FOI and Press Freedom

Ian Bourne - Bajan Reporter

Ian Bourne – Bajan Reporter

Ian Bourne worked for the traditional media and now runs the Bajan Reporter website. BU has respect for anyone who attempts to be an independent media practitioner in Barbados. His perspective as a former insider of the traditional media is always interesting. His latest report filed under Politics – Freedom of Expression and Press Freedom in Barbados: did it ever exist or is it a new concept? – again gives a provocative insight into the treatment of media players by the ‘authorities’ and surprisingly by fellow media colleagues.

10 thoughts on “FOI and Press Freedom

  1. Coalition of Unified Parties Hon: Alex-Mitchell:El, President

    Well you know where I am ,dont talk about it Just Do it, To hell with those crooks , We have your Back ,

    I do it , We do it every day , their time is up, To have freedom of the Press you must be Free,

    CUP Rebellion

    By 1215, thanks to years of unsuccessful foreign policies and heavy taxation demands, England’s King John was facing down a possible rebellion by the country’s powerful barons. Under duress, he agreed to a charter of liberties known as the Magna Carta (or Great Charter) that would place him and all of England’s future sovereigns within a rule of law. Though it was not initially successful, the document was reissued (with alterations) in 1216, 1217 and 1225, and eventually served as the foundation for the English system of common law. Later generations of Englishmen would celebrate the Magna Carta as a symbol of freedom from oppression, as would the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, who in 1776 looked to the charter as a historical precedent for asserting their liberty from the English crown.

    • Sadly reporters and journalists do the bidding of the companies they’d work for like any other employee, it is about toeing the company line or leave. Ethics and cods are not applicable.

  2. Ian,

    Welcome to Barbados.

    I smiled as I read your article that detailed the “treatment” being meted out to people like you.

    I wonder how many people understand that this is the treatment that others from the common walks of life in Barbados are experiencing every day Ian.

    These are not singular occurrences it is just that, in the age of the internet and blogs, it is becoming more “known” for these “unknown” to be aired publicly.

    You said “Foreigners who are invited here do not have the right to trample over local people as if we’re back in 1715, this is 2015 the 21st Century!”

    What is frightening is that this is how Barbados is being quietly marketed among the expatriate community as the place where blacks are being made to “know their place”

    It is not that “Bajans are a friendly people” any more, it is that we are being advertised as a “docile people” and a country where “old England” is alive and well “this Little England”.

    You is a “brown skin fellow, high brown, with a black wife, Ian”, that is another perspective that while you have not mentionned it, I can guarantee that it complexions many of the encounters that you experience, from both sides of the equator a-la-Bizzy-Williams template

    Who is prepared to stand up to any of this insidious, quickly spreading disease – loss of rights and freedom?

    Our many GG’s don’t think it of importance, it is not part of what they speak about publicly.

    And why should they? They are comfortable older folk who enjoy the comforts of Government House, a car with their initials on it, food and entertainment paid for by the people and a few pictures when they attend parties for the decreasing centenarian population.

    Let us not speak about our politicians or, if one does, let me say this of their nature

    “I could show, that the same faction has, in one reign, promoted popular seditions, and, in the next, been a patron of tyranny; I could show, that they have all of them betrayed the public safety at all times, and have very frequently with equal perfidy made a market of their own cause, and their own associates. I could show how vehemently they have contended for names, and how silently they have passed over things of the last importance.”

    A timeless quote, 318 years old, yet as pertinent and instructive of the nature of politicians now as it was then.

    Then there is the church, and what of it you might say?

    Indeed we have our special variety of Senator Priests and Parliamentarian Ministers who each day have shown how they “render unto Caesar what is Caesars and unto GOD what is GOD’s”.

    Maybe they would do well to remember Revelations3 15 and 16 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”

    All hail the everlasting tithe. You rape my my people and do not give us the spiritual food that you took oath to deliver, you do not serve a man, you serve the Almighty GOD!!

    Is it then the responsibility of the Educators, those of the good ones that remain find themselves muzzled or constantly under threat from union squabbles which they must handle carefully, lest they are retired unceremoniously.

    Do we then blame the NGO community? What of it? Barring Rodney Grant from Pinelands who else has the balls to stand up and speak out against the morass that we find ourselves in?

    And what of the community and its citizens Ian?

    Men like me and you who, like a voice crying in the wilderness, have, grown quiet because we don’t want to offend nobody”

    We, like the rest of the citizens who have jobs at the media houses, in the public service at the private corporation, have to keep our voices down, our tones modulated, and in many cases our mouths shut lest we are deemed “trouble makers” and crushed like the insignificant cockroaches that we are.

    Where does it stop?

    I will tell you where.

    It stops one day when we wake up in this island with a picture of President Yada Yada on the wall of each house and Sonnenkinder spies, the angelic children of our neighbours, reporting back to Comrade Weekes, the citizen in charge of our street who, if I dont like you, or want the plot of land that you occupy, I report that you have spit on President Yadas picture, and you are collected and never seen again.

    Fanciful, I am sure that many will soon comment on this humble submission but I ask you, Ian, how far is the Omar Gittens’ matter away from that “fanciful” state and time of persecution of the Freedom of the Press?


    CUP Rebellion

    Be Free to take your Freedom , I took mine and will keep taking what is mine, e free to speak what you know to be true, Barbados crooks under no freedom for the press and people, Let the liars come forward and show us all what the real truth is, Until then We so speak what we find in the liars records , Stand up or Sit down forever,

    CUP Rebellion

  4. Yes, we tend to think that self-censorship by journalists and Bajans generally is more pervasive than the effects of the Public Order Act or the slander and libel laws, on its face.

    At a deeper level, history, issues of class, race, resources, may require some attention.

  5. @Ian Bourne “I may be chubby and like to eat.”

    Dear Ian: Give it a rest nuh!!! As you say yourself “I may be chubby and like to eat”. So you know what they say “give a dog a bad name and hang him.”

    I like Ian and I like Carter.

    But don’t think that this is a matter for the International Press Association.

  6. We often speak about this illusional freedom of the Press, but we too often for get that Freedom of the Press is liken to a two edged sword, of which one edge expresses freedom and the other edge expresses responsibility.

  7. How can we expect ” Freedom of the Press” when integrity, transparency and accountability remain illusory and are not the concern of our elected officials, whose only concern is to enrich themselves once elected !

Leave a comment, join the discussion.