BLP and DLP Governments Use Media Practitioners for Propaganda

Submitted by Paula Sealy

The current administration has invested in the media and media personnel has invested in the Mottley administration. Some media practitioners were forced out of CBC and landed at Starcom. But some of the others are riding the fatted calf for all it is worth. (David Thompson spoke of the fatted calf being shared among the DLP members after the elections in 2008. Fourteen years later we are still there.)

They may be professionals but how many of their statements in the print media, behind a microphone or in front of a TV camera were motivated by a political agenda or professional integrity.

The Market Vendor aka Vic Fernandes has been used to influence the public with comedy and encourage John Public to rail against individuals and groups with views against the government of the day. Don’t forget when the vendor lambasted the DLP government.

Corey Layne was said to be an objective moderator on the airwaves. Any person who is a critical thinker must question that thinking by now.

We must be more aware of what is being put out by the media, who is the source and why news items are considered newsworthy or not.

Pay attention to where these people have turned up…

1. David Ellis, Starcom (Station Manager, Retired) – COVID-19 Public Advisor (Sep. 2021-present)

2. Sanka Price, Starcom/NATION (News Editor) – CEO, Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (2020.06.15-present)

3. Roy Morris, Barbados Today (Editor-In-Chief) – Press Secretary to the Prime Minister

4. Vic Fernandes, Capital Media (Chairman)

  • Chairman, Grantley Adams International Airport (2018-2021)
  • Chairman, Barbados National Oil Company Limited (2021.07.01-present)
  • Member, National Cruise Development
  • Commission (2018.08.16-2019.02.15)

5. Carol Roberts-Reifer, Starcom (Radio Personality)

  • CEO, National Cultural Foundation (2018-present)
  • Deputy Chairperson, Board of Management, Christ Church Foundation School (2018-present)

6. Corey Layne, Starcom (Radio Personality) – BLP Candidate, City of Bridgetown, 2022

Local Media Houses Can Do Better Opines Retired UK Journalist

al Austin, retired journalist

Hal Austin, retired journalist

The following is a response to  BU question by retired journalist Hal Austin formerly of the UK Financial Times –Do you have a view on the role a local newspaper should play as far as community journalism s concerned? Is local media filling that role? Barbados Underground was motivated to ask the question because for the most part local media houses are news takers and lack the strategic management to Centres of Excellence in the community they serve – Barbados Underground

David, There is a clear role for local newspapers, to inform local readers, and articulate their concerns and to publish stories that bind the community together.

This may range from reports of the local school fete to how the member of parliament is doing, to fires, crimes and crises at the local hospital. The local paper is the eyes, ears and mouth of the community. In bigger societies, they are not, and cannot pretend to be, national newspapers.

If by your question you imply local newspapers in Barbados, I say no. Even though I hate criticising hard-working journalists, I dismiss the Advocate as a poor imitation of what it was years ago; the Nation I believe can be vastly improved, plus it has a political agenda, or at least reads like it (what we call news bias); and it does not fully understand the craft of producing news.

One online publication, which is meant to be a newspaper, leaves the same story on the home page for weeks. They seem not to understand the trade they are in – that they are in NEWS reporting. There is nothing new about a stale old story.

Then of course you sometimes get three or four stories on the same subject illustrated with the same picture. That shows lack of creative thinking. Then again, they all fall in to a consensual interpretation of events, because they all share the same or similar backgrounds. Just look at how often they report nonsense from Donville Inniss or Owen Arthur. In Britain, for example, the Daily Mail is a different beast to the Guardian.

Then local newspaper editors must learn to pay their contributors; you get what you pay for. If you want citizen journalists, you cannot complain if you get citizen journalism.

Finally, in local terms, there is a lack of training and it shows, from ‘balance’ when writing stories to digging out stories that fit the old doctrine: if a dog bites a man, it is not a story; but if a man bites a dog, it is a story.

The Day the Local Media Blinked

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart it is reported held a four hour meeting with members of the local press corps and addressed several issues that have been stoking national discussing in recent weeks and months. It is reported he addressed the Cahill Energy issue and that  he confirmed the government has pulled the plug on the project, however, contrary to what some have opined, he rubbished the view that government is exposed to being held financially liable for doing so by Cahill Energy. He expressed the usual rhetoric about concerns highlighted by the Auditor General in his 2015 report. Of interest to BU was his lack of confidence in the laws of the land which permit those charged with heinous crimes to be released on bail. To quote the prime minister ‘’it struck him for six’’. He touched on several other issues during his surprisingly lengthy press briefing and only time will tell if this was a sincere leader addressing his people or whether it was about espousing the rhetoric one expects at the start of the political season.

To be honest the calling of a press briefing by the Prime Minister flummoxed members of the BU household. This is a man whose period of stewardship of the country can be characterized by the words taciturn, silent and aloof. The BU household must be given the benefit of a huge doubt about the true motive of the Prime Minister’s press briefing. How many press briefings has Stuart held since the mantle of the office was thrust on him? He has refused to honestly communicate with Barbadians except when he does it on his terms usually at constituency meetings. For those who believe BU is harsh in our assessment he needs only to refer to a few of his Cabinet minsters who have echoed a similar few.

When Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart invited members of the local media to Llaro Court yesterday it was the perfect opportunity for them to have declined and send an unequivocal message to this government that the Fourth Estate must be respected. Instead they all seemed to have been intimidated by the Office of Prime Minister or were directed to attend by the bosses.

What does the Prime Minister mean when he hints that an increase in public servants salaries is in the offing if the economy improves? On the other side of his mouth he communicates rationalizing of statutory corporations will be implemented shortly. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to appreciate that there will be job cuts.  Are we not living in a country where banks are paying .25% in interest yet the Central Bank of Barbados is paying a savings bond rate of 7.5% and engaged in the printing of money based on the most recent Economic Review. Did he say he will defend the issue of the return of the 10% for parliamentarians?

Who will hold the government accountable? This is a local media who refuses to share the Cahill Energy documents with the wider public. We have posted the Ionics Freshwater Agreement and local media again has refused to share with the wider public. We have asked for full disclosure of the SBRC agreement while local media remains silent. We are aware that Bizzy William’s companies are major advertisers with local media houses. BU has taken the initiative to send links and messages to senior reporters on Facebook. Yet daily we have to listen to representatives from FLOW, DIGICEL et al being given easy access to the public airwaves. What we have is a commercialization of media products. It is only news if it fits a definition of their making.

What is a known is that with the advent of social media the traditional media will have to reform or become irrelevant, it is only a matter of time. What is known is that our politicians will have to become more transparent in policy making or bear a tarnished legacy to the embarrassment of kith and kin.

Sir Hilary Beckles and a Bought Bajan Media

The following article originally posted at Bajan Reporter.

Did Sir Hilary change tune because he was “kicked upstairs”? Or how Bajan Media make Piranhas seem ethical…

Ian Bourne - Bajan Reporter

Ian Bourne – Bajan Reporter

by AirBourne / May 13th, 2015

When UWI enrollments diminished by 4,000 students compared to the previous year, Sir Hilary Beckles was enraged – he said Barbadian education has taken a 20 year retrograde step in development and an assault on the average student of UWI –  a working class mother with (at least) one child…Fumble Freundel Stuart instead of recognising Sir Hilary’s genuine concern, accuses the man of trying to form an alternative Government, so disagreement is not an option? What kind of idiot are you, you should’ve stayed asleep! average student of UWI –  a working class mother with (at least) one child…

Read full story HERE

Response to JAMAICA GLEANER: EDITORIAL – Barbadian Press Blunder

Submitted by Fair Play

The Gleaner said to have "fraternal relations" with the Nation newspaper.

The Gleaner said to have “fraternal relations” with the Nation newspaper.

Yesterday, The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper rushed to the defence and support of the Nation newspaper, with which, by its own admission, it has “fraternal relations”. However, right thinking Barbadians, as well as those knowledgeable Jamaicans living here, should point out to the Gleaner that, unlike some other countries – that will remain nameless – the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Barbados is a strictly independent one. So, to raise the bogeyman of political interference is total poppycock, and does not befit a reputable newspaper as The Gleaner. Wrong is wrong, regardless of who does it. Enough said on that score.

Now, the same Gleaner newspaper ought to remember that, just a few decades ago, one of its outstanding editors, the late J C Proute, warned its readers against such lecherous and off-colour reporting.  In one of his weekly columns, and subsequently during a guest lecture at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) in 1980, JC termed such acts “journalistic gaucherie”.

The Gleaner’s spurious argument that “the faces of the minors engaged in the sexual act (were) blurred and unrecognisable”, hence it was ok to publish the picture, is nonsensical. The salient point is that photo was accompanied by (juxtaposed against) the most graphic, detailed and explicit account of the sex act. Nothing was left to the imagination. PLAIN PORNOGRAPHY!

Continue reading

Goodness Gracious CBC, Time to Get Doug Some New Suits

Submitted by Napolean Bonaparte

Doug Hoyte, CBC Morning Barbados host

Doug Hoyte, CBC Morning Barbados host

Don’t say it, and we are not being picky, but one cannot help but notice Morning Barbados’ lead anchor Doug Hoyte is in need of a couple of new suits. Good grief man, hasn’t the Board noticed Doug’s futile attempt at hiding the fact that he has out grown his current wardrobe and now has resorted to hiding this embarrassment ?

Viewers cannot help but notice the first button is unduly stressed and barely able to maintain its confines. Doug on the other hand, being a true professional, has resorted  to placing his coffee mug (snugly in front of him) to camouflage the obvious.

We the viewers have begun to wonder why Doug would always be seen hands crisscrossed on his coffee mug positioned strategically, in a rather perplexing position. Much to our dismay, on closer examination, it has become most obvious that the good man, like many Bajans,  has been caught at the counter of overly indulgence once, twice, too often.

Continue reading

Police Service Commission Should Have Passed Darwin Dottin’s File to the Director of Public Prosecutions to Seek His Arrest

Former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

Former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin

The top story of the week stoked by the local media is that a newspaper snagged a video which was circulating on Facebook for over a month and posted a blurred image of two teens having sex in a classroom full in the knowledge they were being video recorded. BU has no doubt the public outcry provoked by this incident like all the others before will pass with nothing material done to address the factors at the root of juvenile and parental delinquency in our society. It must be said that the newspaper at the centre of the incident must have experienced a spike in sales.

This is one week  since the Police Service Commission Report to Retire Commissioner Darwin Dottin was released by BU and ignored by traditional media. How can anyone take the local media and the bevy of talk show hosts seriously when in one breath they pontificate about the moral issue emanating from the sex video, and rightly so, but ignore an issue which attacks a key plank in our governance system.  What separates Barbados from the rest has been our ability to maintain law and order on our little island. Despite all of our challenges Barbadians have always prided themselves in being a peaceful and law abiding nation.

While Barbados was consumed this week by the sex video saga the global media reacted to news that the USA (Big Brother) hacked the phones of prominent persons across the globe. All part of adhering to national security. And in Britain there was the news that the long awaited trial of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson is set to begin, a case where two journalists are alleged to have hacked the phone records of members of parliament, members of the royal family and others – Phone hacking: Court told of tabloids’ ‘decade of deceit.

Continue reading

Nation Newspaper Exploits Children in Need of Help

Submitted by The Mahogany Coconut Think Tank/Watchdog Group

Vivian Anne Gittens: Publisher of the Nation Newspaper

Vivian Anne Gittens: Publisher of the Nation Newspaper

The publishing by the Nation Newspaper of Barbados, of two minors engaging in sexual activity, is a violent violation of the Convention of Rights of Children (CRC) as outlined by UNICEF of which the country of Barbados is a signatory. It is clearly pointed out within the CRC, that children have rights and privileges of adults. They are not the property of their parents or their schools but are equal to adults.

The photo carried on the back page of the Sunday Sun, was a very voracious grab at sensationalism and the public is correct in its outrage. Whether we condone under aged children having sex is irrelevant and the nation must know that in a small country such as Barbados, the children’s identities cannot be hidden.

The Mahogany Coconut Group calls on the greedy predators at the Nation Newspaper to desist from exploiting our Caribbean children with immediate effect .

Continue reading

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler Reacts to Criticism on the Eve of No Confidence Motion

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Yesterday [21/10/2013] David Ellis of Voice of Barbados shared audio of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler [MoF] and Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley. BU finds the audio interesting because of the comments which the MoF directed at David Ellis, Dennis Johnson, Corey Layne and Netafari Caddle in their role as talk show hosts. Listen and be the judge, justified you think?

Although the focus today [22/10/2013] is expected to be on a motion of No Confidence brought by the Opposition against the MoF the broadside by the MoF on the media should be of concern. At a time when the country should be fixated on finding ways to surmount the economic challenges this is where we find ourselves. Is it not interesting both political parties eventually become confrontational with the media?

Listen to the MoF’s comment followed by the Leader of the Opposition

Tales from the Courts – Mars(ton) and Pluto Were Inside the Closet Part XVIII

Justice Saunders opined that it was because Barbados judges were not scheduling their time properly.

Justice Saunders of the CCJ opined recently that  Barbados judges were not scheduling their time properly.

For some years now BU has been highlighting the issue of the almost terminal state of our justice system. We have been highlighting, among other things, the backlog of cases both before the High Court and the Court of Appeal, the complete inefficiency of the Registry with its loss of files and procrastination, the mess that is the Bar Association and the clear conflict between Bar Association enforced membership and the Constitution; but most importantly, we have been highlighting the quality of our judges, both at High Court and Appeal levels.

A very short while ago, attorneys-at-law from Barbados raised the issue of delays in both getting matters heard and in receiving the judgements on those matters with CCJ Justice Saunders at one open forum. Justice Saunders opined that it was because Barbados judges were not scheduling their time properly. Meanwhile, in another forum, CCJ President Sir Denis Byron advised that appeals to the CCJ from Barbados had risen by 350%.

Having read some of the CCJ decisions in right of Barbados, we have to say that Justice Saunders was being diplomatic, for these judgements do not censure delay alone, but the lack of quality of the judgements themselves, judgements that in any other jurisdiction would lead either to the judge being asked to resign or to his/her dismissal.

Continue reading

CBC News Staff Worried About Michelle Arthur Becoming Director of News

Submitted by CBC Staffer

Does Michelle Arthur have the inside track to take over as Director of News ?

Does Michelle Arthur have the inside track to take over as Director of News ?

There could be a strike or some kind of protest at CBC soon. Staff of the news and current affairs department are waiting to see who the board is going to appoint to head the department. Arnon Dyal has  been acting as director of news since Reudon Eversley resigned this year but he is supposed to go on retirement at the end of this month.

Michelle Arthur has been walking about telling people the prime minister promised her the job and the staff are awaiting to see if this will happen. Michelle Arthur is trouble. Few people at CBC like her. She has caused a lot of confusion and problems. The last time she was appointed to act in the position when Reudon Eversley was on study leave, she lasted two days. The staff walked out on her and CBC changed its mind. She walked about telling people it hurt because she was president of the BWU division and fight for staff and the staff did not stand up for her.

Staff have many issues with Michelle Arthur. She is behaving like she is the news director already. Every day now she parks in the yard in the spot for the Director of News and Current Affairs like she is sending a message. Michelle Arthur has created a lot of confusion and strife at CBC. Staff are worried that if she is appointed she will terrorise people because she terrorising people already as assignments editor. If she likes you, you can do what you like like her child father Sean Farrell who came into CBC one day and threatened to lick her up. If she does not like you, she walks over you and tries to make you look small in front of everybody. Shane Sealy can tell you. She has been trying real hard to get him out of CBC. The administrative assistant can tell you about Michelle Arthur and her childish behaviour.

Continue reading

Barbados Government Begged Facebook to REVEAL Three Users

Submitted by St.George’s Dragon

Facebook is the largest social network site.

Facebook is the largest social networking site.

According to an article in the Jamaica Observer, the Barbados Government is the only one in the Caribbean to have asked Facebook for information on its Bajan users. Apparently the Government has made three requests for information in the last six months. It’s not a high number of requests but why are we the only ones to be making them?

The original of the article can be found here:–data and the Facebook report is here Interestingly, Facebook denied information in all 3 cases.

Roy Morris ME

Roy Morris

Roy Morris

BU understands from a reliable source that former Associate Editor Roy Morris will be returning to the Nation newspaper in mid-September to take up the BIG job. The murky circumstances which led to his departure from Barbados’ leading newspaper appear to have dissipated with time.

Our source has confirmed that the coming of Morris was announced at a staff meeting yesterday by the Editor Emeritus. If the management and staff are welcoming of the man who developed a reputation of an expositor of the minibus sector, then BU joins them to welcome the return of Roy.

Related Links

Are We to See the Second Coming of Roy Part II

Submitted by Nomen Nescio

Roy Morris

Roy Morris

Well guess who, it is Nomen Nescio again. I found it interesting reading the comments to my post that perverted Roy Morris will be returning to the self-dubbed family newspaper or Nation Newspaper. Thank you David for your comments against those doubting Thomases such as, in particular, Plantation Deeds and BAFBPF or Baffy.  I will respond to them at the end of this update.

Since the posting of the article more cutting edge information was received which I felt compelled to share with the BU family. As I first suspected and was confirmed by impeccable sources, the resurrection of Roy Morris was triggered by the Board of the Nation Publishing Company, which as I said before is chaired by that hypocritical Harold Hoyte. We going get to the salacious on him after we deal with the facts of the matter.  And I’m going to be fair to all.

See Related Link: Are We to See the Second Coming of Roy?

Continue reading