Are Our Journalists Competent?

David Ellis

There was an exchange this week between a regular caller to the talk show, known as anti-American, who challenged moderator David Ellis that he (Ellis) and traditional media should have done more to lead public awareness about the FTC BL&P recent rate hearing. David Ellis predictably responded that his job as a journalist was to present news and not lead public opinion.

The exchange brought to mind whether a journalist who essays the overriding need to be balanced is qualified to host a talk show which promises to fully ventilate issues of national import. What it means, if public sentiment overwhelmingly speaks to its concern about a matter, Ellis the journalist who needs to be balanced will not feel obligated to champion the cause. How could he when his philosophy is to be ‘balanced’?

BU recalls if Elombe, Walter Blackman and a few others believed in a cause they would side with it and become advocates. It had nothing to do with being balanced, more so aligning with a cause thought to be just. If Ellis is to hold true to his journalistic principles then he has no place hosting a talk show. The caller is absolutely correct, the outcome of the rate hearing was of critical importance to the well being of our society and the media. VoB, ignored the voice of the people when it did not give the required level of coverage. To use the example of the caller, if it was about a case of necrophilia one could predict the media coverage.

When all is said and done BU concedes we may have unrealistic expectations of VoB and the wider media. There is an obvious dearth of financial journalists qualified to competently cover a rate hearing, if that was not a hindrance, there is the influence of the advertising dollar and political considerations.

0 thoughts on “Are Our Journalists Competent?

  1. The question that headlined this post is too long, it should read: Are Our Journalists Competent? The answer with very few exceptions would be “NO”.

  2. Where do I smell similar past tags of a derisory nature, like Anti-Colonial, Anti-British, etc.
    Strangely, I’ve never seen Anti-any_small_nation.
    Respect the POWER?

  3. I don’t understand why it was necessary to close down the entire newspaper. Why not just fire all the senior staff who knew about and/or approved the wiretapping? I don’t feel they were the only newspaper doing this either.

    I guess Murdoch would rather sacrifice an entire 100-year old newspaper than admit he was culpable.


    ………and I would add Jamaica not Barbados as “seethru”Arthur would have Bajans believe.

  5. @Carson C. Cadogan,
    You are not making much sense. The loss in GDP figures and forecasted growth in the article for Jamaica are no worse than ours. Clearly the diference is that the Jamaican economy was always weaker hence less resilient to the global recession that Barbados’. Last time I checked it was the same “seethru” Arthur who was PM up to January, 2008 after 14 years.

  6. Also; That list looks like pure American propaganda to me. What were the objective metrics used to rank the countries?


    Forbes’s top 10 worst economies in the world are: 1. Madagascar, 2. Armenia, 3. Guinea, 4.Ukraine, 5. Jamaica, 6. Venezuela, 7. Kyrgystan, 8. Swaziland, 9. Nicaragua, 10. Iran.

    As far as “seethru”Arthur and the members and supporters of the Barbados Labour Party are concerned, BARBADOS ought to be number one on this list.
    But that is not the case, what is wrong BLP?

  8. Pretty soon the US of A is likely to be included in this list if it does not get the approval to borrow funds to finance its massive debts.
    Looks like we are all in the same boat. I ma surprised that Haiti and Cuba is not on this list.

  9. But journalist like those of CBC and VOB, need to be balanced. On one hand they have the call-in public, a necessary nuisance and on the other hand they have the Commercial sectors who pay them tens of thousands to broadcast their , adverts.And we know who the scale pan is tipped towards. A few weeks ago on a call-in show ,a caller aired a concern to a lady moderator about the sponsor of a concert at Farley Hill demanding that the only drinks allowed into the grounds by patrons would only be the ones of which they hold the agency for. The moderator sided with the caller ,unable to understand how this can happen. That is until probably the producer in the background signaled her not to go down that road. She proceeded to do a complete about turn. The same sponsor was running frequent on long adverts on the same radio station. Journalism is never to bite the hands that feed you, and people like David Ellis, KIA (know it all) Johnson and Steadyon Babb, have all be fitted with rubber dentures.
    But have you noticed that Radio Programming in Barbados is now a non-stop litany of Call-in shows, from sports , to medicine to bedroom affairs, and when those and their repeats are over , we are subjected to extended adverts disguised as programmes.
    Its hard to believe that in the early stages of its life CBC came under the Ministry of Education.
    Thank God that we still have BBC and 90.7 FM around.

  10. The major problem with the DLP is that they would not tell the truth, earlier in the year we were told they would be a slow decline in the economy this year. Within weeks of this announcement Sinckler was saying we had a slight growth in the economy (big turn around), this was supported by the Gov of the Central Bank. To further support this Mr Sinckler said we should see a 2% growth this year, now the Central Bank is saying not even a good Cropover can save us from a negative position we are in. Who can I believe? While I didn’t expect many of what was offered in the 2008 DLP manifesto, because we were on the fringe of this recession, much of the promises that were possible without much money being spent was and are still ignored, how barbadian voters were expecting the Integrity and Transparentcy Legislation to be passed within the first year of office. after so much slander about the way the DLP conducted their affairs we looked for better from the DLP, now there is much more slander about the way they are conducting their business. The more things change, the more they remain the same. It would appear same result different team but it seems like the present situation is worse than before we changed. The DLP has to rearrange their house quickly or they will either lose the next elections or win with a vastly reduced amount.

  11. There is enough unanswered questions lingering in the minds of barbadian voters, while our journalists are just acting as reporters and doing little or no investigation. Our jounalists needs to be professional enough to seperate their personal political bias from their profession.

  12. I don’t think that the “journalists” at the Nation newspaper will published this list. It will offend their bosses in the Barbados Labour Party.

  13. @Carson C. Cadogan

    I am always willing to call a spade a spade, but I am reluctant to call a human being a jackass. What must I do, what is the best way to refer to the most stupid statements I read on this blog that appear to come under anything that you write.Is it better that I not go ad hominem and just conclude that your comments are for the most part worth the jackass’s excretion?
    I like most other Barbadians I know would be elated that we are not considered in the bottom heap of struggling economies; but do you get a thrill that Jamaica is there, I hope not? Furthermore, does the DLP understand the damage that persons like yourself are causing them in the eyes of the public? Yes, I should be elated, but I am not. Yes the BLP should form the next government, but I would hate that any member of the party stoop as low and as often as you do to push the diabolic side of partisan politics when we as a people and an economy are struggling and therefore need as many positives as possible.
    I long for those days in the late 1990s and up to at least mid 2007 to come again; I believe that many Barbadians will share that view even if they are unsure of the personnel to guide us there. In real terms, the DLP has not been the worse government in the world, but since 2008 it gets worse and once can easily come to the conclusion that it is the worst performing government in post-independent Barbados. To me, that is nothing to cheer about. That is a statement about my generation; it is not at all positive or encouraging.
    In what may be its last year of governance, I wish the DLP well and that is for the sake of Barbados and Barbadians; it is also for our Caribbean brothers and sisters who have traditionally looked to Barbados for prudent economic management and governance. The DLP has not advanced either cause and should persons such as CCC be forthright with the leadership of the Dems, maybe we in Barbados would actually have something positive to boast about rather than gloat about the dismal position of another CARICOM member state.
    In a sad way, the DLP’s column this week which appeared on this blog, is almost a confession that it accepts a level of mediocrity that was never accepted by either party post-1961 and definitely post-1966. That column sought to link a journalist, his employer, the opposition BLP, to some sort of shenanigan that is being played out in the media. I would suggest that the writer speak to Barbadians and SANKA may say something quite different; if you doubt me, tell PM Stuart to call an election before year end.

  14. Did they print that on an IMF-derived list of Real GDP Growth for 2010 Barbados ranked 169 out of 184 countries?

  15. C C C
    I don’t think you live in this country, political yardfowls like you and all others from both parties need to be put away in a fowlrun. What Barbados need right now is level headed people who are willing to put their heades together and try to get this country out of the rut it is in, political yardfowls from both parties can only make the problem worse by their stupid comments.

  16. @ CCC

    You are a political court jester. Fruendel can’t mek, Sinckler can’t mek and the rest of the so called DLP team is a bunch of numskulls and nitwits.

  17. A good friend of mind keeps reminding me, this bunch looks lie they would be more comfortable standing outside the post office pushing over old women pensioners for their cheques than gracing the halls of Parliament.

  18. George
    You just wasted your time. CCC thinks that he is bright or even clever and nothing you or anyone else can say would convince him otherwise. He is clever, and he knows it.

  19. George C. Brathwaite | July 8, 2011 at 6:56 PM |

    “but do you get a thrill that Jamaica is there”

    Why should I be thrilled?
    I am merely highlighting what is written in Forbes Magazine. Why don’t you ask the people at Forbes if they are thrilled?

    I will say this, if BARBADOS was on that list at this time as the fifth worst economy in the world, OwenArthur, Mia Mottley, Clyde Mascol and all you Barbados Labour Party members and supporters would have a field day. Such a pronouncement be headline news in your Nation Newspaper.

    I have a five dollar bill in my pocket that I would bet on that without any fear of loosing it.

  20. By the way, I make no apologies for, among other things,

    (a) Supporting Black people.

    (b) Supporting the Democratic Labour Party.

  21. I have concluded that, based on the way he articulates himself, he is of average intelligence. An examination of his contributions to this blog indicates that he is not able to engage in any discussions in a rational or reasonable manner. When the topic is non-political or takes an intellectual course, his keyboard becomes silent. He wants to associate with certain a class of society and members of his political party.

    However, he comes over as being obnoxious and insignificant to those he seeks to associate with, and probably cannot command their attention for any extended periods of time. Hence, he is not fully accepted, but his zeal to support the party and the type of politics that he practices, causes these people to tolerate him; so he is kept to do the dirty work. For example, majority of the DLP supporters have made some very intelligent and well thought out contributions to this blog, and have seldom gone the way of Carson, or support his course of action.

    The anonymity of the blog gives Carson the power and the recognition that he craves. In this environment, he uses the OFF TOPIC ruse to control the topic, and manipulate the contributors into shifting the focus from the discussion towards him. Having controlled the blog, he is able to spout his political venom and diatribe. The more he is attacked, the more he blames the BLP for his short comings.

    I am also of the opinion that two stressors are responsible for Carson’s behaviour (1) he was a member of the BLP and, in his opinion, was denied something or was disrespected, this is why he is full of so much rage and hatred. Carson blames the BLP for everything, from a tsunami in Japan to REDjet; (2) he wants to be accepted within the ranks of the DLP, and his campaign of hatred on this blog is one sure way of being accepted.

  22. Contributors, despite political biases and differences of opinions, let us try to focus on the topics. We can learn from each other, and help the country as well. Forget about Carson.

  23. Josquin | July 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM |

    Oh my, you have now taken on the role of profiler.
    I am sure that you know the danger of being a profiler.

  24. The Church of England has also been caught with its hand in the cookie jar. It has investments of a few pounds in this mess.

    As a distraction, it is calling for sacrificial lambs at NoTW.

    The pillars of British society seem to befalling one by one, in this sordid mess.

  25. DAVID

    Come on, I am a really nice guy!

    I am here to make sure that the BLP jokers on this blog don’t have Bajans taking a 6 for a 9. That is all.

    What is so wrong with that?

  26. ZACK

    I am sure that you have better things to do with your time than to ask silly questions.

    • Hacking scandal: is this Britain’s Watergate?

      Phone hacking: how News of the World’s story unravelled
      Tabloid’s publisher aggressively denied scandal – until the latest revelations, Friday 8 July 2011 20.47 BST
      News of the World
      News of the World will print its last ever edition on Sunday July 10, 2011 – the phone-hacking scandal has forced the tabloid’s closure. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
      It was a strategy of cover-up, quarter-admission, and foot dragging that took years to unravel – beginning with the first court case brought in the wake of jailing of the News of the World’s former royal editor Clive Goodman and the newspaper’s £100,000-a-year private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.
      At the trial it emerged that five others had their phones or messages hacked into – none of whom were members of the Royal family, subjects of Goodman’s work – but prominent individuals Simon Hughes, Elle Macpherson, Max Clifford, football agent Sky Andrew and Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballer’s Association.
      Nevertheless, News International chose to gloss over the glaring contradiction of a court case that prompted the resignation of Andy Coulson, as editor, taking the “ultimate sacrifice” for activities he said he was unaware of.

  27. This recession is highlight “incompetence” all over Barbados … However the incompetence in the media has been there for donkey years …. And we all know it …


    Kevin Teslyn, the outgoing Head Of Scotiabank in Barbados believes that the Authorities in the public and privats sectors have done well up to now in helping this country to weather the economic storm.

    The Barbadosadvocate

    Now this responsible local Journalism.

    I am wondering if the The Barbados Labour Party controlled Nationnews published this piece..

    This story is why BARBADOS is not on the FORBES magazine list as the fifth worst economy in the World and we must be justly proud of the wonderful stewardship of the Democratic Labour Party.

  29. Hacking scandal: is this Britain’s Watergate?

    Phone hacking: how News of the World’s story unravelled

    Ask Commissioner Darwin Dottin if he knows how many persons personal telephone call and personal emails he listened and read, all these calls he listened into and reported back to his bosses at the time Mottley and Arthur ?

    He and the three others whom he recruited should be made shamed of.

    • As things heat up in the UK…

      James Murdoch Could Be Prosecuted In Phone-Hacking Scandal — News Corp Succession Plan Suddenly In Doubt
      Henry Blodget | Jul. 9, 2011, 7:01 AM | 23,256 |

      Bombshell news out of London, as the News Corp phone-hacking scandal continues to reverberate.

      A member of the British Parliament, Alan Johnson, has said that James Murdoch “could face prosecution” over his role in the phone-hacking, the Telegraph has reported.

      Johnson says that Murdoch could be exposed to charges under a law that covers the “criminal liability of directors,” in which senior execs can be prosecuted for not just criminal behavior but for not knowing something they should have known. James Murdoch admitted in a statement to News Of The World earlier this week that he approved out-of-court settlements over privacy violations in which he was not in full possession of the facts.

    • Another observation coming out of the decision by Murdock to close the newspaper down signals that print media is not seen as the future.

      It is online all the way!

  30. David
    I like that internet definition of “troll”, that perfectly describes C C C. I consider him a supprter of the BLP, who is trying to provoke persons and cause them to dislike the DLP, by the stupid remarks he make, If this is what he’s doing then he’s a very clever person, if in fact he is what he protay, then he is a common breed political yardfowl.

  31. Obviously the dead tree press is doomed, but there is much more to this story than a 75% decline in circulation from the News of the Screws’ heyday 60 years ago.

    Along with its sister rags, The Sun and Sunday Times, Murdoch attempted to personify the mood of the Brits.

    Hacking bomb victims’ and murdered girl’s voice mails, was unforgivable even considering the depths they regularly plumbed to fuel the Sunday breakfast fantasies of their prurient, yet hypocritically shocked readers.

    More important to Murdoch, and the reason for his hasty trip to the UK, is not only to clip the ear of his useless son and caulk a leaking (reader)ship, but to salvage what is left of News International’s credibility in the light of their current bid for the remaining stock in BSkyB, which is currently before the Monopolies Commission.

    Also of concern to the megalomaniacal Aussie must the possibility of a US charge brought under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which could expose NI to a US$100m+ fine.

    I suspect a Labour Party hand behind these revelations, in retribution for the supposed treachery of switching horses prior to the last election.

    However, I would not be surprised at all to see the Sun on Sunday rise, virgin fresh as the dawn.

    NWO frontmen cannot afford to lose 7.5 million malleable proles.

  32. But how many commuters on the trains on mornings going to work in London, Birmingham, Paris or Toronto read the newspaper online. Sometimes this is the only time that they devote to reading newspapers,and I believe that many will continue to subscribe to the print media.Not that many in the UK would be seen reading the News of the World in public.

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