Open Letter to Media Practitioners

 Submitted by an Anonymous blogger

arbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers (BARJAM)1

Journalism in Barbados is dead and unfortunately no one seems to know when it died. Was it one single event or a series of events? Perhaps we can point our fingers to defamation laws or perhaps we can point our fingers at the close ties between the media and the government or maybe it is the business class. You don’t think journalism is dead? Let me show you why I think it is.

Apes Hill

In 2015 the Apes Hill project owned by Bizzy Williams borrowed 25 million from the NIS “Dat is the people pensions.” Apes Hill has since “defaulted” on this debt  according to the upper echelons of NIS with not so much as a blink of an eye. I’m just a nobody and know this, I have alerted the various political parties and they seem unbothered, whispered in the ears of the media and they seem unbothered.

This article isn’t about “poor” Bizzy though so let me continue, hopefully a journalist can interview him and ask him if he even plans on returning the money. But moving on…

Corruption Allegations

In like every year since independence allegations of corruption existed ? Honestly I’m not old enough to know or remember, but it feels that way. The BLP elite fan the flames of allegations, while stating there is evidence of over-invoicing and other questionable practices, but somehow not enough to bring anyone before the court. They are playing a dangerous political game and any reasonable journalist would ask about the evidence or stop writing about it. For example you allege to have evidence of various overpaid lawyer fees yet fail to bring it to court? Surely the government has access to not only to the old paper trail, but also to the bank accounts of government to generate new statements. I’m sure a journalist can figure this out, so what is the issue?

Alternatives to Defaulting?

From my extensive research as a non journalist countries don’t default on their debt; it is exceedingly rare. From the Washington Post to The Economist that point is reiterated over and over again. My simple journalistic question is this;

“If a country goes to the IMF to improve its creditworthiness, why default and then go to the IMF?”

Let me ask that a different way, what sense would it make publicly telling your bank that you are are going to refinance and their is nothing they can do about it (defaulting) and then hoping that a future bank or lender would want your business.

Journalism Under DLP rule

Before some partisan person states that I have DLP bias I should perhaps state that journalism under the DLP was equally as woeful. The only thing I’m thankful for is that the media really did their job in helping to oust the persons who brought the economy and country to its knees. Perhaps one could argue that journalism wasn’t dead in the months leading up to elections, the media struck back? So kudos to the media there for that small victory, however if the media were perhaps doing their job the economy wouldn’t have gotten so bad and perhaps we wouldn’t even had had the DEMs again in 2013, but alas that is history.

Investigating, shaping the minds of the public  

Perhaps the media houses had too much control in any case and this dilution of power is a good thing and the tradeoff is simply shoddy journalistic standards as the media can no longer afford to retain the best talent. Perhaps we need more civic minded persons to write and speak out or perhaps only experts not auditors speaking out as economists or politicians speaking out as professionals beyond their scope. I don’t have all the answers so don’t mind me either for I’m not a journalist.

P.S. Advocate, Nation or Barbados Today(pretty sure Barbados Today wished a reporter recently) I apply to be a journalist as of mid October 2018 Terms and Conditions apply. Perhaps I can contribute in some small way.

2nd P.S. Freelance only ! I don’t wish my NIS going to well never mind.

Signed,

Humble farmer

101 comments

  • peterlawrencethompson

    It is a pity that the dictionary definitions of profession or professional do not pay attention to the connotations that make this a useful English word. The word professional SHOULD connote both honorable and expert service.

    Like

  • ” Police officers repeatedly demanded that the team leave the public road because they were “carrying out an operation”. About two hours later,

    BLP chairman George Payne and general secretary, Senator Jerome Walcott, approached the news team, insisting there was nothing-strange taking place. (SDB Media)”

    Like

  • Profession Occupation.

    Read the 77 comments or let google be your friend.

    You could also just read Bushie’s comments because he is always right. lol

    Like

  • Strange actions of the police force here in a matter of a political meeting to deal with their internal differences.

    Those police officers involved need to tell us what ‘police operations’ they were carrying out. Damn Foolishness.

    We are not yet in a police state – thank God !

    Like

  • Led Wily get PLT’s blood pressure UP, is a CONSULTANT a profession ?

    Like

  • This stupid argument about whether journalism was a profession or craft was played out a few years ago and we know what Hal A’s position is on the subject.

    I am reminded of a joke when I lived in La belle Province when an acquaintance said he was an artist as he was drawing unemployment.

    Like

  • This article is far from complete.

    The writer starts by pointing to the very close relationship of the media and government as one of the factors contributing to the decline of good journalism but avoids examining the heavy BLP Media bias which has been existing pre and post elections and long,long before that (remember the advocate in the Owen Arthur Days ?)

    For example, why doesn’t the writer of this article highlight the obvious collusion in the media – by for example – their silence in the matter of a foreign national – Charles Jong – who currently works for a number of other regional governments – and who worked as the facebook page manager of the Barbados labour party during the elections campaign – suddenly being thrusted into the Civil Service at a pay grade beyond the skills he brings – at with the ultimate objective of disbanding the Government Information Service (with very qualified public officers) – and replacing it with himself and the other operatives – so as to push Mia’s propaganda – rather than official government information.

    What say you Barbados Association of Journalists?

    Aren’t you concerned about the treatment of your other fellow journalist at the GIS? Even this week we had the Acting Head of the GIS – Sharon Lynch having to publicly state that they were not responsible for what too k place at Illaro Court when Mia Mottley gave the National Address 2 weeks ago – and the National Flag was incorrectly positioned.

    Can you tell us if Charles Jong was responsible for the recording of that Nationa Address and if so why wasn’t the official GIS used?

    What say you about a weather presenter/small NGO head – being catapulted into the second highest position in the civil service – that of Deputy Permanent Secretary?

    Why didn’t this writer speak in this article of the obvious collusion and collaboration of the Nation newspaper and journalist like Sanka Price as well as David Ellis and the BLP Sycophants at the VOB radio station – in promoting the talking points of this government – and blunting any criticism of its actions.

    Are these journalists (Ellis,Price Stetson Babb etc)? what is their role as journalist vis – a -vis the government and the citizens?

    Are media houses and their workers now functioning as the gate keepers for this government and not there to hold them accountable when they go wrong.

    Should journalists and media houses be giving a government any ‘honeymoon period’ or should they remain constantly vigilant ?

    Enquiring minds want to know ?

    Liked by 2 people

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Wily Coyote
    Consulting is an art, not a profession. It is a 42% rhetoric and and 71% illusion…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Journalism!

    We don’t have freedom of information legislation, so the next best thing is to put the issues in the public domain with the hope of raising national awareness and getting answers.

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/207340/editor-notebook-explain-wealth

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Hants

    This is a message the traditional media needs to keep in the public eye 24 hours a day.

    On Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 7:29 PM Barbados Underground wrote:

    >

    Like

  • @ T Inniss.

    A very pointed observation as it relates to the illegally appointed Charles Me Love you Jong time

    1.The Bypassing of Public Services Administration rules.
    2.The Continued Use of the BLP resources to broadcast government business
    3.The Deafening Silence of the pretend Leader of the Opposition Bishop Reverend Pastor Atherley to speak out with regard to this adminisistrative perversity
    4.The continued monitoring of the downloads of Documents of the Government of Barbados by agents of the Regime
    5.The subjugation of the GIS staff to the new regime protocol of the Mugabe Regime

    And the list goes on T Inniss

    However, have you notices that there have been a recent spate of “Editorials” that are questioning the new administration?

    are you not starting to note a “Barbados Underground Complexioning of these articles that erstwhile were afraid to venture past the line in the sand, they now seem emboldened by BU articles and AFTER SERIOUS PLAGIARISMS (I borrowed that form my pally george Donks and Josh) the same things that BU keyboards have been saying, these people are now writing?

    Credit to THe Old David of Barbados Underground

    Such a pity that the Minister of the Interior soon going pass a bill, under cover of the Computer Data Act of 2018 that will outlaw Barbados Underground and all of wunna anonymous sheeple and class idiots and brimlers and brass bowls

    Liked by 1 person

  • Piece

    Yes I have seen a few editorials speaking about the questionable actions of this government – however they seem to be mainly concentrated in Barbados Today newspaper.

    I know however from observation that they have been monitoring the discussions here on Barbados Underground – even though publicly they would not want to admit it or give David/BU the credit for things raised here.

    Journalism has gone to the dogs – and some of the practioners of the craft seem more skilled at the activities occurring at the Garrison than the old timers there.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I also must give credit to the numerous bloggers who have been highlighting various issues and without them BU contributing on a regular basis – Bdos Underground would not have the mass appeal.

    Like

  • sorry – “should read without them contributing to BU on a regular basis ”

    Like

  • Talking Loud Saying Nothing

    @ Piece,

    The sage Bush Tea in another post made a reference to the breadfruit tree and you asked the readers if they could understand the significance of what he meant. Bush Tea responded to you in a jovial manner. I am not certain what the significance of BT’S allegorical breadfruit tree is and even if I and all other Bajans were to understand its meaning, I feel certain that it would not make any difference to how Barbados is governed and managed by its government and citizens.

    You have been around for sometime on BU so you would have heard of Kelruthblog. I believe that it is now defunct – however, I have read some of his archives. It has led me to the conclusion that Barbados has always and will always remain corrupt. It is impossible to bring change to the island when the bloodlines of its citizens are so interlinked. We are no longer physical slaves, yet we remain enslaved souls both mentally and psychologically. Unsure and unwilling to shape our own future.

    Keep up the fight. But you and your fellow citizens face a herculean effort to change events in Barbados. As bad as the UK is, Hal and I remain privileged as we will always have greater opportunities than domestic Bajans.

    I am certain your journalists are not comfortable with their role and their status and would prefer to practise their craft with respectable new’s publications such as the The Guardian, Aljazeera, Le Monde, et al., but this will never happen whilst they remain on the rock.

    You may have seen Waru’s link concerning the president of Ghana’s invitation for the African diaspora to come to Ghana and to make it their home. In the words of GP’s hero Donald Trump “What have you guys got to lose?”

    http://keltruthblog.com/blog/?p=644

    Like

  • “Therefore, cannabis in Barbados is a multi-billion dollar industry. All the money is creamed off at the top by a select group of parasitic individuals who pay no taxes to the consolidated fund, and based on the fact that these “big fish” are unknown to the law, the politicians.., the courts, and Dodds, their activity is virtually risk-free. This risk-free activity has been going on for more than 30 years in Barbados so it stands to reason that there are extremely wealthy Barbadians who cannot withstand the slightest scrutiny into their financial affairs by the government. They need not worry. The government, parliamentarians, and police of Barbados have not the slightest clue that we have extremely rich cannabis retailers in the country.”

    Published on Barbados Underground, October 25, 2018 at 12:58 a.m

    Hants October 26, 2018 3:29 PM

    Journalism!

    We don’t have freedom of information legislation, so the next best thing is to put the issues in the public domain with the hope of raising national awareness and getting answers.

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/207340/editor-notebook-explain-wealth

    David October 26, 2018 4:26 PM

    @Hants

    This is a message the traditional media needs to keep in the public eye 24 hours a day.

    David,
    On this particular issue, one might argue that BU has beaten the Nation to the punch, once again. To me, that doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact that we are seeing ideas which have been expressed and accepted on BU now being ventilated and magnified by the traditional media. The harmonization and fusion of critical ideas between social and traditional media will enable us as a people to achieve our national objectives more easily. It is good for Barbados.

    Times have changed and new international financial regulations have emerged. Corrupt politicians worldwide have millions and millions of dollars in foreign accounts and now spend every minute of their time trying to figure out how best to get this money out. Under FATCA, we only have to ask the USA for a list of names, and from there we can initiate criminal proceedings.Just the slightest application of our local tax laws will expose many of our multi-millionaires to charges that carry heavy fines and/or imprisonment. These criminals are sitting ducks, just waiting to have their feathers plucked! However, not one of their feathers can be even ruffled unless civil servants from various governmental ministries and departments do the jobs which they receive a monthly pay cheque to do. Clearly, these workers are not doing, or are not allowed to do their jobs. So if the government is looking to send home workers as part of an austerity programme, who do you think should be the first set of workers to go?

    If we were to take a few seconds out of our busy schedule and just stand motionless, we would hear a shrill voice trying to rise above the din. That voice is calling out for a few good men to step forward in the nation’s interest and say “enough is enough”. Eric Smith is one of those good men, and I do not believe that his decision to blow the whistle on this issue at this time is merely coincidental.

    Like

  • Quote was actually published on BU on October 26, 2018 at 12:58 a.m.

    Like

  • Here we go again with the Nation newspaper today’s Saturday Sun edition.

    While in Today’s paper – you have an editorial that seeks to project a balanced view – on the other hand you have a piece that could only be described as straight out of the BLP campaign talking points document – and the positions taken there eerily similar to that which is normally spouted by their senior journalist Sanka Price. This is what a newspaper found precious space for – in a column called coo -coo and flying fish .Promoting an argument in support of a government – rather than doing an expose on how the special female friend of the prime minister (weather presenter Selma husbands) found herself catapulted into the second highest position in the civil service. This at a time when cost cutting measures for those who can least afford it – are underway – in the midst of much agony for families.

    Isn’t the Nation newspaper concerned as to why independent civil servants are going to be replaced by a partisan employee from the elections campaign – who is not even a national of Barbados – and very little is known about him or his activities – past or present.

    Yet surely as one day follows the other – we can be assured of one thing – that newspaper will seek to ensure that they will follow the orders of: ‘ Support Mia, Support Mia’ – no matter what.This from our most circulated newspaper on the island – and from one of their senior journalist.

    Now that Eric Smith column earlier mentioned – well at least there we have a good start.

    Like

  • Again on the Sunday Sun – Front page – the drip, drip,drip of charges and hints at corruption without any balanced investigation or a presentation of all the information.

    The BLP lapdogs in the Nation newspaper at work again – doing the Naked Emperor’s bidding.

    VOB needs if it wants to be accepted as credible must get rid of that BLP leaning moderators line up.Some of them have been there for years – and they bring nothing fresh or educational to the public by way of knowledge.

    All of them are so biased and so limited in their depth of knowledge – especially at a time when we need to educate the public.Shite man other than BU – where can the public go to get a full discussion on these issues.

    The way that liitle jump start Corey layne treated Dennis kellman this morning is disgraceful.The way peter wickham and Sanka Price tried to talk over and in wickham case shut down Glyne Murray – is so arrogant – pure hubris..

    Listening to Sanka Price getting on with kellman like he is in a rum shop just tells us how invested he and the others are in this Mia Mottley government.Shame on them all ! All ideas and opinions should contend – But it seems not in One Caribbean Media Houses.

    Their BLP underwear all out in the open for all to see.

    Like

  • @T.Inniss

    Let us forget the hint of corruption directed at the last government for a moment which is a continuation of what newly installed governments have done, are you comfortable with the large sums paid in legal fees to a few lawyers?

    Like

  • David/BU

    NO I AM NOT ! I AM PISSED ABOUT IT AND BELIEVE FREUNDEL SHOULD HAVE PAID MORE ATTENTION TO WHAT WAS GOING ON IN CERTAIN MINISTRIES.

    Why haven’t you seen those big bills in the Ministry of Tourism (Richard sealy),or Foreign Affairs (Maxine mcclean),or Steve Blackett ministry,or John Boyce ministry,or in Stephen Lashley ministry,or the former PM. Ministries and on and on.

    But now that I have addressed that are you David/BU happy with the prime minister catapulting her girlfriend into the second highest position in the civil service – because we dun know Selma Husbands could not just walk up to PAD and get that job

    So do you agree with what Mia did David?

    Do you agree with Mia appointing all these old retired BLP politicians – and consultants like Avinash persaud who has a track record of failure – as well as all the other consultants and advisors – especially since she berated the last govt for their hiring of consultants ?

    Tell me David/BU I am waiting.

    Like

  • The blogmaster has no evidence to support what you have been railing about.

    Like

  • Whaaaaaaaaat ! ! ! 1

    You don’t know that Mia hired former BLP Politicians like Billie Miller and Johnny Cheltenham?

    You don’t know she hired a fella who has no known track record of success like Avinash persaud – and other consultants like Charles Jong,Analese Babb,Pat Parris,,Jessica Odle, clyde mascoll ………….

    Remind me not to respond seriously to you when you pose your questions to me.

    Over and out.

    Like

  • The response pertained to Selma Husbands and you know it. Both parties recruit consultants, what is new? Around we go…

    Like

  • @ T Inniss
    Kellman is a jackass…and deserved the beating he got today.
    When one has tried reasoning with a JA in vain, ….the time comes for the whip…..

    Surely someone in the DLP could tell Kellman to keep his donkey shut
    and concentrate on the fish-cutters or whatever it is he sells at MoonTown….
    …and on helping out with Maripoka on BU…

    Peter Wickham is the other JA…. What a prick!!!
    Never LISTENS properly to the callers..
    ALWAYS fast to lecture from his own warped perspective
    He is the most edited ‘moderator’ in VOB history….
    and YET David Ellis sees the need to continue to inflict him on us…

    But Really though TI.
    …after your DLP decade, you are not in a good place to criticise the shiite that the BLP is currently unloading ….
    Leave that to those of us who have become equal opportunity shiite-detectors and jobby-whackers….. under the leadership of the RH Pieceurderock CTE (Conspiracy Theorist Extraordinary)
    LOL
    ha ha ha
    BUP!!!

    Like

  • Bush Tea

    I am in the best place to criticize the BLP shite.

    My feet firmly placed on higher ground – its called moral standing,or integrity or even principle.

    The DLP got to tek dey lashes – but Bushie trust me – Mia is a Category 6 – yuh hear.

    Yuh remember Caswell words last week in the Sunday Sun – how the last govt was doing crap and he was glad to se the back of them but he never thought he would miss Sinckler when he see what Mia is doing.

    And if we really want to be objective and not play this ‘both sides ‘ business – without looking at degree – then we will all be part of the hypocrite society.

    Like

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