of the story, if I say something to reporter, for example, only certain people in
    Barbados is entilted to free health care from December 01, what should he do?

    He/should ascertain what the policy was before, whether this something new, and if new what has contributed to this change. Having done that ypu would have another side of the coin.

    I listened to the interview with Minister Sinckler and he said even though that petroleun price had gone up the Government was slightly off the projected amount that it had hoped to raise because Barbadians had adjusted their consumption pattern for petroleun.

    Someone asked why hasnt the Nation carried and article about malfesance at the UNPW, perhaps the comapny does not want to hurt its head in having to undertake research to understand the issues. Further, it might believe articles on the NUPW migh not be sensational enough like how it is willing to write about perceived corruption in Government and parastatal agencies.

    I gone

  12. ‘ because Barbadians had adjusted their consumption pattern for petroleun.’

    Wonderful news! Less foreign exchange being wasted / burnt!

  13. The issue may not be whether the election was fair but in the need to articulate and bring to the membership/public certain matters hitherto kept offline.

  14. @ Prodical Son …… One cannot help but agree that posts such as yours make a sterling contribution to the acceptance of what passes as journalistic credibility in Barbados. The same loyalty to party that supersedes the love for the profession in the case of the journalists on both sides of the political fence has brought you a bout of myopia , that in turn has brought to this blog the very same staple it seeks to attack. Although this nonsense has gone on for ever it seems, there can be no doubt that it became more pronounced under the iron fisted approach of one Owen Arthur. Little effort if any at all was made by Albert (mr. glib )Branford to hide his persuasion as his pollution spewed every week with the type of efficiency the folk at Mt.Stinkaroo could only hope for, but never achieve. Lets go back to Starcom’s pronouncement of its intention to host Brasstacks Sunday. Remember the out-bursts by Mr. Arthur? The first three programmes were as docile as the cricket pitch at the old Bourda Grounds in Guyana. Then came that friday afternoon cabinet reshuffle. Sunday’s edition of Brasstacks, the first of a political nature, would have garnered the type of ratings any station manager would die for,since it is said that ratings translate into revenue. Incontrovertible is the fact that it took Starcom one month before it dared touch the subject of politics again on that programme. Let us not forget that on that same programme Chris Sinckler paraphrased someone’s statement, and in fifteen seconds the familiar voice a legal eagle was heard demanding a retraction or else. How did this person gain access to the air so quickly ? Ask the board of directors ,or was he a member of the board? This was the nature of the climate of fear that existed in Barbados ,and presided over by the one we are now told is sensitive and affable. So sensitive was he that the reference to an indentured servant was shot where? At a member of the journalistic fraternity. Negrocrat was the chosen slur at another time and at another journalist ,all in effort to muzzle . All brains and no balls our journalists continue to be dictated to . Dictation is truly a part of journalism is n’t it?

  15. Old School is just a tool. If he was following journalism in Barbados he would have seen some journalists and editors leverage their control of the media to print what takes down gov’ts and promotes their party. This was so evident in the last term of the BLP and this term of DLP. David Ellis has coordinated his calling programme to criticise the BLP out of power and raise the DLP to prominence, failing to tell all the truth and let people decide. In the Nation, Advocate and CBC there was a constant repression of things that will either explain all the facts if it negatively affected DLP and constant repetition of DLP political propaganda, or failure to correct misleading information. Moderators, DLP all for the past year has explained gov’t policy, that they never explained under the Bees. Don’t talk about Peter Wickham, Chris Gollop, Reudon Eversley. market Vendor and Anthony Bryan who leave an obnoxious odour in the nostrils of obejctive educated Bajans. The latest gig is putting Sinckler on last weekend with no other economists or follow-up programme to discuss Sinckler’s flawed economic propaganda that could not stand up to question. That was fine for Ellis and Wickham. I do not mind promoting political interests but I have a problem with trying to portray oneself as objective while deliberately and consciously pursung a political propaganda agenda, while holding a seat of responsbility that requires objectivity. Present Barbadians with all the facts in the national interest, that is the media’s responsibility. What has Ellis said about Clico, past his early defence of it. No integrity. To whom much is given, much is required. What does it say that to get DLP elected the media had to pollute the truth, suppress objective analysis; promote the weak to power , yet it is insufficient to stop this incompetent administration from falling allover itself despite the props and helps – Clico, Coverley, Marina & Port, xenophobic policies, Myrie case, bungling economic management of worst crisis like taxes, raising utility bills,and ill-conceived policies. What a major disservice to the public. They must hold BLP and DLP to the SAME STANDARD, ask the tough questions, do the research, but do not pick who you think should win and lose. The picking of winners and losers is most evident in the fact that after allegations of corruption, which concerns every right thinking Barbadian, the media has not followed up on insisting on reports, evidence, audits of BLP actions. Any serious objective media practitioner would now be pressing DLP for having failed to do this. The press should be holding their feet to the fire. It will be interesting to hear how Ellis and co. handle this scandalous situation of the SMI contracts for marina, and port expansion. This media behaviour undermines the strength of our democracy, because instead of political parties focusing on improving governance; stamping out corruption, focus on performance because of a strong demanding populace and vigilant media, this media failure promotes focus on buying media influence, public relations, and vote buying TO MANIPULATE A VULNERABLE PUBLIC. The best leadership does not win, and the country loses.

  16. The problem with the Nation and Starcom is NOT a political one – at least not a DLP /BLP one. Are we naive?

    Why would they allow no less than Peter Wickham to rehash the immigration (and health policy) issue today – when everyone else seems content to have decided to wait on the facts?

    This is a CSME entity, OWNED BY OUTSIDERS who feel the same way about Bajans as we have come to understand that most of our CSME brothers and sisters feel about us recently. Maybe we even deserve it…. but surely we can see what is happening.

    ….They fire staff at the first excuse
    …..shut down the only decent station that they had..
    …..dredge up any news which puts Barbados in a bad light
    …. and take local political positions that support their treachery…. like OSA’s immigration idiocy, and the recent immigration outcry based on one side of the story.

    OCM is a trojan horse if ever there was one….

    • @Bush Tea

      Read Peter Wickham’s column and almost puked.

      Where is the balance in his argument regarding how the Barbados Drug Service is to be administered?

      He nor the local media care that our minister of health was disrespected by the health minister of Guyana with no regard to diplomacy.

      Of course if the shoe were on the other foot…

    • @Bajan Truth

      What law was changed?

      Since when a sovereign country needs to change its laws they have to be proclaimed to the world outside our parliament and Gazette?

      Your use of cavity search suggests you are being mischievous.

    • Managing media is a serious business. What frameworks has the local media established? How is the relaunched Barbados Association of Journalist doing under the command Emmanuel Joseph of the Investigator fame?


      Transparency Despite these concerns, the term “transparency” has become a watchword in civil society. Both public and private institutions are exhorted to be more forthcoming about their operations, funding, and governance. The digitization of data and the ubiquity of the Internet can help. But universal access to information raises new issues about security and privacy, and it compounds the difficulties of protecting proprietary or copyrighted information. Ironically, some regard the technology that maximizes access to information as a threat to other fundamental rights, such as the right to a private life or, as an American jurist once wrote, “to be let alone.” Add to this volatile mix the legions of unidentified and seemingly ungovernable bloggers and citizen journalists, operating with gusto but without prior training or certification of any kind. There is no question that they contribute a lively counterpoint to the mainstream media. But will their tendency to challenge conventions and flout the rules lead to greater attempts to regulate the press?

      These are not easy questions. Nor are there easy answers. It is not easy to live with a free press. Doing so means that one is being challenged, dismayed, disrupted, disturbed, and outraged—every single day. – Media Law

  17. David BU broke the story, Hants did the investigative reporting an lo an behold the Nation now publish it.
    SMI Bannister Sugar Point Cruise Pier development.

    de Kolig boys en mekkin sport. If Banni continues he could be de next COW.

    Uh gine fuh muh Sunday mornin Second Cup coffee an cinnamon bun cause duh en nuh rock cakes bout hey.
    To besides uh got to put gas in car an tek it pun de 401 to mek sure it perkin.

  18. David you ain’t serious, what disrespect. Thompson tell the Guyanese, evah suh welcome wait for a call. Inniss change a health policy that affects nationals of other countries without consulting, and informing his counterparts beforehand. He lucky he ain get a cavity search.

  19. The truth is that journalism like many other areas of Barbadian life is at an all time low. Some of the people who are called journalist do the profession a disservice. However when you think of the salaries and terms and conditions they get it is not surprising the low level of quality. Many of them could not find another job and that is te truth

  20. The media, BU included, operates as a political institution and uses their access to the public to promote the political party of their choice. Businesses, credit unions, NGOs, the church, BCC, SJPP and UWI as well.
    Anyone wondered where the introduction of FOI and Integrity Legislation would leave the media?

  21. @enuff

    If BU takes a political posture you can be damn sure the BU family will ask us to defend it. While we are defending our position others will be freely posting their views (on BUy. Can we say the same about traditional media?

  22. The truth is that journalism like many other areas of Barbadian life is at an all time low.

    But citizen “journalism is at an all time high and growing.

    BU operates freely.

    If you don’t like what anybody writes yuh can cuss dum.

  23. The choice of Maureen Holder a known Dem with no disguise to host the call-in programme to fill in for Tony Marshall has clearly shown VOB’s and/ or David Ellis’ pro-government agenda. Don’t blame them wrongfully, they are not pushing the Bees.

  24. BAJAN TRUTH | April 24, 2011 at 10:27 AM |

    I could not agree with you more on the post above. The media has to hold both parties to the same level of scrutiny.

    I wondered why the media never asked to Governor of the Central Bank to explain how he could say that Dodds cost 700 million and people like the Trini lady and the St John Polyclinic “taxi driver” went off in a tantrum lambasting the past administration. The Governor needed to make a political point.

    When the said Governor announced this new marina under the same BOLT arrangement, why did not the media question him on why the BOLT arrangement. No.

    If the media hold both parties up to the same standards, this place would be a better place.

  25. Many still read the ADVOCATE
    Its also available on-line
    I am dissappointed in the Nation however and Starcom Network is behaving like a whore.

  26. Hamilton Hill
    You wrote, “All brains and no balls our journalist continue to be dictated to”.

    They have balls just that the balls don’t have any hair on them as yet. LOL Little boys doing men’s work!

  27. Nation news and starcom are triators to bajans and people of barbados should be wary of what they report and how they report the issues. They seem to panda to big money and influences even when its corrupt. if they think they can influence people with the way they report, they better think again.
    on issues sensitive to barbadians they better be very careful, one sided or middle of the road reporting won’t do. Only the facts of any arguments on all sides and let people make up their own minds.
    When people are misquoted or misrepresented they should have access to redress and the nationnews and starcom don’t do that.
    who owns those papers??

  28. Forget the party thing people.
    I mean look at today’s paper.

    Despite the fact that a clear statement was made that Doctors would not be the ones asked to check person’s status, the nation is running a story with the results of its readers being asked what they thought of doctors being asked to check people’s status befre they are granted health care. I man even common sense and some experience with the QEH would indicate that that kind of stuff is tyopically done by admin people. Its just misleading and poor journalism.

    I am not asking for every story to have both sides. But someone who purports to write on a matter of national consequence should show some awareness that chocies have consequences.

  29. the nation is a blp nest and starcom as well, they are on an agenda to destabilize and bring down the current administration

  30. I hold the position that Starcom Network and the Nation Publishing Company favour this DLP administration. I think what may upset some individuals, is that sometimes some news items may not be consistently in favour of the DLP. At the end of the day, they are private entities, using their funds to disseminate certain views.

    What has me upset is that the DLP is using public funds and CBC to push its propaganda. This is WRONG, if done by the BLP or DLP, it is wrong. The CBC-TV evening news is seriously lacking in news content. Night after night the news, sports included, is dominated by ministers of this administration being highlighted doing some of the most insignificant things, all in an effort to give the public the perception that these men are actually working. Announcers were informed not to read anything reported in the Nation on radio. I am sure that a comprehensive audit of CBC by the Audit Department will reveal financial infelicities.

    And Enuff mentioned integrity legislation. In Barbados? Never!!

  31. To me, Starcom and the Nation act with the level of disdain that they exhibit because they know their large market share is not under threat and hence they feel free to act with impunity.

    There is also what I see as a level of immaturity. Now they are freed form the tyranny of a PM who would call and buse them for being critical, they seem unable to handle the freedom to criticise. The message to future eladers is clear, you either abuse your power or they will abuse theirs. I mean in 2011 only a slave driver type of leader can get “respect”.

    I also expect a higher level of journalism in the Bim of today.
    The columnists to me are piss poor:

    Albert Brandford purports to write an “independent” column, yet it is a weekly rant against the DLP. He seems to have some kind of agenda.

    Ricky Singh has a weekly rant about Caricom that is hardly ever constructive. Interstingly , he has had nothing to say of Redjet for me the most important regional issue of the moment. Surely Singh knows that whatever happens in the corridors of Caricom until and unless people and goods are able to move across the region in a cost effective manner attempts at integration is fut

    What is the Al Gilkes column about again?

    I have never read anything meaningful in Peter Simmons’ column, enlighten me if you have.

    To me instead of serious constructive critique and debate Starcom and the Nation seem to be using their dominant position to create a sensational vortex of negativity in the country.

    I hold no brief for the DLP but I lived throught the 1976 recession, the 1981 recession, the 1991 recession and this last one. To me, this last recession has been the easiest on bajans, but to read and listen to these networks one would think that Bim went to hell in a hand basket and we are all sucking salt. Criticise by all means but don’t run down the country and its leadership unnecessarily.

    One of things I would like the popular media to focus on is the extent to which bajans abandoned good old common sense and over extended themselves financially with fancy mortages, car loans and credit card debt, leaving themselves vulnerable to any slight drop in their family income or increase in the cost of living. How many people went out to the baller financially and now have $5,000 mortgages and $2,000 car loans? What lessons are we taking from that experience?
    Where is the journalism on these issues?

  32. I don’t want two sides two every story. I want balance and serious journalism. For example, is it too much to ask of journalists that when discussing Bim and freedom of movement they say something about the level of movement to different countries in Caricom and how the issues being raised here are handled in those countries? If one country is taking the brunt of the freedom of movement are there any issues there, or is it movement at any cost to any nation?

    According to the Nation and Starcom, Bim is now the bad boy of Caricom. Now if Red Jet is a national carrier of Bim does that place certain obligations on Trinidad as part of the CMSE? I have no idea, none of my deeply probing and critical journalists seem interested in finding out and telling me. They just seem to want to run headlines about it and quotes from various people. I say go and do some work.

    If I take the T&T stance at face value, it seems to me that they are saying okay for my companies and nationals to move anywhere in Caricom no questions asked, but please no airlines from caricom in my land without my explicitt permission. Where is Ricky Singh on this? Surely he can shed some light on this. He has something to say whenever anyone acts in an anti-regional manner.

  33. Starcom can publish waht it want. Either buy or not.

    What is required though, is for licences for radio etc be given out to wheomever can set up a reasonable business.

    Competition improves quality.

  34. $5 000.00 mortgages and $2 000.00 car loans are not the issues. However, the mentality that these demonstrate “being somebody” should be cause for concern.

    The Nation and Starcom have devoted considerable resources to promoting this belief over the years and have been richly rewarded for doing so.

    Educating and enlightening the masses have long been secondary to attracting advertising revenue at these companies. To expect that they would now red flag the excessive and irresponsible acquisition of material things is optimistic to say the least.

    They might be a lot of things but are they hypocrites too?

  35. Bwoy I am beginnign to wonder what Starcom would do with a Tv station. But I support thier right to have one.

  36. Perhaps a little simplistic in thinking but should a responsible corporate entity have an eye on the market in which it operates? Read social-corporate responsibility?

    Anyway don’t bother to reply, your response is bound to be something along the line, their responsibility is to their shareholders.

  37. given us something other to watch than cbc at the very least. Most of time i think it the caribhome shopping/teleclasified channel.

  38. Old School

    “Bwoy I am beginning to wonder what Starcom would do with a TV station. But I support their right to have one”.

    Probably the same thing the DLP is doing with CBC, something you seem not to have a problem with.

    There is balance. You have Albert Brandford on one page criticizing the DLP, conversely, on the other page you have Peter Wickham defending them.

    I agree that politics should be kept from this discussion. However, my problem is that, based on the structure and content of your comments, you are using “intellectual innuendo” to be political bias, and essentially perpetrating what you have asked not to be done. Or is it coincidental that those columnists you mentioned have a certain political bias. What about Matthew Farley’s column? What about Tony Deyal, Richard Hoad, or even B.C Pires?

    We can post comments on the blog left right and center, the bottom line is, people have the power to initiate change. If all and sundry are not happy about the Nation’s style of reporting, then fortify your talk with action. Boycott the Nation. From the front page to the back page of the Advocate highlights stories surrounding this DLP administration, even if they have to use several pages on one topic. At the Advocate there is no balanced reporting. I do not like what they stand for and I do not buy it. When all is said and done, all of you will talk and criticise, but will find some convenient excuse to buy a Nation newspaper.

  39. Its not that I don’t have a prob with CBC. But in Bim for the last 30 odd years CBC has been abused by every government. CBCs major local programming is the evening news which is about ten mins of local news, and it typically lets you know the main issues in BIM that day and what the govt ministers are yapping about.

    The advocate to me has limited reach and hence their impact is not that great.

    Starcom and the Nation are the media of the average man. In Bim right now a paper is the NATION and a news radio is VOB. They have reach and impact and play the largest role in shaping public opinion, thats why I have focused on them.

    If you read what I am saying carefully I am not accusing them of being anti DLP, I am saying that in general their stories and columists lack balance and often fail to get to the substance of the issues. In this recessionary environment they have simply jumped on the band wagon and seek to bitch about everything rather than seriously analyze the issues, hence they seem anti the govt.

    I am critical of what I see as their attempt to create news and sensationalize things, not so much any anti DLP motives. I see the PMs silence story as a classic example of the modern media trying to create a story from little or nothing.

    Maybe I am way off base but to me if you are a serious media outfit, if you slam the govt for failing to deliver on the cost of living while they campaigned on it, you should mention that the environment has shifted dramatically since they mounted their campaign in 2007.

    If I say I am going to beat the bowling and I come in to bat at 184 for 7 with 15 overs to go, should I go out there and swing my bat? Should I be criticised for playing a somethat more restrained innings? To me context is critical and I have little use for arguments without context.

    If you are going to make a stink about movment of labor and not bring any context about the differing levels of social services offered by different countries and differing levels of movement to different countries then you are insulting my intelligence and I get most offended. To me that type of coverage would lack balance and substance.

    I cannot take you as a serious columnist or media outfit if you opine loudly and vociferously on movement of labor and lambast country A for not not be fully accommodative if you do not consider the impact on country A if persons who move to country A will seek to acces their medical care there because more and better services are offered, and persons who move from country A to countries B, C, D,E, F and G will want to come back to country A for medical care because more and better servcies are available.
    That might be a fine arrangement but you if you fail to explore it, then to me your coverage lacks balance and substance.

    I pick up a paper or listen to the radio to be educated not brain washed or jump on any band wagon. I went school too long and often to accept the rubbish dished out by the Nation and Starcom. I think the country deserves and they could deliver much better.

    By the way I findPires funny and provocative and I find Farley’s column fairly useless and self serving. Wickham can be interesting but to me is from that UWI group including Dr. Joesph for whom its integration at any cost.

  40. Again I am sorry, I think if you are going to come to the country with an issue come with context and substance.


      You are making some good points.

      Who wants partisan commentators to be managed as they were on a balancing scale?

      All these so-called intelligent commentators who masquerade as independent commentators do is expose their ignorance.

      Their biases are always evident in their writings.

  41. If you are saying to me that what we have is columnist balancing columnist, then columnists should be required to delare their affiliation.

    As far as I aware Mascoll writes as a “trained economist”, Wickham writes as a Political Scientist, Dr. Joseph writes as the same, Albert Brandford writes as an independent investigative journalist, Matthew Farley as an educator and social commentator, Ezra Alleyene writes as a legal scholar, Peter Simmons as a diplomatic expert and so. I don’t know who is who.

    I don’t want columnists of unknown persuasions balancing each other, I want context from all of them.

  42. To me columinsts are columnists because they bring high levels of knowledege and expertise. Am I asking too much?

    My simplistic sense is that a major part of our current challenges stem from the fact that during the growth years of say 1997 to 2007, many private indiviuduals, companies and the govt went out to the baller leaving themselves vulnerable to the proverbial rainy day. Instead of rainy days we got hit but a full hurricane and to me they all seem to expect miracles and life to continue as in the growth years. The incumbent administration and its many failings is now a convenient whipping boy/girl, leaving some of the fundamental issues unturned.

    I would like to hear the expert columists on thses isues, I am only a layman.

  43. Old School wrote,
    I am critical of what I see as their attempt to create news and sensationalize things, not so much any anti DLP motives. I see the PMs silence story as a classic example of the modern media trying to create a story from little or nothing.

    Now I see your bias, from the rum shop to the cocktail receptions, people are talking about the silence of the PM on issues of the country and you trivialise it as the media trying to create a story. If this is what the people are saying, why would a responsible media outlet not report on it.

    Are you satisfied just to see a PM speaking at celebrations or at Illaro Court entertaining visitors on the taxpayers dime when some of the same taxpayers are finding it hard to make ends meet? And by the way, how many of these wine and dine parties do they hold a year, every month?? In this economic climate???

    Talking about bringing context to the debate on the Dems fooling the public that they could bring down the cost of living, the media bought this story and sold it to the people and helped the Dems to win the election. So dont complain now about the media. The Dems had to know that a recession was on the way, it was being reported in the US media so dont come with excuses for these Dems that the world changed so drastically after 2007.

    Your call for fair and balance shows that you are only now concerned now the Dems are being plummeted.

    I just do not understand your beef with the Nation and Starcom when they continue to hold the same line as always and you blatantly excuse CBC and the Advocate. Do not excuse the fact that no one reads the Advocate or watches CBC. And why, because of naked DLP bias. They are still reading the Nation and listening to VOB, explain that one! You have to hold the whole media to the same standards!

    I could not believe my eyes (either Wed or Thurs night) that CBC could for the first news item which went on for over 7 minutes was about people bleaching their skins! Now tell me what the hell was the educational content of thatstory or of interest to the country???

    Passing strange (wont you say) that you find any columnist’s column who has a BLP leaning useless!

    My thing is that I read both papers, watch the first 10 minutes of DLPTV news and I have enough sense to read between the headlines and draw my own conclusions as to what is spin and what is truth!

    I can do that by my own self!

  44. Well, well, well,

    “All these so-called intelligent commentators who masquerade as independent commentators do is exposing their ignorance.

    Their biases are always evident in their writings.”

    I hope you have included yourself.

  45. I actually found the bleaching story potentially interesting. if large numbers of African people are resorting to skin whitening I would find that a major story. Maybe only political stories are educational to you. My criticism of that CBC story would be that it failed to give me any sense of how widespread the phenomenon actually is.

    I lived through a period when public exprerssion of black pride was a new and ermerging thing, so if skin bleaching is now widespread I would that an intersting story and want to understand why persons want a lighter appearance.

    I must admit I don’t spend much time in rum shops, but in the many public spaces that I inhabit, discussion about the PM’s silence is invariably in response to a news story about it.

    If you would take the time to read the posts you would have picked up that I have no idea who is a BLP or DLP columinst and i want all columinsts to add some substance and context to their stories.

    Prodigal, you know with all the discussion about non-nationals and movement of labor no one has seen it fit to give some numbers about the numbers of skilled national certificates issued by different countries in Caricom. I would focus on Starcom and the Nation on this issue because they are the ones running lots of stories on this issue.

    Now if the DLP had gone ahead with freedom of information maybe I could easily access that for myself. Even a strong BEE like you would appreciate that.

  46. @ David | April 25, 2011 at 11:57 AM |

    Correct. When was it ever not so?

    They do have an eye on the market David, but they are not looking at the things that concern you and the BU family.
    What is the social responsibility of other dominant players in the country? Lime? Courts? BHL? COW?

    Why was it so easy to get rid of the Gospel 97.5?
    I would bet that it brought in the least amount of advertising revenue and this was the major factor, and not the inability to
    secure another frequency from the authorities, as some would have us believe.

    Every decision at Starcom and the Nation is made with the bottom line in mind. The mere fact that they are able to boast of being the dominant players in the market, seems to suggest that the majority of Bajans are supportive of this business model. Why change a formula that continues to work year after year?

    I am not a fan of Starcom and have not bought a Nation newspaper in more years than I can remember but, besides the internet, where else in Barbados can one go to be informed.

    Even Barbados Today is now flattering to deceive.

    • @Kracker Jack

      Sadly you are correct.

      Even managing BU we do appreciate how forces try to manipulate the agenda.

      One of the things we like about managing BU is the alacrity with which a BU family member will kick us in the butt at the slightest notion of foolishness.

      Unfortunately a passive Bajan public has been inclined to buy the nation or listen to Starcom despite the occasional chuspe.

  47. Old School

    I can admit that I support the BLP but I am always quick to criticise them when they do crap. Will you admit your bias? I beg to differ with you on the bleaching story, it was not a top story as far as I am concerned especially bearing in mind that the constitutionally elected opposition does not get not even one minute on DLPTV. It was like one of those weird, wacky stories Jeannie Moos does on CNN.

    Do you see now how people will view media matters? This is a clear case of where I see the bleach story as nonsense, you see it as interesting. I would never bleach my skin and that’s where I draw the line on its relevancy. See the point! Maybe this is how the Nation and VOB operates? Who knows?

    My point is one has to read, inwardly digest and differentiate what’s relevant and discard what is not. We can agitate but we will not change the Nation or VOB much less the Advocate or DLPTV.

    Re Caricom certificates, Barbados does not offer too many either, I have had the experience of someone waiting now for over five months on one and the person is very well qualified but the Barbados people seem to want the person to blow a gasket with them. Or are their actions reciprocal?

  48. “the nation is a blp nest and starcom as well, they are on an agenda to destabilize and bring down the current administration”

    Well they helped to bring down the BLP, so what is so special about the DLP that they too can’t suffer a similar fate?

  49. prodigal, the point of is how can you seriously discuss the issue without reference to those numbers.

  50. Prodigal if you took the time to read my posts you would see that I am arguing that the simplistic media would be gunning for whoever was the incumbemt government rather than dealing with the real issues facing the country.

    I am struggling to see how the fact that I would not bleach my skin would render signficant numbers of bajans doing so not newsworthy.

  51. I really don’t care if the BLPites want my neck. I stand by my view. In my view, the whole thing about the PM,s silience is nothing more than Starcom and the Nation wanting the spectacle surrounding a cabinet reshuffle and the who is in and who is out, who is up and who is down drama that will follow. That is their kind of journalism. Its the kind of thing where you can revel in speculation and rumor rather than doing some real journalism.

    For me that is bare bread and circuses not getting to real issues.

  52. Real journalism is right here on BU. It can only get better.

    Imagine not a single mainstream newspaper has given a detailed CV of Glyne Bannister and his company.

    No company should be doing business with the GOB without the Taxpayers knowing how the company is owned and structured.

    Does not matter which party is in power. The Taxpayer has a right to know.


    Disagree with you on the issue of Stuart’s stewardship to date. BU has provided context for a critique of PM’s Stuart leadership style on another blog.

    The truth is although the discussion to date is based on the anecdotal the leadership of Stuart cannot be defined for the people. A leader gets the job done despite whatever challenges are present. Hopefully the Nation newspaper will see the benefit of a poll. Talk about selling newspapers!

  54. Could not agree with yu more. if yu going to drop hints and suggest that there is something funny about this company as the Nation, then use your substantial resources to give us some details, do some digging, tell us who they are.

  55. @ OLD SCHOOL
    I have a serious problem with hypocrisy.
    The same Nation and VoB were unrelenting in their attack on the previous government during the 12 or so months leading up to the 2008 elections. An ‘expose’ on the then government became the norm in every Friday Nation. Many of these ‘exposes’ were based on the same ‘speculation and rumour’ you now accuse the OCM subsidiaries of employing to destabilise this government.
    The high level of journalism you are demanding could have very well nullified the DLP’s election campaign, which many believe was won at the now famous Haggatt Hall $75k cheque meeting.
    If the media were interested in journalism then–i.e. fact-based and balanced information gathering and dissemination–rather than use the story to paint one party as corrupt and villainous, the issue of campaign finance and whether there was anything illegal or unique about a politician depositing money in his/her account ought to have been addressed.
    Moreover, BOLTs and MOUs ( topical once again and attracting similar sentiments) would have been fully ventilated for the benefit of the public; instead of left untouched to be used as weapons against the BLP.
    Earlier I asked about the impact FOI could have on the media and no one answered, so I shall advance one. It would force the media to do more journalism and less sensationalism to survive, as the public would no longer have to rely on their reports to know for example who received government contracts and whether they were transparent or not.
    Though I still firmly believe that FOI in a small society such as ours can be abused and misused for malicious purposes, if DLP supporters are so concerned about OCM’s adverse impact on their popularity then negate their ability to do so by urging your party to intriduce FOI and integrity legislation.

  56. @ OLD SCHOOL
    I guess you assumed I labeled you a Dem for my use of the word ‘your’ in the last penultimate line. My apologies, I should have said ‘they party..’ (which is also grammatically correct) as I had no intention of calling you a Dem, but who the cap fit…….
    By the way if you are a Dem what’s the big deal? Did you not earlier call for columnists in the traditional media to declare their hand? Well this blog also serves a justificatory function and shapes public discourse; as such you, with such strong opinions, should also declare your political stripes.

  57. The Nation Newspaper & Starcom Network are anti-Barbados & definitely anti-Black
    Every negative activity that occurs in Barbados is given prominence in The Nation with front page coverage. The occasional murder,the occasional violent act and such like are often given prominence in The Nation Newspaper.Likewise all the negative talk regarding the government performance is highlighted in The Nation Newspaper.For example, the Shanique Myrie affairs was highlighted and worked to the maximum by Starcom & Nation Newspaer with the usual slant against Barbados & its government.
    The Oistins Fish Festival attracted thousands of Black Barbadians and a handful of Whites & the other ethnic groups in Barbados.Lo & behold The Nation Newspaper could only find a picture of two (2) white children playing & participating at that Festival.There were thousands of Black Barbadian children but it seems none of our Black children were good enough or beautiful enough to grace the front page of The Nation Newspaper,but two white children were able to achieve that privilege.
    Highlighting non-Black people and giving them prominence in The Nation Newspaper seems to be the agenda of that company.I have notice over a period of time that at almost all social events taking place in Barbados,non-Black persons attending those events are usually highlighted with a high degree of prominence.
    Starcom Network & The Nation Newspaper are a disservice to Barbados.Both of them are presenting a negative & bad image of Barbados with they daily bias & ridiculously negative reporting of events occurring in Barbados
    NB The Nation has a columnist BC Pires ridiculing & insulting Barbadians & Barbados in his weekly columns.

  58. David Ellis must have read this blog as he is in defence mode today, stoutly defending the Stuart interview which was long winded puctuated by too many aahs for a man who calims to be such a wordsmith! Not impressed at all, my spouse went to sleep!

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