Traditional Media: Fail, Fail, Fail!

The blogmaster tuned into the Brasstacks show on Voice of Barbados yesterday because the topic was about press freedom. It is a ‘large topic’ and one that could not be fairly discussed in 2 hours. The moderator Dr. Kristina Hinds gave it her best effort supported by panellists David Ellis, Carol Martindale (journalists) and Michelle Russell (lawyer).

Listen to Down to Brasstacks Show – 16 May 2021

A few observations from the show:

The traditional media must accept that citizen journalism is a permanent feature how the public consumes and distributes information. Opinion blogs and other social media outlets do not need validation from traditional media to continue to define the information landscape.

The traditional media must manage convergence of traditional and social media tools to maintain competitiveness to deliver on its mandate. This has nothing to do with acceptance and penetration of non traditional media players. The traditional media must ponder why there has been the explosion of citizen journalism activity. The reason is simple. Traditional media has fallen woefully short of playing the watchdog and advocacy role required in a well functioning democracy and can be cited for contributing to some of the challenges we currently face. The blogmaster will be fair to admit we have some unsavoury and dishonourable characters who resort to social media platforms under the cloak of anonymity to pursue mischief. Here is the rub, some of these unsavoury and dishonourable characters occupy honourable positions in the society when wearing other hats.

Panellists freely admitted local journalists are not adequately paid therefore a reasonable conclusion to make is that there is roomto question the quality of work by the traditional media. How ironic the Nation newspaper selected Senator Caswell Franklyn as the news personality of the year after he was sacked as a columnist with his appointment to the Senate in 2018.

The explosion of non traditional media means it significantly acts as an influencer; opinion shaper. Smart governments, best in class organizations understand the importance of leveraging its power. Does it explain why the Mia Mottley led government established the Department of Public Affairs? Of course it does.

If the traditional media was doing its job the blogmaster suspects the government and vested NGO agencies would be forced to add a more coherent and strident voice to issues of the day. It is unsatisfactory for the media practioners to say, we cover this story and that story offered on the program yesterday. It is how the story is covered to ensure resonance with the target audience.

  1. With the National Insurance Scheme severely compromised and government’s inability to make public up-to-date audited financials, why is this not a priority item for traditional media? Does it have to do with the lack of financial expertise in traditional media rank?
  2. With the hire of boutique firm White Oak Advisory to assist government with renegotiating contracts with local and foreign creditors, why the veil of secrecy concerning the current status of the relationship? A respected media should have been qualified to ferret out this information to serve the public it has a mandate to serve.
  3. What is the status of the Cahill Agreement and how much money are taxpayers liable?
  4. Since the 70s going back to late prime minister Tom Adams successive governments have tagged team to frustrate the proclamation and operationalizing of Transparency Legislation. Governance is not a sexy topic BUT the traditional media with its resources can do a better job to keep this important issue front and centre, that is, to report and at the same time distil its importance required by a well functioning democracy. Many of the problems we currently face are rooted in a crumbling governance structure.
  5. How was the Eager 11 case settled after several members took to the Court to defend their honour?
  6. What has happened to Senator Lucille Moe?

At the risk of generating a 2000 word prolix, let us agree there is a vacuum created by a poorly performing traditional media, this has given rise to a strident citizen journalism voice – the interference from deep pockets, the tentacles of interfering governments and members of the political class, the inability/unwillingness of local journalist/media houses to coalesce around shared objectives and strategies to deliver on the mandate of a high performing media…

Long live alternative media sources Carl Moore!

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

Current State Of Media Space In Barbados According To International Press Institute – Yet a Passive BAJ

The Barbados Association of Journalist website has not been updated since February 2009 – CLICK image to confirm

On your point about Fourth Estate issues. Those considerations have long become non-existent for the people who were to be served when this idea became popular after the French Revolution. In fact it is fair to say corporate media like the Nation and the Advocate are interested, not so much in social concerns, but in making profit for their owners. Therefore our overarching point is that whether it is the BBC, CNN, The Walt Street Journal, The New York Times, The Nation or the Advocate it does not matter. Delivering benefit to the owners is the prime consideration, regardless of structure or long forgotten notions about democracy and mass participation. To them these ideas are anachronistic or quaint.


The International Press Institute (I.P.I) has submitted its evaluation of Barbados’ media space. The Barbados government has been given a thumbs down by IPI on the lack of political will to implement Freedom of Information and Integrity Legislation. The unwillingness to issue TV licenses to private players to disseminate non-state views. It was very critical of the Barbados government criminalizing defamation as represented in Section 34 of the Defamation Act.

Here are the recommendations handed out by the IPU:

Continue reading

Wait Mia, Wait Mia Wait

Submitted by HAMILTON HILL

Leader of the Opposition Owen Arthur (l) Former Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley (r)

Listening to today’s (6/07/2012) edition of Fireworks on VOB, my thoughts ran wild once Mia Mottley again spoke of her dream to see the building of nationhood in Barbados. Though tangentially, she touched an area that finds resonance with those who refuse to permit patriotism to be stunted or seconded by party loyalty.

Not for one minute have I missed the very crafty attempt by the unofficial co-leader to rebuild, to revamp an image that fell victim to a group of misogynists led by “King Conniver” to whom she still reports. Be that as it may there are any number of questions that readily come to mind.

Lets for just a moment put the questions about her dream aside. Perhaps this one is not for her but it has to be asked. What has changed over the passage of time? She has the same credentials that qualified her to be “King Conniver’s”deputy, the same ones that were not fit for ascension to the leadership once the Bajan version of Mitt Romney came aboard.

What has changed?

Continue reading

The Nation Is At It Again

Submitted by Barbados Election Watch

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

One can now be left in no doubt that the Nation Newspaper has set itself the agenda of getting rid of Prime Minister Stuart at all cost. On more than one occasion, contributors to this blog have drawn attention to the unmistakably biased approach of that paper towards the Prime Minister of Barbados. It would seem that  whatever he does, or fails to do, no matter that he conducts himself with the highest level of decorum, and honesty he can be the subject of some form of ridicule . Very recently noted historian and  veteran trade unionist Mr Robert Bobby Morris drew attention to the way the Prime Minister was depicted by the paper when it sought to comment in a front page  article on the results of the CADRES poll . Mr Stuart the tallest of the persons presented in a form of picture chart , was made to look like some puny midget in a straight-jacket while the others , of shorter stature , were much more favourably presented. Other persons have been commenting on the kinds of photos of Mr Stuart that the paper has been recently using in its efforts to ridicule him in some form or fashion .

Today however, the newspaper has done its worst. The BIG BOLD HEADLINES IN RED SCREAMED …” NOT A WORD”. BHTA head says PM has not responded to request for meeting “It was a story by a Gercine Carter in which the paper has outdone itself in its efforts at  vilification . The Prime Minister was being ” rapped for failing to respond to a Barbados Hotel Association ( BHTA ) request for an urgent meeting to discuss the  plight of the Island’s vital tourism industry “. It went further to state that “the Prime Minister’s priorities were yesterday called into question by the outgoing president of the BHTA, Colin Jordan, who pointed to Stuart’s promptness in meeting with Cuban ex-convict Raul Garcia at Dodds Prison recently, while a letter requesting the meeting more than two months ago had not been acknowledged to date “.

Continue reading

A View Of The NATION From Underground

Submitted by WordSong

Kaymar Jordan, Editor-in-Chief of the NATION Newspaper

No Kaymar Jordan you did not tell the truth and stand justifiably accused by the general public. Your manipulations and distortions converted what could have been an otherwise great story into a scandalous piece of journalistic tripe. Now you and whoever helped you write that editorial would hoodwink the public (again) into believing that there was merit in what you did; all you have done in the editorial is to confirm the stupidity of the NATION’s newspaper policy. Technology has seen it fit that newspapers remain widely read. So what was the point you were making about technology again? No amount of spin doctoring will alter what remains a travesty.

You distorted the truth – for effect and commercial gain and possibly out of pure ignorance. You could not even give the public that your deliberateness in distorting was influenced by the expectation of more information and for that you apologize. I now say any decent newspaper would have fired you or put you on the back bench like they will put Sinckler. I for one will not buy another Nation or Sunday Sun newspaper. But what does it matter? Who cares? Not the Nation . Harold Hoyte I am ashamed of you too because I know you still have influence in what goes on at the paper.

Not So Fast George

Submitted by Hamilton Hill


Clyde Mascoll - will he force his way into the Arthur's 30?

Having taken issue with the foregone article “Not Accurate Mr. Clarke” I beg the indulgence of the promoters of this site in an attempt to tell it as I think it is. While it is neither here nor there when it raised its ugly head, we are quite sure that disrepute found its way into the hive long before Mr. Clarke submitted for print his offering. He was warned about the journalistic imprudence of launching an attack on the leadership of the labour party.

As the writer chose to reference history in his piece so will I. Can it be that given the record as it stands Mr. Clarke stands to suffer the same fate as one Reudon Eversley who was tormented beyond belief for daring to take a similar stand? Is there anyone in Barbados that is willing to openly challenge the following? The present leader of the labour party was the most oppressive Prime Minister Barbados has ever known in relation to journalists and the practise of news  dissemination in our country. History tells that sordid tale.

Lets look at his invocation of Karl Marx’s pronouncement as it relates to Neville Clarke. Not only is such grounded in subjectivity but selective reasoning like a sore thumb sticks out at us. If objectivity is key to the base of journalism, can the writer say Branford? How about Price? So true is the old adage that spit in the air falls in our faces. Lets call a spade just that.

Continue reading

Blogs Guarding Freedom Of Expression

Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

Karim said Trinidad and Tobago needs an educated, enlightened and fiercely independent media, noting that “fiercely independent journalists operating in the traditions of the Fourth Estate will provide our citizens with the facts on which they can make informed decisions.


In seems coincidental that at the launch of the College of Science, Technology and the Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago’s (COSTAATT) Ken Gordon School of Journalism and Communication Studies the above quote was uttered on the very same day the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales came out strongly on behalf of an independent press and the vital necessity of such an organ in any democratic society.

The Lord Chief Justice’s insightful comments can be found on the Daily Mail’s website, among others –

Continue reading

Time To Question The Political DNA Of Media Houses On Fontabelle

…what has been the role of the media, can the media be bought or can the media push one agenda rather than another, rather than present the truth by getting the facts, all the facts and let people decide. It is about our intelligensia having the intellectual honesty to either declare who they support or give an unbiased view …

Sandra Husbands

The quote above is timely because it again brings to the fore the role of local media in civil society. Is there a local body which can be held accountable by the public if there is a need to question ‘journalistic ethics’? As far as BU is aware the Barbados Association of Journalists ( BAJ) has not suggested it has the the mandate to perform such a task. Here is an example, on page 9A of the Sunday Sun June 19, 2011, in an article titled ‘The way to health reform’ published under the by-line Sandra Husbands (Guest Column). Blatant in its omission was the fact the Nation newspaper did not indicate that Sandra Husbands is the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate to oppose Minister Donville Inniss in St. James South when the bell is rung for the next general election. The article robustly attacked her political foe which makes the omission all the more irresponsible.

Recently the Nation newspaper severed seasoned journalists Chris Gollop and Wade Gibbons. BU understands the two had signalled an interest to accept a ‘package’ when the Nation sent home the first set of employees, Adonijah et al.. The Nation management, it seems, took the opportunity to part company with the two in the most recent sending home of employees. We find the decision interesting because with the dearth of journalistic talent at the Nation and beyond one would have thought the management at that newspaper would have vetoed Messrs’ Gollop and Gibbons request to leave. The deed is done but it forced BU to share a suspicion we have about goings-on at the Fontebelle newspaper.

Continue reading

The Ted Stevens Revelation – The Connection To VECO, A US Justice System Manipulated, Barbadian Eric Holder To The Rescue

Then in February 2009 an FBI whistle blower revealed that prosecutors had conspired to withhold exculpatory evidence from the defense and had falsified records. In particular, the prosecutors withheld testimony that the cost of the renovations was actually less than Stevens had paid. They also knew that the star witness was likely lying at trial when he said that a friend of Stevens had told him to ignore the senator’s request for an invoiceNational Post

Deseased former Senator Ted Stevens (l) US Attorney General Eric Holder (r)

In the build up to the last General Election the then opposition party highlighted the relationship between VECO and the Barbados Labour Part government with good effect. Barbadians it seemed bought into the allegations that the Arthur Administration had become tainted by relationships with VECO, the company which built the Dodds Prison, 3S, the company which widened the ABC Highway and would have built the contentious flyovers and others.

The story quoted above maybe of interest to Barbadians to expose how reputations can be crushed by a US Justice System believed to be just but which can be manipulated all the same by those with political agendas. The following comment was received by BU and in the interest of promoting free and frank exchanges, we publish:

Please read this incredible miscarriage of justice. I hope Barbadians understand that this had a connection to a company called VECO and the accusations, groundless it seems, led to its demise.  At least a Barbadian (Holder) had the courage to stop the rot. You should be proud. How easy it is to spread rumours and falsehoods!!! You should publish this as a lesson in the extent to which the US justice system will go to destroy somebody.

Continue reading

Cynical Reporting And Hidden Agendas

Credit: The Advocate Newspaper

Submitted by George Brathwaite

First of all I would like to commend the various media houses in Barbados for doing a reasonable job in reporting information to the public. However, there can and will be always room for improvements.

For some time now, I have become aware of a seeming change in traditional standards (i.e. declining) wherein the trend in news reporting in Barbados draws merited scepticism. Newspapers, for instance, protect their turf with an uncanny attachment toward their undeclared political interests and expect the general public to assume neutrality. To a large extent, the Barbados Advocate newspaper appears foremost in this indefensible circumstance.

After noticing the headlines of Wednesday 14 July 2010, which in bold typeface, communicates that Barbados Int‟l Reserves Increase, I felt heartened and confused simultaneously. This attention-grabber was coming on the heels of another electronic version, Barbados Today, in which that headline courted the notion that things were UNCERTAIN in the economy; this was substantiated in the Barbados Daily Nation appearing under the caption Gloomy Outcome and for which the first sentence states, “Central Bank Governor Dr Delisle Worrell says the outlook for Barbados‟ economy is uncertain.” Certainly there are mixed (i.e. different) messages being conveyed to the reader between the reporting of the Advocate and the two news carriers alluded to in this paragraph.

Continue reading

We Live In Interesting Times – Google’s Intrusion, Precedent Setting Libel Laws On The Cards

Mail Online

The rapid advance in Internet and cellphone technology coupled with its deep market penetration has given wings to the cliché, we live in interesting times. The technology exposes a cellphone user’s position within feet relative to the nearest cell tower. Does the average citizen understand that by acquiring the cellphone there is a quid pro quo to be considered? John Citizen enjoys the convenience of being connected but a blip appears on Big Brother’s radar.

Recently in the United Kingdom, the largest search engine Google is alleged to have been caught with its hand in the cookie jar. In a widely reported story in the Mail Onlinethe search engine giant mapped every wireless internet connection in the country and now uses the data to make money. Google staff in specially adapted cars collected the signals from inside residents’ homes as they toured the country for the company’s Street View project. They were able to record the location of every router and wireless network without telling anyone because wi-fi signals spill out from inside homes on to the street.

Continue reading

The Blooming Of A Thousand Flowers Ready To Launch Assault On The Culture Of Silence Suffocating Barbados

The verdict on the recent application by the Barbados Light & Power Company for a rate hike promised by the Chairman of the Fair Trading Commission  (FTC) Sir Neville Nicholls passed without any serious notice by the media earlier this month. The media given its responsibility within the Fourth Estate of the Realm has failed the PEOPLE yet again given its responsibility to keep us informed. The blatant renege by the Fourth Estate of its important civil responsibility means that most Barbadians remain ignorant to the important issues affecting them.

The Head of the Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (BANGO) Roosevelt King when asked by BU the possible reason for the delay gave the following response:

“Through fear tactics, psychological warfare, oppression and violence many people have been forced physically and mentally, [to not exercise] their right to voice their opinions or their desires to fight against the oppression that they experience. The people are forced to believe, and later come to identify with, the idea that the oppressor has supreme power and is working in the favor of the people. As a result a culture of quiet, non resistant, passive if you will, people are born. This Culture of Silence is longstanding and continues because the people continue to allow the destruction and the oppression to occur, not because they want to, but because fighting against the oppressor seems futile. Those that do fight are eradicated and made examples of in the attempt to silence future attempts at reform. – Author unknown – internet posting”

Be reminded Mr. King’s BANGO participated in the just concluded FTC/BL&P rate hike application.

Continue reading

Fourth Estate Surrender

Recently Mr. Richard Cox, Head of News and Current Affairs at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) passed away. Last week BU learned that veteran Nation newspaper journalist Albert Brandford was put out to pasture and is currently freelancing at the Nation (seems a little strange). Despite BU’s disagreement with many Brandford’s positions on political matters, we concede that his ineffectiveness over the years may have been caused by the lack of support from his colleagues. Wow, if David Ellis were to exit the profession next, the talent level of the Fourth Estate would be less than mediocre. As if to support the point BU read a story which was reprinted by the Nation from the Associated Press (AP) which questioned Tiger Woods proclivity for fraternizing with White women.

For sometime BU has been discussing race issues and we have been labeled racist by some. It is interesting the Nation newspaper would highlight the Tiger story verbatim from the AP wire, but would hesitate to publish local stories which highlight the hypocrisy around race relations in Barbados. The conspiracy to prop up the status quo maybe?

Our journalists today seem happy to run with stories which appeal to the fast food diet of readers. Recently, a caller to a talk show made the analogy of patients doing research before visiting the doctor and consequently keeping the doctor’s diagnosis honest. The same is occurring within the media sphere. A knowledgeable and discerning public now has access to news and information on the Internet more than ever before. There is the current readership who will continue to prop up the membership of the local media but BU sees it declining overtime with a changing demographic.

Continue reading

Nation Newspaper Creates News Based On Unscientific Cellphone Poll


Barbados Nation Newspaper Cartoon - 09 November 2009

Submitted as a comment by Adrian Hinds

Two accepted scientific polls with results unfavourable to Mia Mottley, followed by two questionable polls that are favourable to her. The latter enabled by the Nation newspaper; coincident, or a deliberate attempt to create news rather than report it?

We should remember the 2007-8 Cadres poll that suggested 20-10 victory for the DLP in the 2008 Jan 15 national election. We should remember the counter poll by Boxill that sought to counter Cadres projections and results.

Another Cadres poll with statistics that Mia Mottley does not like so the Nationnews decided to counter or is it contained the results of that poll with a text message unscientific poll and has sought to highlight and publicize the results as if they were or could ever be provable “statements of Facts”.

During all of this traditional media employees are reminding us that they  check and recheck facts.

Is There Sound Judgement Being Exercised By Local Media Houses?

DemocracyRarely do we reproduced articles from other media sources to make our points. We have made an exception in this case because the article supports one of our cornerstone arguments promoted from the inception of BU. The other reason which weighed heavily is the fact a member of the BU family felt strongly enough about the subject to request the article be given prominence.

A functioning Fourth Estate is critical to empowering our PEOPLE to be properly equipped to participate in our democratic system of government. Barbadians have come to take our practicing democracy for granted but history and current events have shown it is a very fragile system and the PEOPLE should be weary of not holding key stakeholders in our democratic system of government accountable .

The current debate triggered by the alleged threat by Hartley Henry to Sunday Sun Editor Carol Martindale has become shrouded in partisan prattle. Even if subsequent events show Henry to be guilty Barbadians must not lose sight of the big picture. How does ownership in our local media houses affect how decisions are influenced and which may conflict with the interest of Barbadians? How do we exact standards from our Fourth Estate which would mitigate known political affiliations in the profession?

It should concern Barbadians that a large slice of the media ownership in Barbados is foreign controlled. It is a matter which should be debated. While the media is suppose to report news there is little doubt that a large section of our population are led by what they read or hear from our media houses and practitioners. It therefore is important that news is reported in as unfiltered and unbiased a manner as possible. What guaranty does Barbadians have the editorial policy of our media houses are aligned with Barbadian interest? What guaranty does Barbadians have that our media is being hijacked by the carrot of largess being waved by politicians to a Fourth Estate hungry for revenues at the expense of disseminating unfiltered news?

For those of you who believe that media houses are above the influence of political skulduggery from the media side, the following article has been reproduced to debunk that position. Interesting is the fact that it points to a scenario in Trinidad.

Continue reading

It’s Your Move!

Roxanne Gibbs - Executive Editor Nation Newspaper

Roxanne Gibbs - Executive Editor Nation Newspaper

Two weeks have passed since the Nation newspaper printed the front page story which declared that the government’s political strategist Hartley Henry had threatened Nation newspaper Sunday Sun Editor Carol Martindale. The management of the Fontebelle newspaper reacted swiftly to that telephone call made on the Saturday afternoon by going to  print hours later to meet the next day edition. To demonstrate the seriousness of how the action by Henry was received, the Royal Barbados Police Force was summons, a letter dispatched to Prime Minister David Thompson and other correspondence sent to international media watchdog agencies.

The dust has settled somewhat and some Barbadians who have remained above the partisan prattle are starting to ask the tough questions. BU has a few of our own as well.

  1. Did Carol Martindale have a conversation with leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley concerning the DLP sponsored CADRES poll before it was published?
  2. Is it true the telephone call between Henry and Martindale was NOT recorded?
  3. Is it true the witness to part of the telephone call between Martindale and Henry at the Nation end was not party to sufficient of the conversation to validate the charge which has been made by Martindale?
  4. Is it true the Nation newspaper maybe facing a law suit given the flimsy evidence used to support their actions?

Continue reading

Boycott The Nation Newspaper!

one_caribbean_mediaSome Barbadians can remember when the Nation newspaper was born and its focus was on people and the community. It was a newspaper which many Barbadians eagerly lined-up to purchase to savour the richness of the content. The focus then of the Nation was on finding the story. Fulfilling the advertising pages was almost an afterthought. Then it was gone, sold to One Caribbean Media. A few people needed to secure a golden parachute and since then a key stakeholder of our Fourth Estate has been in a comatose state.

The current brouhaha caused by an alleged threatening telephone call  by government advisor Hartley Henry to Sunday Sun Editor Carol Martindale is another case of a weak media exposed. The unprofessional haste with which the Nation newspaper ran to press with what any first year law student would dismiss as a flimsy case should make Barbadians sit up and ask why. Instead there is the predictable response along party lines.

What is this story which according to reports occurred Saturday afternoon and merited Frontpage news on Sunday? A telephone call between Henry and Martindale where he allegedly threatened the Sun Editor if she did not give prominence to the CADRES poll in the Sunday Sun next day. In her defense a Nation staffer Maria Bradshaw heard part of the conversation between Martindale and Henry. We should note Henry is known to Martindale for many years. Another important point is the fact Henry is an advisor to the government; he is not an elected member of parliament or member of the Cabinet of Barbados. The final point to note is to recognize the practice of government officials over the years calling friends and others in the media to ensure news favourable to them is published; sometimes using the most muscular of language, it is done by private sector companies as well.

Continue reading

Peter Wickham Should Apologize To All Barbadians

Peter Wickham

Peter Wickham

The controversial Peter Wickham is at it again. He continues to use the studios of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a media house which is subsidized by the taxpayers of Barbados to propagate the message  Barbadians are xenophobic.

BU has identified in previous blogs the great irony concerning Peter Wickham. He uses quantitative techniques and analysis in his line of work as a leading pollster in the region. Yet without hesitation he continues to bellow across the national airwave his opinion that Barbadians are xenophobic.

In the same way Peter Wickham agrees Shridath Ramphal crossed the line when he used his now infamous intimation of ethnic cleansing reference to Barbados’ new immigration policy, so too Wickham shoulders a similar responsibility.  He needs to be more guarded when sharing his opinions given his prominent regional profile as a leading regional pollster. He should be sensitive to the fact his profession relies on the use of quantitative analysis and decision making.

Continue reading

Accused Are Being Silenced In Guyana: Human Rights Violations Continue

Submitted by Our Guyanese Friends

David  Leander

David Leander

The below case is just another example of human rights violations in Guyana and how the facts regarding crimes is prevented from ever being told. Persons accused of crimes are denied their day in court . They are murdered extra judicially or silenced by other forces bent on covering up crimes.

The case of Leander is similar to those of Kerzookie and the Bacchus brothers  who were engaged in murdering people identified by Roger Khan’s death squad. Kerzokie was poisoned in the Lock- ups and the Bacchus brothers were executed. All were key persons in the death squad of which PPP Minister Gajraj and Minister Ramsammy ( recently burnt Ministry of Health fame) were associated with.

This accused and two others accused of crimes and the assignation of Minister Sash Sawh were victims of torture at the hands of three Indian GDF officers.

Again Guyanese are being cheated from justice a. The voice of the accused is not being heard. Accusations in the medi a are used as social indictment. Criminal masterminds are free as mercenaries are sacrificed.

Continue reading

CGID Condemns Arrest Of Lewis, Benschop and Witter As Political Thuggery

Submitted by CGID

Commissioner of Police Green (l) President Jagdeo (r)

Commissioner of Police Henry Green (l) President Bharrat Jagdeo (r)

NEW YORK: The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has harshly condemned the July 15, arrest of Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary of the Caribbean Congress of Labor; Norris Witter, General Secretary of the Guyana Trades Union Congress as well as journalist and former political, Mark Benschop, by the Guyana Police.

The three high profile Guyanese were protesting against human rights violations and atrocities by the Guyana Government and Police, during a Police Awards Ceremony outside of the Guyana Police Headquarters.

They were subsequently arrested and taken into custody. They are being held at the “A” Division Police Headquarters, Brickdam Police Station, Georgetown, and have been denied access to their Attorneys. The Police Station was immediately besieged by supporters and well wishers, who commenced a massive impromptu vigil outside the compound.

Guyana’s Police Commissioner, Henry Green, while addressing the ceremony, mocked the three and referred to them as “the three Musketeers,” and made special mention of CCL General Secretary, Lincoln Lewis.

Continue reading

Canadian Government Right To Ban Sizzla, No Place For Homophobic Lyrics

Submitted by Noman Faria (Guyana Consul to Barbados)



Last weekend, Jamaican-born reggae star Sizzla was supposed to headline a concert at the Paramount Theatre in Toronto, Canada.  He didn’t even  pack his bags. The Canadian Embassy in Jamaica had denied him a visa, apparently  because of  his songs inciting hatred and violence against homosexual people.  They were quite right to do so.

Sizzla whose real name Miguel Orlando Collins was known to Canadian authorities. He and  another unrepentant homophobe   at the time, Elephant Man, real name O’Neal Bryan had another concert in  the same Canadian city  in October 2007 cancelled after protests from community groups. A homophobe  has an irrational  dislike for homosexuals.

As a spokesperson for the  Stop Murder Music Canada Coalition  correctly noted: This (stopping of this show) was not about censorship or artistic freedom. That stops when hate propaganda is involved.” The SMMCC referred to one of Sizzla’s songs “Log On” which urged people to “stomp” on homosexuals (or “gays” as they are commonly referred to). If  that crude, distasteful and insightful  message wasn’t enough, read what Sizzla says in another  song “Pump Up

Continue reading

The Rise And Fall Of Traditional Journalism

During last week’s press conference, Prime Minister David Thompson displayed annoyance at the lack of curiosity currently being demonstrated by the media at the obvious price gouging taking place in Barbados.

What has brought this matter to a head is the reluctance of the private sector to reverse the upward trend of the cost of food despite three price cuts in under two weeks by government of petrol. The wholesalers and retailers have resoundingly told the Prime Minister they will not cut prices until their suppliers do so. At this point we have a confused public who cannot understand why food prices continue to rise while the price of a barrel of oil on the world market hovers below US70.00. The confusion among the Barbados consumer can be partially blamed on the Barbados media. They are many who believe that the local media has not taken the opportunity to investigate the price mechanisms which are currently being used by the several actors to educate and EXPOSE the market.

The morning after the press conference a few callers directed a similar view to Stedson Babb, the moderator of the afternoon talk show: can anyone imagine what he muttered to a caller? He wondered aloud if the public expect journalists to be private investigators! he appeared to be in a funk on that morning anyway, good thing he does not work in customer service. Continue reading

Speaking Out And The Pitfalls

It is interesting that in Barbados we are discussing the importance of implementing effective Integrity and Freedom of Information legislation at this time. Barbadians especially have become enamored with the idea that we have a well functioning democracy which will just keep hopping along with little or no effort from us. Some members of the BU family have been very insistent that we need to work a little harder to ensure that as a PEOPLE we participate in all the elements which make up our democracy.

Barbados is a small country located in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, our quest to ensure safeguards are instituted to provide the best governance takes inspiration from the fact that PEOPLE all over the world are paying a price to access what WE take for granted. WE HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR DEMOCRACY TO MAKE IT WORK!

If you doubt us about the price PEOPLE all over the world are paying to enjoy freedom of expression…

Continue reading

Final Draft Of The Long Awaited Integrity Legislation Promised Soon

The implementation of Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information Act are hot button issues. The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) leading into the last general election made it a platform issue. The DLP’s commitment to rolling out the two pieces of important legislation was made against a background of alleged rampant corruption by the previous administration and intimidation of the media in Barbados.

We are thankful to our reliable source for providing a status report on the long awaited Integrity and Freedom of Information Act:

After much back and forth by BFP and BU on the subject of Integrity Legislation and the Freedom of Information Act, I am indeed very pleased to report that a full suite of Legislation is being completed and so far the Cabinet has seen and has approved the New FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT with the drafting of the INTEGRITY LEGISLATION nearly complete. It is expected that circulation of both of these drafts will done prior to the Christmas break of Parliament and will be passed into law very shortly thereafter.

I trust that this will settle everyone’s nerves and will address the concerns of the people of Barbados, the government of Barbados, the Opposition of Barbados and both BU and BFP.

Continue reading

Prime Minister David Thompson Censored On Voice Of Barbados Radio During Press Conference

Prime Minister David Thompson

Prime Minister David Thompson

The Prime Minister of Barbados David Thompson today honoured his commitment to meet with the Barbados Media on a quarterly basis. We applaud his effort to communicate to the PEOPLE of Barbados via the media. We note that the previous government would have committed to a similar promise and it did not materialize. We also note Mr. Prime Minister that there was an attempt to meet with the Press after Cabinet meetings; this has died a quick death. To be honest this and some other election promises were overly ambitious and have been correctly shelved.

It was not our wish to blog on the final weekend of the Crop Over 2008, but after we listened with disgust to the Prime Minister of Barbados being censored on national radio, we were forced to comment. Today’s Press Conference would have been an excellent opportunity for Voice of Barbados (VOB) to make a stance in the name of the PEOPLE. Instead Barbadians were insulted by the action of the production staff at VOB censoring the Prime Minister of Barbados.

If Prime Minister David Thompson for whatever reason suffered a slip which in the OPINION of the producer was slanderous, BU would have thought that Prime Minister David Thompson could have been expected to use his office to retrieve any situation. We will continue to update this blog if any useful information comes to light. Members of the BU family is free to share their views as always.

Related Link

Prime Minister David Thompson To Tell Barbadians Like It Is Tonight @7.30PM!

Armenia's Media Freedom Under Threat


Global Voices blog are reporting that the Republic of Armenia which was previously part of the Soviet Union, because of the current unrest, the country has declared a state of emergency. What the state of emergency means is all media, including blogging has been suspended. All dissemination of news will now flow from ‘official’ sources — government. In Barbados, it might explain why successive governments have been reluctant to privatize the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation.

Here is a snip about the latest unrest in the Republic of Armenia:

8 Dead in Clashes in Armenia

By AVET DEMOURIAN – 3 hours ago

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Eight people died in clashes between police and opposition supporters that led the president to declare a sweeping, 20-day state of emergency, officials said Sunday. Police fired in the air and let off tear gas to break up Saturday’s gathering of some 15,000 protestors upset over alleged fraud in the Feb. 19 presidential election. On Sunday, troops and armored vehicles patrolled the main streets of Armenia’s capital.

It was some of the worst political violence to hit post-Soviet Armenia, and it led the opposition leader to also appeal for calm. Sustained unrest in Armenia could undermine stability in the volatile Caucasus region. Armenia borders Turkey, Iran, Georgia and Azerbaijan — countries important for producing or shipping oil and gas to Western customers.

Source: AP

Some of you are wondering why the hell are we focusing on the unrest in Armenia which is thousands of miles across the pond?

A democracy is a very fragile business. Stakeholders in our democracy MUST ensure that they play their part: the MEDIA, people, government…

Wanted Urgently By The Fourth Estate Of Barbados, Heavy Doses Of Advocacy

It is not enough for journalists to see themselves as mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of the message and myths that surround it – John Pilger


Click on image to read the latest faux pas of the Nation newspaper delivered by Living In Barbados blog


This morning we were encouraged to reread some of the comments posted to BU over the past week given the more sedate nature of the weekend. One comment which had an article embedded written by renown journalist John Pilger resonated with us. The above quote is listed as a tag-line on his articles. We have a healthy respect for anyone who dares to share an opinion regardless of majority opinion. In Barbados we have become past masters of exercising great tolerance even in the face of burgeoning evidence, circumstantial or factual.


Back to the point of this blog which is to again focus on the role of the media. Our dear friend the Fourth Estate must start to take on greater responsibility. It is not enough to play vile and derogatory lyrics on 98.1 and 95.3 to benefit from high market popularity. The high level of advertising dollars derived from disseminating this filth appear to be a greater priority than the rising public concerns about the negative subcultures affecting our small society.


In Europe and especially Britain the need for minority views to gain expression has given rising popularity to ‘pirate stations‘. It is not inconceivable that a similar thing could occur in Barbados. We can draw on the parallel that the blogs, BU and BFP in particular were born out of a crying need to unleash pent-up expression in Barbados. From what we have observed there is a big void which is being inadequately serviced by the blogs. We have detected traces of restlessness from commenters of the need to go further by pushing back the stakes which currently spawn the perimeter of the formal and social media in Barbados.


Although strident calls have been made to relax current defamation and to enact freedom of information laws, we are skeptical that this will bring resolution to the current cloudy climate of reportage. Our people in high places whose interest is to remain gatekeepers of the status quo need to be sent another message.


The momentum did not stop after January 15, 2008. It has served only to inspire some of us what is possible if as individuals we are prepared to fearlessly represent our beliefs despite the roadblocks.


Related Stories
Are Media Practitioners In Barbados On The “Ball”?
Barbados Media Houses Failing The Profession
Media Houses In Barbados Charged With Dereliction Of Duty
STARCOM Network Disappoints The PEOPLE Of Barbados
Media House Takes Another Feeble Left Jab At The 3S Affair~Come On Vivian-Anne, There Is The Right HAND!!! Nation Newspaper Finally Awakes From A Deep Slumber By Publishing The 3S Barbados SRL, Jonathan Danos Story ~ Can They Stay Awake? Press Freedom Continues To Be Under Threat In Barbados

Barbados Media Houses Failing The Profession

…But what else does the report show us? A need for some education at the local papers, I suggest. In the same article the paper talks about there not being any “KNIGHT” of long knives, meaning no recriminations. Now, I’m sorry, there is no excuse for misuse of phrases. The correct phrase should be “NIGHT of the long knives”, and refers to a purge that took place in Nazi Germany during June 30-July 2, 1934 when Adolf Hitler’s regime executed at least 85 people for political reasons (see Wikipedia). This is a schoolchild type of mistake (like “Gladly, the cross-eyed bear”) . If it were a deliberate malapropism or some other play on words (“Sir David, knight of the long knives”, he who wields the sword?) then I would say “how witty”, but I suspect that it’s just sloppy journalism. Tsk! If the editorial staff do not know what is right there is a problem. If they do know what is right and don’t catch these errors then their system needs to be reviewed.

Read More – Click On Image

Public comments, including Doctor Don Marshall and a recent editorial suggest that our democracy is safe if our traditional media houses, with their well trained and zealous workforce is allowed to do their job without the intimidation of politicians in high places. Let us not forget the stricture of our unforgiving Defamation Laws.

We agree wholeheartedly!

Continue reading

Are Bajan Blogs Under Attack?

don It was an interesting comment which we heard recently on talk radio. David Ellis – Voice of Barbados acknowledged the impact which blogs had during the last election. He agreed that we filled the void left by the traditional media. We also recall the comment made by the current Minister of State and Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Maxine McClean on talk radio, when she opined that the blogs have a role to play in Barbados. So why are we reminiscing?

On this evening’s talk show, our eardrums were offended by the preamble delivered by Dr. Don Marshall, a lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill. In essence, he suggested that the unregulated environment in which Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground peddle information is a dangerous development which should concern Barbadians. He believes that if Barbadians have to resort to the blogs to air their views then we are not living in a democracy – words to that effect.

It is interesting that this is the same Dr. Marshall who agreed with David Ellis that the blogs had an impact; however tiny, on the last election during last Sunday’s call-in program. It smacks of a high class hypocrisy that Marshall would make a statement on national radio to imply that the Bajan blogosphere is a negative for Barbados. Where was he during the last election campaign and beyond when BFP and BU were busy pressuring the government on issues which mainstream media was too spineless to cover? During this period, the outspoken Dr. Don Marshall was silent with his current view. He appears to have experienced an epiphany in the last week and has now taken-up an anti-blog posture.

Continue reading

Media Houses In Barbados Charged With Dereliction Of Duty


In the aftermath of a short and intense political campaign which ended Tuesday, 15 January 2008, with victory for David Thompson and his Democratic Labour Party (DLP), we continue to worry about the perennial problem of an ineffective media in Barbados – read Barbados Free Press. The willingness of our media practitioners to sway and buckle to political and other pressures should be of concern to defenders of our democracy. It is not acceptable that as a country we should pride ourselves on a high standard of education, yet our media practitioners continue to demonstrate that they are devoid of any courage by demonstrating their spineless disposition. We have written extensively about the importance of the role of the Fourth of Estateenter keywords ‘fourth estate’ in our search area on the top of the page.

The time has come for media houses in Barbados to stop failing the people and to awake from their slumber.

There is a saying that people get what they deserve – well, something like that anyway – and in very much the same way that we are able to send a clear message every five years to the political directorate, so too we need to send a message to the owners of the Fourth Estate in Barbados. The only way we can expect balance reporting from our media houses is to speak-out against the inequities when they occur, embarrass them with our public comment, let them suffer by our lack of financial support, let us write to stakeholders such as the unions, and to their important clients and international watchdog agencies to help agitate for justice. The actions we can take as civic minded Barbadians are limitless.

Continue reading

The Games That Newspapers Play

PM Arthur’s Tiawan Deal Allegations Exposed As Lies

There is the popular saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. To those of you who are a bit slow this Monday afternoon we have highlighted four areas on the image. Can you connect the dots?

The Politics Of Inclusion Revisited

Regrettably I have to confirm that for the first time since my Grandfather Clennell Wickham started writing People and Things in the 1940s, this article has been unilaterally suspended by the Newspaper that agreed to host it. Clearly, my perspective on this occasion is very different to that which I offered during the 1999 and 2003 elections. I am therefore grateful to BU and BFP for carrying this review of the politics of inclusion which is yet to see the light of day.


Peter Wickham – BA, MSc, MPhil (UWI)


The Sunday Sun of January 3rd 1999 presented an article entitled “The New Politics of Inclusion” which sought to critique an apparent “programme” of the Arthur administration which was apparently intended to allow for greater participation in the governance of our country. This article took the position that the politics of inclusion represented a development that was not only good but absolutely necessary for the proper development of a country like Barbados which is both small and resource deficient. This perspective was, however, a theoretical argument which assumed much about this programme of inclusion which this author presumed would take democracy beyond the right to vote in elections and allow Barbadians the opportunity to play a role in a government that is open, accountable and participatory.

The BLP fought and won the 1999 election and created history in the process. The bumper harvest of seats in that election was no-doubt assisted considerably by this programme of inclusion, which can now be reviewed against objectives which were both political and developmental. This review is concerned more with the delivery of developmental objectives, however, since the 1999 article is used as a base and it concluded that:

“The politics of inclusion is worthy of consideration, so long as it can be identified as a derivation of “participatory democracy”. The nature of participatory democracy is such that is can easily be confused with a programme of overtly political patronage and the use of public funds to advance a political cause. A fine line separates the two; hence it is essential that either party adopting such a programme give it the fullest possible expression so that the objectives of the programme are clearly a contribution to national development”.

Continue reading

Nation Newspaper 'Toeing' The Line?

bfp_piggy125.jpgWe received the following note from a source who regularly provides information to Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground. As you will read in the note, the Nation newspaper is being accused of not carrying the full page advertisement which is embedded below.

We note that the ad appears in today’s Sunday Sun.

Was there a change of heart?

We also note that the ad appears on the backside of today’s thick Sunday Sun!

Dear Sirs,
I have forwarded to you in this email a copy of a proposed full page advertisement that was to be run in the SUNDAY SUN of today’s date, they the Nation refused to carry the advertisement because for one they did not like the photograph of Owing Arthur mind you that this is the same photograph that was reproduced in their same NATION newspaper before and second they refused to run it as it was too political to have come from a group of Small Black Barbadian Taxpayers.

I think it is disgraceful when the largest daily newspaper is so bent on saving the Gov’ts that they undertake to control the minds and the vote of a free people to this extent it is an absolute disgrace, to us the ones that they serve. It is my understanding that the Chairman and Lawyer Mr. Anthony Audain ruled on the acceptance or non acceptance for running this advertisement should this be the case Mr. Audain where is your sense of fairplay and decency? Was it left in Bay St or at Illaro Court, we deserve better than this abuse from you and the BLP.

Keep it fair and keep it honest and in so doing do the Nation a favour and assist us in keeping the BLP on the straight and narrow part, noticed I refused to suggest that it will keep them honest as we know this will not be the case.

Thank you for your help in this very disturbing matter.

Name Withheld




Related Stories
Knock On Wood, The Facts On HARDWOOD HOUSING
BU Report Emailed From The Parliament Of Barbados On The Debate Of Co-operatives Societies Act
No-Confidence Motion Looms; Current Leader Of The Opposition David Thompson To Face Off Against The Former Leader Of The Opposition And Current Minister Of State, Clyde Mascoll
David Thompson Gives Prime Minister Owen Arthur 30 Days To Start An Investigation Into Hardwood Housing Factory Incorporated Or Clyde Mascoll Will Face No Confidence Motion

Update: Lawyers In Pakistan Say NO To President Musharraf

Update to events unfolding in Pakistan: Imran Khan Arrested

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was arrested here Wednesday after he emerged from hiding for the first time since emergency rule was imposed. Khan appeared at Punjab University in Lahore ahead of a planned protest against President Pervez Musharraf and was immediately pushed inside a campus building by a crowd of students. However, a student organization has reportedly locked Imran Khan in a room at the Punjab University demanding of Imran to leave the university at the earliest. The former cricket captain, who now leads his own opposition party, was placed under house arrest on November 3 after the state of emergency was declared, but slipped the net days later and had been in hiding ever since.

Source:New QuettaHotel

Continue reading

Roy Morris Goes To Court Tomorrow

November 1, 2007 is significant for Mr. Roy Morris, a man Barbados has grown to love and hate, especially the mini-busmen. He is expected to return to court to have his matter heard. If his case is handled based on how efficient we know our Magistrates Courts to be, this matter will be adjourned for sure. Wow, so many cases in our courts which are suspended in a perpetual state of going no where! Anyway we have been promised by the Chief Justice David Simmons that Night Court will be coming and the appropriate legislation to respond to lawyers who frustrate the efficient running of our courts has been introduced by our Attorney General.

Back to our friend Roy Morris who has dropped off the radar!

For what it is worth Roy, we are prepared to offer you the opportunity to publish on Barbados Underground your unedited views to the world using your name or a moniker of your choice – please contact us at if you are interested. Unfortunately our job as guardians of free speech and defenders of our democracy goes unpaid, but sometimes arm in the knowledge of fighting for a just cause is often reward enough for some of us. We have had our say on your situation and we hope whatever happens its takes a turn for the better. We are all human and any transgressions which occurred in Fontebelle should present an opportunity for you and your former colleagues to learn from. Your ‘roll-up the sleeves’ approach to reporting has been sorely missed.

Chief Justice Simmons it is time that we see some improvement in our court processing. When the Judicial Centre is finished we will be holding you to your promise.



Previous Stories

The Demise of Roy Morris: Veteran Journalist At The Nation Newspaper Part I

The Demise of Roy Morris: Veteran Journalist At The Nation Newspaper Part II

Roy Morris Rape Charge In Court Thursday

A Senior Barbadian Journalist Gives A Rare Insight Into The Challenges Of The Local Media Extracting Information From Government Regarding GEMS


I have called both Parliament and xxxxxx, to ask them for copies of the Gems’ financials which were laid in House some time ago, apparently.
You might not be surprised to learn that these are only up to 2001, and no information is available on when anymore might be coming down from the mountaintop.

Also, I am concerned about your implication of journalists n this non-transparent behaviour of the government. There are so many government reports and financial statements which are technically public documents but cannot be even read, far less commented on by reporters, until they are “laid in Parliament”. We would have to mount a 24/7/365 operation to learn when any of these are finally sneaked into Parliament. There are no trumpets sounding and no fanfare: somewhere, as quietly as possible. I don’t even know if “laid in Parliament” means that someone has to tell the Speaker while P is in session.

A basic rule of transparency, it seems to me, would be to routinely make those documents available to the media. The Parliamentary person told me they had only been given enough copies for MPs and their library, so I would have to ask the PS Cabinet Office. He then said he would have to cal Parliament to see if they had spies.

So you see, the media is purposely left out and kept in the dark as much as possible, yet we are supposed to somehow follow all these things up, YEARS after documents should have been laid.

Barbados is not easy, hear.


lsbusprf.gif The quote above should be very easy to contextualize. It is a response to a prominent Barbadian citizen from a leading journalist in Barbados. Those readers who think that BU, BFP and the many other citizens who are demonstrating concern about the threat to our democracy are partisan political poppets, please wake up and smell the coffee!

We can sit back and do nothing or we can all start to do what civic minded citizens are obligated to do. Take your pick.

Previous Stories

Barbadians Do You Want To Discuss The Financial Statements Of Hotel And Resorts Ltd, AKA GEMS?
Media Houses In Barbados Should Take Note Of What Their Counterparts In Dominica Are Doing
The Third Estate Has The Final Power~The Voices Of THE PEOPLE Must Be Heard
Media Houses In Barbados In Collusion With Government To Suppress News, Press Freedom Under Threat ~ The Voices Of The People Must Be Heard



STARCOM Network Disappoints The PEOPLE Of Barbados

Minister Lynch Awarded $60 000
Published on: 10/7/07.

MINISTER OF TOURISM Noel Lynch is today $60 000 richer following his libel settlement with Starcom Network Inc. The suit stemmed from the content of an email read by the moderator of Voice of Barbados’ Brass Tacks on a Sunday programme last March. The email raised questions about Lynch’s alleged current life status. Lynch objected to the question and walked out of the live broadcast. On Friday, Starcom’s chief executive officer Vic Fernandes confirmed the settlement. Fernandes revealed the minister was paid $60 000 while his attorney’s costs were $10 000. The CEO said the station settled the matter as it was advised it had no strong defense. (RG)

Source: Nation Newspaper

nlynch.jpgBU broke the story about the payment of $65,000.00 which STARCOM Network paid to a well-known politician in Barbados to stave-off a lawsuit. The Barbados Free Press has headlined the news, which was reported in the Nation this morning that the amounts of $60,000.00 and $10,000.00 were paid to Minister Barney Lynch and his lawyer respectively. BU wishes to apologize to the STARCOM Network for getting the payout wrong!

We agree with many of the points that have been written on the BFP blog on this matter, and want to add our ‘tuhpence’ to this important discussion. Visitors to the Barbados Underground blog would have realized by now that we value the contribution of a vibrant Fourth Estate of the Realm which is important to protecting our democracy. As Barbadians and a predominantly black nation, we have become rightly proud of the freedoms which others continually have to shed blood to experience. Current examples are Burma and Darfur. It is against this background that as Barbadians and West Indians, we must all recognize that a democracy is not something which governments are solely responsible. Many other entities in our societies must deliver on their mandates and that includes media houses.

The unwillingness of media houses in Barbados to challenge politicians who are willing to sue for libel at the ‘drop of a hat’ must be challenged. We cannot recollect an occasion when a media house in Barbados went to the law courts to resolve claims submitted by these politicians. We have deliberately singled-out politicians because our source within the media houses has confirmed that they (politicians) have been the main beneficiaries from the ‘slush fund’. This willingness by media houses to settle claims has started to threaten our democracy, and in one recent instance it has been responsible, in our opinion, for destroying the career of Roy Morris. It is well known on Fontebelle about the $30,000.00 payment paid to a young lady who preferred money over the trauma of processing a matter in our court system.

Continue reading

Media House Takes Another Feeble Left Jab At The 3S Affair~Come On Vivian-Anne, There Is The Right HAND!!!


Source: Nation Newspaper

It looks like Mascoll is the appointed fall guy on the 3S project. What else can we think given his incoherent pronouncements on the contentious issue so far? If we did not know better, we would have thought that all the other Ministers in the cabinet refused to speak on the 3S matter, in the absence of the convalescing Gline Clarke; or that the Prime Minister Owen Arthur has deemed that Mascoll is expendable.

What do you think? Could it be that Mascoll is being groomed to succeed Owen Arthur?

Today, we listened to an interesting exchange on the call-in program hosted by Dennis Johnson. The caller questioned the role of the media in Barbados and asked Dennis Johnson for an explanation of the role of the media. Dennis Johnson responded by saying that the media should be charged with “informing, educating and entertaining the public” and he lamented the prevailing impression that the media was more concerned with public relations (This is a precis of what we thought we heard). Thank you Dennis Johnson for making the point which BU have been trying to make for so long, and for logging your support for the “agitators” who operate outside the Fourth Estate (Media). One thing we can say about Dennis is that he speaks passionately about what he believes. Others should try to do the same.

Continue reading

The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth About The Operations Free Flow Project In Barbados. Will It Ever Be Told?

flyover.jpgIt is the eighth day since we broke the story about the Jonathan Danos, 3s Barbados SRL, Barbados government affair and still not a murmur from the media houses in Barbados. We have heard reports of news from countries around the region and the world but the one story which is pertinent to Barbados, the media have taken a collective decision to refuse to carry the story. History, we believe will record this moment as one of the darkest periods of news coverage in Barbados. Our sources at a leading radio station tell us that most of the moderators on the call-in programs are aware of this story; they too remain silent.

Continue reading

The Third Estate Has The Final Power~The Voices Of THE PEOPLE Must Be Heard

A motion of no confidence, also called a motion of non-confidence, a censure motion, a no-confidence motion, or simply a confidence motion, is a parliamentary motion traditionally put before a parliament by the opposition in the hope of defeating or embarrassing a government. On rare occasions, it may also be put on the parliamentary order paper by an erstwhile supporter who has lost confidence in the government. The motion is passed or rejected by means of a parliamentary vote (a vote of no confidence). In the British Parliament it generally first appears as an early day motion although the vote on the Queen’s Speech also constitutes a Confidence Motion. [1] Governments often respond to a motion of no confidence by proposing a motion of confidence which, according to parliamentary procedure in the Westminster system, takes precedence and so replaces the motion of no confidence.
Source: Wekipedia

180px-cleric-knight-workman.jpgStudents of ancient history are aware that in medieval Europe divisions in the society were referred to as Estates of the Realm, in modern societies although the term is rarely used is is not uncommon to refer to the press as the Fourth Estate. The thrust of modern societies has been to deflate the notion of class and demarcation of social structures, even if we know it exist, the First and Second Estates which refer to nobility and the church respectively are hardly ever used. Equal in its lack of use is the Third Estate, THE PEOPLE. Back in medieval times the Third Class was referred to as THE COMMONERS, today often referred to as THE POPULACE. History has shown that although third in the pecking order of the Estates of The Realm, THE PEOPLE have always had the final say. The “falling” of the Berlin Wall, the withdrawal of the poll tax in the UK, the fall of the apartheid system in South Africa and the subsequent freeing of the greatest black man on earth, Nelson Mandela, the enfranchisement of the black vote led by Martin Luther King in the US and the list is endless where THE PEOPLE have always been at the forefront of the catalyst of change.

Continue reading

Press Freedom Continues To Be Under Threat In Barbados



POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING a fire at the Lawrence T. Gay Memorial Primary School that extensively damaged two classrooms of the Matilda Deane Block. The fire in the room used for the two reception classes occurred on August 20. It was the second at the Spooners Hill, St Michael school in three weeks.

Source: Nation

bfp_piggy125.jpg This morning Barbadians hear about yet another news report of a building damaged by fire. It seems to BU that the reports have become all too frequent. Have you the public ever wondered why we never hear of the authorities telling us the cause of the fires after their long investigations? Is it unreasonable to ask why many of the fires which occur under suspicious circumstances never seem to produce a culprit? The biggest question which we should consider is whether our Media Houses is doing a good job to keep serious issues at the forefront of the public. Are Barbadians so pure in their reputations that buildings which have been burned to rubble or extensively damaged should never yield a culprit?

We should blame many but at the top of the pile we hold the Media Houses in Barbados accountable.

A check of Wikipedia defines the role of the press as “its explicit capacity of advocacy and in its implicit ability to frame political issues. The term goes back at least to Thomas Carlyle in the first half of the 19th century.” We think Barbadians in recent months have become resigned to the fact that our media practitioners in Barbados operate with the fear of reprisals if they advocate on any issues which will confront officialdom. Their comfort level is to passively report on the “harmless” events which will usually offend no one.

Continue reading

Adrian Loveridge Questions The Local Media Houses Regarding Their Deafening Silence About The Jonathan Laslo Danos 3S (Barbados SRL) Affair

All Barbadians know that Adrian Loveridge who is a Barbadian citizen has been one never afraid to speak-out. It is something that all Barbadians should take note of if our democracy is to be protected.


The Daily Nation

The Barbados Advocate


On the 11th May 2007 in the Royal Courts of Justice (London), Jonathan Laszlo DANOS, President of 3S (Barbados) SRL, the company currently engaged by the Government of Barbados to widen the ABC Highway and build overpasses was charged with fraud and conspiracy by his former employers, Mabey and Johnson Ltd.

3S (Barbados) SRL, contention was that they had gained valuable experience while constructing Flyovers in Panama. According to Robert Capurro, Director of Sales-Latin America & Caribbean-Mabey and Johnson Ltd., “Mabey & Johnson has supplied a number of steel flyovers to Panama since 1997. As far as we are aware, no other company has supplied or completed such steel flyovers in that country.”

Bearing in mind the Project Manager of 3S (Barbados) SRL, George Siddall, recently announced that the estimated cost of the work undertaken was expected to rise from US$60 million to US$180 million, it is difficult to understand why your publication/station has not carried this story.

Adrian Loveridge