There is the saying often posted in this space that the price of freedom (democracy) is eternal vigilance. A necessary component to safeguarding our freedom (democracy) is a relevant media. An extract from The Role of Media in Democracy: A Strategic Approach authored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) states:-
A free, objective, skilled media is an essential component of any democratic society. On the one hand, it provides the information which the polity require to make responsible, informed decisions. On the other, it performs a “checking function” ensuring that elected officials uphold their oaths of office and campaign promises and that they carry out the wishes of the electorate.
The blogmaster is reminded everyday since March 2007 when Barbados Underground (BU) went live on the WordPress platform the importance of a relevant media. We recall the VOB Sunday Brasstacks show when social commentator and retired hotelier Adrian Loveridge was forced to contribute to the program from a separate studio because it was the condition for the participation of former Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch.
During one of last week’s VOB’s Brasstacks shows the blogmaster was again reminded of the naked manipulation of traditional media by a caller (was it you William?) who questioned the Nation Publishing company’s decision to anoint Khaleel Kothdiwala a columnist to replace Dr. Kristina Hinds. The caller’s simple and well articulated logic was – with the BLP in total control of the Lower House, why select Khaleel who is a BLP card carrying member. It does not mean Khaleel lacks the capacity to share a perspective on a myriad topics, however, making Khaleel a columnist ensured the leading publishing house in the country slammed the door on an opportunity to improve vigilance in our democracy.
This is not a personal attack on Khaleel, he obviously is an intelligent young man who is committed to be a BLP sponsored politician. And it is his right, to align with a political party of his choice. This is an attack on the Nation Publishing for allowing itself to be manipulated directly or indirectly into making Khaleel a columnist. We may speculate this is the Nation Publishing being opportunistic by contracting a young man whose star is rising or that ‘someone’ made a telephone call.
In a Sunday Nation Article of 2020 – Next Friend not happy her case is thrown out – I reported some anomalies in an elder abuse case in the High Court in Barbados particularly the difficulty in getting the relevant agencies to respond.
First of all, I initiated that article in a social media group intending to do my independent reporting because I was long disillusioned with the negative slant of the Nation Newspapers’ reporting. I was, however, contacted by the Nation Report-Or about it since it was shared with her by a colleague involved in elder abuse also. I sent my typed article via email.
I never stated that I was the Next Friend. I couldn’t have since I am no blood relative of the elder. That’s the hasty conclusion the Report -OR or her Edit-OR who jumped to in an effort to sensationalize a serious issue and increase sales. They only know one thing.
Having merely scanned my complaint then listened to Lashley’s diatribe, the Report-OR went to press without further investigations. Had she gotten off of her hefty laurels and visited the Registry and read the file and made a sound analysis of the legal case and the outcome such nonsense would not have been sold to the Barbados public.
Further, she would have had on record that Lashley was not the Attorney who represented the family in the case and instead would have gone and gotten comments from the representing Attorney. She would also have had even a copy of that first Order that was made and signed by the Judge.
Too often, Nation Reporters are printing lopsided and ridiculously subjective opinions on matters that should be given more serious attention and scholarship. Elder abuse is not your daily Soap Opera.
So one year later this issue has arisen in another country in the Region and the Nation Newspapers and its Report-OR is being held to scrutiny. How different is the legal outcome versus that rubbish?
So my assignment for the Report-Or is to visit the Registry, get the file and write a propper article on the outcome of that elder abuse case that was treated under the Mental Health Act. Find out what because of the Order the judge made and signed.
The editor begins by affirming that Barbados “continues to be a predominantly Christian society” and alludes to evidence of the same in the national anthem. To his or her credit, the editor makes it clear that the church is NOT the building or structure but the people who worship there. For pointing out this, we must thank the editor. Why so? Because not even some church goers understand this!
Ecclesia So let me elaborate on the editor’s point: the word “church” comes from the Greek word “ecclesia” from which we get the word “ecclesiastical” which means basically “having to do with the church”. Therefore, it is sometimes used as a synonym for “religious” or “clerical” or for “church” itself.
The original meaning of “ecclesia” then is, “the called out ones” which means the people (that have been called out as disciples). It is not the building. The point is very well taken.
Church Response to Covid-19 To be fair to the “church”, early on in the covid-19 pandemic, several ministers did indicate that the church is the people and therefore, continued offering services to those people online with Zoom and other technologies.
One of the reasons why many church goers do not even understand the point made above about the church is because simple things like these get overlooked in church meetings or assemblies because it is assumed that people know. Too many churches are more concerned about “preaching” (which usually means “shouting”) and less about “teaching”.
Most assemblies spend the bulk of their time in helping members, especially new ones, understand WEIGHTIER spiritual matters such as the meaning of salvation, the work of the Holy Spirit in guiding believers and the afterlife, to name a few.
Some assemblies also spend time in trying to build a church community and the more resourced assemblies try to help the surrounding communities. I have been a member of such an assembly so I am not speculating or guessing.
The editor devotes a whole paragraph to asking a “barifull” [?] of questions about the response of the church to the covid-19 pandemic. Clearly he or she is not asking about how the church organized for the “continuity of worship” for “services” during the covid-19 pandemic. Rather, the editor seems more concerned about the ESCHATOLOGICAL issues surfaced by the covid-19 pandemic.
Eschatology is “a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind”. This includes teachings about “judgement and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind”. In other words, the editor wants the church’s help in understanding the meaning of covid-19 in the context of the final destiny of mankind!
Pandemic Fears This is not surprising at all. Sales of bibles escalated especially in the early days of the pandemic. Why? Because most people in Christian societies have already heard, PERHAPS MORE THAN ONCE, that humanity is set to have a rendezvous with the man whom God has appointed to both Judge and Rule the World, Jesus Christ himself. So naturally they thought this was “the end of the world” and got scared!
Perhaps they thought that by buying a Bible, even reading it, that it would “save them”. Now that is very funny! Why not go and buy a book on rocket science and ergo find work at NASA? See how ridiculous and hypocritical this is?
I know you think I am being overly sarcastic but if that is what is necessary to get people to wake up, expect more of the same!
Church’s Work Clear For years “churches” in this country have been “open” (=not under lock down) and for years “the church” has spent endless effort, time and money trying to bring the gospel to this nation. Every radio station in Barbados carries at least one religious programme every single day of the week. All of these are paid for one way or another. Several carry programmes or “services” on TV. All of these have to be paid for.
All this has been going on, yet on average, church congregations are getting smaller! Now a covid-19 pandemic hits and suddenly everybody wants the church to be open and to “rise to the occasion!” To do what, exactly? Console people who have put their faith in “the government” or in “horses and chariots” or their job? I know I am sounding harsh but hold onto your seahorses for a minute because I am going somewhere with this!
Christian Society? Let’s cycle back to the beginning, dear editor. What do you and Barbadians mean by the expression; “Barbados is a predominantly Christian society”? I challenge you to respond on this blog.
I can tell you what it CANNOT mean! I CANNOT mean that this is a society of people who have heard the gospel and responded to it as required, by which I mean, in summary, the following: +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1. Acknowledged that we are sinners 2. Acknowledged that Jesus Christ died for our sins. 3. Acknowledged that Christ’s way is the ONLY way out of God’s judgment on sin. 4. ACCEPTED the sacrificial work on the cross even if you do not understand fully understand all its divine legal (yes legal!) and other ramifications. 5. Submitted to the inner work of the Holy Spirit that begins once you have accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour and Ruler. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Some people call the above being “born again”. I am not particularly fond of religious clichés but if that helps, so be it.
Great Commission Dear editor, the message of the above is what the church has been “preaching in season” (=no pandemic) and “out of season” (=in the covid-19 pandemic season). That is its mission given by Jesus Christ himself! ++++++++++ [Jesus speaking] Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matt 28:19 [New International Version] ++++++++++ I tell you dear editor, that if we stop preaching this gospel, the very rocks and heavens and the seas will cry out harder (they are crying now) and tell you this message in their own way!
The church is not a social club, although it would appear to be so for some DENOMINATIONS.
Does that mean we do not care about people’s bodies, family life, poverty etc? Absolutely not! The same Jesus who preached “Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” is the same Jesus who healed the sick, cast out demons, feed 5,000 one way and 4,000 another way and still had food left over! Comprehensive ministry, Mr / Ms Editor! Spirit, soul and body!
And that power of provision demonstrated by Christ is what true Christians (I make no apology for that phrase!) experience BECAUSE THEY HAVE OBEYED THE GOSPEL! ++++++++++ [Jesus speaking Sermon on the Mount] Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33 [New Living Translation] ++++++++++ When people were being laid off in the covid-19 pandemic, my son got a job! Needless to say I reminded him at every opportunity about this provision and how grateful he ought to be. Every day I start out by giving thanks for being on “the wake up list” once again and for all the provision around me. I don’t take it for granted!
If you think we have problems, consider the problems of the people in China, as the evil communist government there unravels under the might of the awesome weapons of the heavens and the gathering military forces of the west whose every existence (including ours in Barbados) the CCP has endangered by unleashing the covid-19 virus! If you are not up to speed on China see my blog entry here:
Media Dropped the Ball While we are here dear Editor, why has your newspaper not reported on the CCP and its shenanigans vis-a-vis the pandemic? Why are people in Barbados so uninformed about the complicity of the WHO in the cover up and the spread of Covid-19 in the west? Why are the alternative narratives re. the wearing of masks not dilated in the media? Whose job was it that to report these things? I challenge to you to respond to these these charges on this blog so we can freely debate them!
Anyone Christian who is au fait with Bible prophecy can help you understand where covid-19 fits into the overall plan for the human race. But you dropped the ball in NOT reporting all sides of the issue!
Doers not Hearers No dear editor, what people need to focus on is DOING what the Bible says: “Repent”. That is an action word; it did not say “know” as important as that is. It says: “Repent”. Therein lies the problem of this so-called “Christian society”; it is a hearer of the word and not a doer.
The people in Noah’s day heard him speak about the coming flood. For 120 years! They heard, so they knew! They scoffed and they jeered until the rain started to fall and Noah and his family entered the ark. As they say, the rest is history. That is why Jesus said this prophetically while here on Earth: +++++++ Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Luke 17: 26 – 27 [English Standard Version]. +++++++ By the way, the remnants of Noah’s ark have been found! I publicized this on the blog many months ago. But here it is again:
Conclusion I hope this was helpful Ms./Mr. Editor although I have lots more to say on the issues you have raised. But I’ll leave you with this:
If you think the covid-19 pandemic was/is a problem, you may not want to know what is coming next! This is what the church should be proclaiming at this time! And if that is what you are thinking, you are absolutely right!
The Church and Covid-19 is the title of the editorial in this Wednesday’s (mid-week) edition of the Nation Newspaper. I find the editor’s outpouring absolutely fascinating so I could not resist the temptation to respond.
In the social media world it is referred to as click bait, not sure of the equivalent in the dead tree world.
A few weeks ago the BU blogmaster was critical of the Sunday Sun editor for offending the sensibilities of many Bajans by inserting a picture of Peter Wickam and partner on the front page. The objective of report was to share the news a prominent local person had taken a husband? There was reference to a marriage to further irritate.
Today the Sunday Editor repeated poor judgment by introducing as front page news a disagreement between late Prime Minister David Thompson’s wife Mara and her mother in law Margaret Knight. It seems like a story traditional media should have left for the blogs to rumble with. Truth be told circulation is flagging and money makes the world go around.
A more worthy angle would have been to inquire from Mara Thompson when her husband’s will was probated and to confirm if she is the beneficiary of tens of millions largely derived from her late husband’s servicing of the CLICO account. This is a matter of national import given the hundreds of CLICO policyholders poorer for purchasing CLICO product. Instead the Sunday Sun preferred to share the news that Mara Thompson turned her back on the 88 year old mother in law by refusing to pay her rent.
What would the late David Thompson say if he were alive to see his mother spurned by Mara?
We write with reference to an article published in today‘s Sunday Sun and also republished online in the e-edition of the Nation newspaper as well as on its social media platforms. The article is potentially defamatory of our client for the reasons set out below, and at the minimum, is false…
See two documents issued by Innotech to the Nation Newspaper on 17 March 2019:
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.
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…
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.
The blogmaster regrets to share the news that Senator Caswell Franklyn was dismissed this week (12 June 2018) from the role as a columnist at the Nation Publishing Company. Senator Franklyn has established a reputation as a social commentator who is never afraid to challenge kith or kin. One would have thought given the paucity of Opposition in the House of Assembly the Nation newspaper would have seen the benefit in giving a platform to one of two Opposition Senators in a configuration where the Lower House is represented 29 to 1 and the Governor General had to exercise a razor thin judgement to appoint the leader of the Opposition.
The blogmaster hates the idea that the Senator was fired because he was critical of the government in his one and only column as an Opposition Senator.
Submitted by Candidate for St. Michael West, Neil a. Holder, POLITICAL LEADER, Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM)
Neil Holder, Leader of the BIM
Reference is drawn to an article of April 1st, 2018 at pages 22A & 23A written by Mr. Barry Alleyne.
Our concerns are the fact that the representative of the Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) and Candidate Neil Holder has been omitted from any mention in the stated article.
Furthermore, while it is widely known within the constituency that the Candidate Neil Holder which represents BIM is ever present, he is also the political leader of the party!
We find this purposeful omission to be of a political nature and therefore does not hold fast to professional and objective journalism expected in 2018.
Of further concern is the fact that the constituency of St. Michael West starts at Hindsbury Road and proceeds onto Roebuck Street, Country Road, Passage Road, Westbury Road, President kennedy Drive, Spring Garden, Deacons Road, Goodland Main Road, Bridge Gap, Black Rock, Eagle Hall, Bank Hall Main Road, Sobers Junction onto Hindsbury once more. This means that the sample of the constituency taken by the said journalist Mr, Barry Alleyne has been confined to less than 1/4 of the constituency.
In this regard, it appears very inconsistent with what may be deemed as best practices for adequate and objective journalism for future election coverage. Much is left to be considered!!!
The fact remains that earlier this year the Nation Newspaper also carried an article which referred to the Political Parties that will contest the 2018 General Election where the same Journalist again omitted to mention the Barbados Integrity Movement. However in that article, the said journalist made reference to the Candidate for St. Peter as the representative of the New Barbados Kingdom Alliance (NBKA) even after a public announcement that Apostle. Lynroy Scantlebury had merged the NBKA with the BIM to be recognised as the BIM for all future intents and purposes!
We find this behaviour to be grossly erroneous and disingenuous by nature and therefore devoid of INTEGRITY!
We are therefore demanding a public apology from the Nation Newspaper in this regard.
The following was posted to his Facebook wall today by former editor-in-chief of the Nation newspaper Roy Morris.
Roy Morris, former Editor-in-Chief, Nation Newspaper
When I left the Nation in January I promised myself I would not get involved in any of the “politics” of the Nation — unless I believed the actions of the organisation or any of its agents compelled me to defend myself personally or professionally. Alas, I now feel so compelled.
Over the weekend I was accosted, in a “friendly” way, by an operative of the DLP who wanted to know how come I was hostile to the Prime Minister and my successors now have to work to clean up relations. This was in apparent reference to some correspondence sent to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart by the hierarchy of the Nation newspaper, seeking to pay a courtesy call on him to “understand how we could foster a smooth relationship”. This would have to be the height of political dishonesty.
So let me put some facts on the table. I returned to the Nation in September 2013, fully recognising that the bad relations between the Prime Minister’s office (and/or the PM himself) predated me. The number of defamation suits pending and the instructions I received to bring about an immediate improvement spoke to this. I may not have a lot of things, but I do believe that I am respected for my work as a journalist and media manager, and holding on to this means everything to me.
Against this background, and while trying to bring about improvement from my end, I sought through Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler to initiate a discussion with the PM. I wanted to invite him to address our monthly Editorial Forum in the newsroom as a start. After some time Sinckler suggested I solicit the assistance of the PM’s information officer at BGIS, Sharon Austin Gill Moore, who I had some hand in training as a journalist many years ago and with whom I have always maintained a genuine and close friendship.
Sharon arranged an audience with PM Stuart during a function at Ilaro Court and when I put the question to him he immediately agreed, but noted that a series of engagements meant it would be some time before he could fulfill the promise, but he definitely would.
As had been the case with all other Editorial Fora that I had arranged, I immediately informed my superiors and then announced at our next departmental meeting that the PM had agreed to be our guest. Much to my surprise, a few weeks later I was informed that those who mattered in the company, with two specific maguffies named, were not happy with the PM being invited to speak to staff. The apparent rationale was that he did not hold press conferences, did not speak to the country about the issues, was doing a bad job of running the country and that the public would believe we were being used by him. Now, Chris Sinckler addressed the forum and there was no problem, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite addressed it and there was no problem, Alvin Jemmott and Billy Griffith addressed it on tourism and there was no problem … and the list goes on. But for some reason I was supposed to withdraw the invitation to the Prime Minister.
I might be known as a lot of things, but weak is not one of them and so I refused to withdraw the invitation. The matter again came up at a subsequent meeting and I held my position. Once again, the names of those who have the power were invoked, but apparently I was too stubborn to fold. But it got worse, rather than providing a forum for the Prime Minister I was given a list of subjects that I was required to engage my reporters writing on. For the first time I was aware of having spent more than 25 years previously at the organisation, Editorial policy and content were to be determined outside of the newsroom.
These topics included:
A look at state corporations that are behind with their annual reports and what the law requires of them.
Look at the Auditor General’s reports for the last 5 or so years to see what are the recurring offences/complaints.
An in-depth look at the financial state of the NIS and its various funds, with the implication of its heavy support of Government being juxtaposed.
Look at the demographic make up of the country and the implications for tax collection and the support of social programmes in the future. This is premised on our so-called aging population, the decline of birth and the expectations of taxpayers given the number and level of services traditionally provided by the state.
An objective analysis of Barbados current debt situation, local and foreign. What do the various commentators/experts say about this and the way Government is managing it. What are the implications for Barbados’ credit rating given the number of downgrades we have suffered in last decade.
THESE MAY ALL BE LEGITIMATE NEWS STORIES, BUT AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SEE A PATTERN?
Are these the same people who now seek to give the impression they want to know why relations between the Nation Newspaper, the PM, Government and DLP are so bad? Or that they want to see an improvement?
I have had reason in my column over the years to be critical of the PM, but I dare anyone to justify ascribing partisan political motives to my writing? Sorry folks, but I will not sit as the public face of any entity while others spin their webs in the background to suit their political king-making agendas.
I guess on reflection it is a compliment when you are called into a meeting and offered a separation package because “we have changes to make and your personality is too strong” for you to be the person in charge while those changes are being made.
I know I will return to this subject again. For now, Peace!!
Submitted byA Fair and Balanced Douglas Leopold Phillips
Roy Morris, Editor-in-Chief, Nation Newspaper
I hate to return to this topic; and, although I may want to resist invoking his name, like the late Branford Taitt, these days, I am forced to read the Daily Nation (and the Sunday Sun) with a red-ink pen in one hand. I often tell my friends that the Barbados Advocate, especially the Sunday Advocate, is a far better newspaper – good stories, well researched articles and earnest commentaries
Now to the matter at hand. I saw this story in today’s online Daily Nation:
Shock as brothers die 2 days apart
by Lisa King, Nation News
AS THE JONES FAMILY plan a double funeral for two brothers who died suddenly in the space of two days, they are left with more questions than answers.
The Durant’s Road, Christ Church family are trying to muster enough strength to make funeral preparations for Shurland “Jonesy” Jones, 47, who died on December 2, and his older brother Henderson “Buck” Jones, 50, who passed away two days later.
Their sister Marlyne Jones, who spoke to the DAILY NATION yesterday, said the family was not expecting either death. In fact, she said both men were thought to be in good health and the family was therefore anxious for the autopsy reports to learn the causes. (LK)
Family is a collective noun, which carries a singular verb. So, in one instance it cannot have a plural verb and then a singular verb in the same story – see the highlights in red. Most of us know that collective nouns, like class, crew, band, crowd, gang, pack, board, bunch, group, etc. all carry a singular verb; but, not the Nation.
I guess some publications are more concerned with maximising circulation and profits, than being journalese-correct, factual, ethical and responsible.
Bad grammar, particularly where the subject doesn’t agree with the verb, is very pervasive in the local media. Their seeming inability to use correct English is mind-boggling. For example, recently, the Nation and the Sunday Sun (following their overseas counterparts) were reporting things like: “Barbados are batting in their second innings”, “he said the Barbados Water Authority are dealing with the situation”, and “the Chairman assured the public that the Board are aware of the matter and are addressing it”.
Lots of reasons for me to again fall off my favourite chair with laughter. Where are the proof-readers? Poor fellows, they really don’t know better anyhow. Gladstone Holder and Jeanette Layne-Clarke must be turning over and over again in their graves.
But hey, the constant absence of subject and verb agreement is not the only common error being ‘perfected’ by them. They still wallow in poor syntax and gobbledegook as they continue their crusade to undermine this administration by daily highlighting shortcomings and so-called matters of national import, as well as outright trivia and partisan copy. Case in point: two Sundays ago, there was a news item pertaining to the NUPW’s Akanni McDowell receiving payment for the month of November despite having been asked to revert to his substantive post in October. The Sunday Sun’s ‘story’ while purporting to be a genuine news item was actually a blatant case of the reporter editorialising with subjective comment and personal opinion, and a few expected Ws thrown in to give it a semblance of authenticity and credibility. So RIDICULOUS! All the basic tenets of journalism went thrown out the window.
One only has to read their lead stories everyday.They give prominence to the “bad roads and potholes”, the “reduced Transport Board fleet, late buses, and people stranded in the bus terminals for hours on end”, “poorly maintained government buildings, sporting facilities and playing fields”, “leaking sewerage along the south coast”, “visitors turned-off by sewage overflow in St. Lawrence”, “continuous industrial action at both ports of entry”, “persistent water woes” (like we never experienced these situations before) and “threats by one Rosalind (‘shut-down-de-country’) Smith”, “the Hyatt Hotel issue and Town Planning permission”, “BUT and BSTU militancy”, and “environmental problems at Combermere and other schools”. Talk about a partisan, politician organ!!! The NATION, tip your hat, take a bow!
But, they won’t publicize: the thousands of tourists who arrive here daily; the 6 Condor, 6 Thomas Cook, 2 Virgin Atlantic, one BA, and 2 Jet Blue flights that were on the tarmac yesterday afternoon at GAIA. We are in for another record year for tourist arrivals. And, while we are at it, what about the $M7 and other resources that were invested in our 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations that have redounded to our collective benefit in a BIG WAY. Many persons realized employment as the multiplier and trickle-down effects kicked-in.
Also, let’s remember the overwhelming success of Jimmy Cornell’s Sailing and Yachting Events, including the return of the much sought after, annual Trans Atlantic Yacht Race. Scores of sailing vessels have been docking here in the Barbados Odyssey 50 since mid-year, and by next month close to100 would have called. Don’t forget the temporary partnership with the private waste haulers to clean up the “piles of garbage across the country” that the Nation was highlighting. The place is now free of the “pile-ups”. To date, that arrangement has been a resounding success. The de-bushing campaign to clean our highways and by-ways is now under way; and, by the way, Combermere is being made ready for the start of the next school term. Work is continuing there apace. Can’t the Nation at least mention these FACTS. Anyhow, enough said!
I usually try to desist from criticising my ‘friends’ in the media, but I get incensed sometimes at their ‘foul-ups, bleeps and blunders‘, as they persist with their non-stories and solecisms, on the one hand, while their editors, lead writers and columnists adopt a holier-than-thou attitude and a partisan, political posture on the other. So, I can be forgiven for again jumping on my hobbyhorse.
SOME THINGS SHOULD best be left alone, but there are others that must never be overlooked.
This is particularly true when contemptuous comments are made in public that may stir emotions among people who follow opinion leaders without thinking. Such is the case with the remarks delivered by political activist and pan-Africanist David Comissiong, who spoke on Monday during Emancipation Day activities.
On this occasion he seems to have picked one for which we dare say, even before he starts, that he is unlikely to get much support. We hold no brief for those behind Vision Development Inc., the developers of the resort, but to denounce it as being bad for the country makes absolutely no sense.
This project did not get the all-clear without meeting a range of stringent stipulations, whether environmental or structural. It will provide much-needed jobs, generate foreign exchange and benefit the economy in other ways. Barbadians and Barbados will be better off as a result.
The argument advanced by Mr. Comissiong that the stretch of beautiful beach at Browne’s Beach will be lost to Barbadians once the hotel is built there does not add up. If that argument is applied logically then the same thing should happen in all of Carlisle Bay up to Needham’s Point. But, despite some may want or how they feel, beaches in Barbados are all public. That is our patrimony.
Mr. Comissiong should base his objection on other grounds. He should also appreciate that at a time when the Government is in dire financial straits that private sector investment in any and all sectors must be welcomed. – Comissiong off target on Hyatt in the Midweek Nation dated 03 August, 2016
Methinks that you are the one who is way off target!
We cannot only look at selling out our birth right for tourism for 30 pieces of silver as the panacea for getting this country back on its feet.
No planning permission has been given yet, so how can you make the bold statement that “this project did not get the all-clear without meeting a range of stringent stipulations, whether environmental or structural”?
Did you have a peek at the documents which were to be handed in to Town & Country Planning, or did you just guess that permission would be forthcoming?
What foreign exchange will it generate if the money will be flying out as fast as it comes in, as the owners are foreigners?
The worst part of it will be the condos, as these require minimal maintenance and once again the money will be flying out as fast as it comes in, because the owners will all be foreigners.
Also, Mr./Mrs. Editorial writer, it has been stated by the owners that not one of the managerial jobs will be given to indigenous personnel which, in my opinion, is a sign of bigotry, and they should not be allowed to get away with that!
It would be interesting to know what sweetheart deal was struck with Hyatt!
We have hotels here struggling, whereas Sandals is enjoying the sweetest of sweetheart deals up to now, and all they are getting are promises from the Minister of Tourism, and the tax collector that they will “soon” get the same deal.
How can such an eyesore blend in with the Bethel Methodist church, and the St. Paul’s Anglican and Catholic churches?
How about the building which Mrs. Ram occupies? Will it also blend in with that?
Will the BDF help camouflage it?
UNESCO makes certain stipulations when it accords countries world heritage site accreditation. Bridgetown and its Garrison were made World Heritage sites because of the old buildings from the times of slavery. I do not think that erecting such a monstrosity in the heart of Bridgetown would please them in the least.
Some years ago they rescinded Dresden’s World Heritage Site accreditation because the Government had the bright idea of building a new bridge across the river there, when it was given its accreditation for similar reasons to Barbados – in this case because of the age of the buildings in that city.
No hotels should be built on Browne’s Beach, as we all know what can happen when hotels set up on the relative beaches. The beaches are ours – not the DLP’s, BLP’s nor any other government’s. Browne’s Beach is also used by many repeat visitors, so you would be depriving one set of tourists of a beach, so that the rich, the famous, and the bigoted can have their own little space in paradise.
Shall we wait until Barbados becomes like Majorca with so many ugly skyscrapers dotting its coast that one cannot see the sea for long stretches, and where many have stopped going, because people cannot find a beach where they are not laid out like sardines in a tin?
In his weekly column Editor in Chief of the Nation newspaper Roy Morris responded to a BU blog that was posted on the 12 July 2016 (see above) and widely shared on Facebook. In that blog BU asserted that it was never declared during the Court Session that the 1/2 million dollars purported to have been stolen from Sandy Crest by the Grants was repaid. It therefore continues to bother BU – a proud card carrying member of the non traditional media – how was the Nation newspaper able to report the following:
When the matters came up for a final time last June 23, with a representative from the medical centre present, the Court heard that the money had been paid back. Magistrate Douglas Frederick then dismissed the charges.
After reading Morris’ long winded effort in his weekly column In the Public Interest the BU household is none the wiser about how the Nation newspaper was able to publish that the money was repaid. We are also intrigued by Morris’s explanation that the young Nation court reporter Tameisha Sobers followed up with officials of the court some time after June 23, 2016 when the case was heard to complete the less than 120 word story. Who are these officials of the court Mr. Morris?
We now turn our attention to the Deed of Release quoted by Roy Morris in his column to pose some questions about the case. BU is surprised Morris, an experienced journalist, would not have quoted from an interview with Dr. Malcolm Grant to clarify his concerns.
It is interesting to observe how you lot in the traditional media are able to hide behind the cloak of anonymous sources to support stories. More interesting was Roy Morris publishing from a document received by Barbados Underground on the 13 July 2016 that was incomplete even to the untrained legal eye. The story gets more interesting for BU when the Editor in Chief of the Nation newspaper AND former Editor in Chief of the Peter Harris newspaper Barbados Today includes the following in his article:
“drawn and prepared” by a most competent Queen’s Counsel by the name of Leslie Haynes.’’
For those who are unaware, Leslie Haynes is the lawyer who acted on behalf of the Peter Harris controlled Sandy Crest Medical Centre and who delivered the last words to Magistrate Douglas Frederick in open court that his client did not intend to pursue the matter against the Grants. Again, BU expresses curiosity as to how the Nation newspaper was able to secure what was listed in the Deed of Release.
There is no need to be prolix Editor in Chief Roy Morris, we know that you know where we are coming from.
On July 8, 2016, a Court decision made on June 23, 2016, some 15 days earlier, commanded less than 120 words on the Court pages of the Nation newspaper and barely a few seconds on the Voice of Barbados. In April 2012 the same Court matter was trumpeted far and wide by the Nation newspaper, Voice of Barbados and Barbados Today. The paucity of and delay in coverage regarding the dismissal of all charges against the Grants, has attracted the attention of Barbados Underground.
When it was first reported in April 2012 that medical doctor Malcolm Grant and his wife were charged with stealing 1/2 million dollars from Sandy Crest Medical Centre, BU’s immediate reaction was NO WAY! For those who do not know, Dr. Grant and his late wife solely established the parent company of Sandy Crest Medical Centre in October 2003, before inviting others, including Dr. Brian Charles, to participate in its ownership.
In the less than 120 words, the Nation newspaper editors committed to the story on July 8 (captured above) it caused alarm bells to go off in the BU household. The penultimate paragraph of the report states:-
“When the matters came up for a final time last June 23, with a representative from the medical centre present, the Court heard that the money had been paid back. Magistrate Douglas Frederick then dismissed the charges.”
The traditional media, formally labelled the fourth estate, plays a very important role in sustaining an orderly society. Any sign that the traditional media has been compromised in its mandate must be prioritized by Barbadians. BU is satisfied the local media is compromised. We have seen the local media surrender to the advertiser and the political ruling class. For those who doubt BU check the CBC TV archives to view an interview with former president Emanuel Joseph of the now defunct Barbados Association Journalists. Coincidentally, Joseph is a reporter at the Peter Harris controlled Barbados Today.
If a member of the BU household was not following the Grant case closely, the less than 120 word report by the Nation newspaper and 10 second Voice of Barbados newscast would have passed unnoticed. Dr. Grant did not pay back money to Peter Harris and Sandy Crest, the case was dropped, end of story. It would be a worthwhile exercise in determining how and why the Nation Publishing Group of Companies reported that the money was repaid? Was this primarily intended to embarrass and compromise Dr. Grant? We already know why Barbados Today will not be motivated to be prolix about the outcome of the case.
Having received no response from Mr. Hoad re his column of June 24th 2016, I must bring this matter to your direct attention, seeking a response to the email that was also sent to you. For ease of reference, Mr. Hoad’s article inferred that the actions of Mr. Mark Maloney of breaking the law were comparable to that of Rosa Parks who took a stance for her civil rights. Since that email, I was informed by others that this was not the first instance that Mr. Hoad had written racially sensitive information. This was also done in an article belittling Trayvon Martin’s death.
This is not an attempt to vilify the Nation Newspaper. For all I know those sentences or their meaning went unnoticed by the person who edited the article, making it an error for the newspaper to have published them. The non- response has therefore been deafening.
Your newspaper plays a pivotal role in shaping the minds of the people in our society. My desire is that the present and future generations will finally be free of the curses of slavery and that they will think positively of themselves. Black lives matter is as relevant in Barbados as it is in the USA. How can our people truly become free if our struggles and race are made fun of in Friday satirical banter? Those not so subtle reference will help keep our minds in chains.
I hope that you will respond to my concerns but more so that as a black person, I will not again have to suffer the indignity of reading a similar article.
Leroy Parris declared he has a 5 million dollar deposit with the Central Bank of Barbados
There is the feeling of déjà vu. To use the Bajan vernacular, the more things change, the more they remain the same. A brief article in the Nation newspaper yesterday [18 December 2016] must have jolted many who read it. In response to a journalist Maxine McClean, Minister of foreign affairs responded, “I have nothing to say to the Nation newspaper”. The import of the statement …
Her statement followed that of Ambassador to the United Nations Tony Marshall a few days earlier who offered a similar curt “no comment” to the Nation newspaper in response to a question about why he has occupied the official residence in a plush area in New York.
BU is always concerned when a fissure appears in the relationship between key government players and the media. The BU household was motivated to launch this blog when VoB agreed to separate Adrian Loveridge from Minister of Tourism Barney Lynch in order to facilitate an interview at Lynch’s request. It is obvious the ‘government’ has an issue with the Nation newspaper although it has not been publicly expressed. When Delisle Worrell, Governor of the Central Bank had an issue with the Nation newspaper he displayed the courage to declare the reason, ignorant though it was.
The media plays a critical role in any society as a purveyor of news – the purpose of journalism is thus to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments. If key players in the government trivialize the role of the media it means the citizenry will be the poorer for it. Could it be that our political leaders do not care about educating the people? Now perish that thought!
What is scary is that we are shackled with the most taciturn government since Independence in 1966. It is therefore ‘interesting’ that the government has decided to champion all year activities to celebrate our 50th year of achieving Independence. The government does see the value in communicating with Barbadians about being an Independent nation, to educate the nation. It is fair to conclude therefore that the government’s reluctance to share information about Cahill waste-to-energy, the CLICO Heist, Leroy Parris’ deposit of 5 million dollars with the Central Bank of Barbados, hold regular press conferences etc. is a careful manipulation of information to achieve a less than honourable outcome.
The challenge for the citizenry is to discover ways to pushback against obvious wicked practices by sons and daughters of the soil who hold high office. We have a situation playing out where our brothers and sisters have sold us up the river motivated by greed, power and a lot of ignorance. The educated class we reasonably expected to lead the charge – having invested billions in education – have retreated to the comfortable life with its underpinnings supported by popular values and conspicuous consumption. There is no appetite to defend and grow the Bajan identity. We have prostrated ourselves to embrace anything that is foreign.
We have no credible media to represent the people. What we have is a media easily manipulated by others. What we have is a government who is upset when it experiences difficulty manipulating players in the media fraternity a al The BarbadosAdvocate.