Former Editor-in-Chief Roy Morris Accuses Nation Newspaper Maguffies of Exerting ‘Pressure’

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:

  1. A look at state corporations that are behind with their annual reports and what the law requires of them.
  2. Look at the Auditor General’s reports for the last 5 or so years to see what are the recurring offences/complaints.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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!!


In the Public Interest – A Musing Directed at Editor-in-Chief of the nation Newspaper Roy Morris

Roy Morris, Editor-in-Chief, Nation Newspaper

Roy Morris, Editor-in-Chief, Nation Newspaper

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 – Peter Harris and Sandy Crest Medical Centre Forced to Drop Charges Against the GrantsBarbados Underground

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.

Your move!

The Nation Newspaper Gaffe: A Case NOT to EXPLOIT Children

Photo Credit: Barbados Today

Photo Credit: Barbados Today

The Fourth Estate plays a critical role to the proper functioning of a democracy, it must. Providing citizens with information which equips them to make the best decisions and at the same time act as a watchdog targeting those who act as gatekeepers of authority and influence in our society. Any attempt to sanitize, filter, manipulate information which it feeds to the public must be rejected as a fourth estate reneging on its obligation. The consequence is a compromised democracy.

In Barbados the media [fourth estate] is heavily self-censored. With the exception of a couple media practitioners there is a lack of respect for the profession by the decisionmakers and general public. It is fair to suggest that media workers demonstrate a lack of respect for themselves if we are to judge their inability to promote a vibrant union or association. The Barbados Association of Journalists (BAJ) does not even have an official website or Facebook presence in 2013 such is the inadequacy of how media workers see themselves.

Related Link: Statement issued by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ag) Crime, Lionel M. Thompson

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Roy Morris (and his gun) is Back

Submitted by Nomen Nescio
Harold Hoyte, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nation announced the return of Roy Morris

Harold Hoyte, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nation announced the return of Roy Morris

Roy Morris is back and his gun turns up.

On August 20 at 9.50 a.m. staff at the Nation Newspaper were informed via intercom that there would be a general staff meeting at 10 a.m. that same morning. Imagine ten minutes notice of a general staff meeting. Why not inform staff the day before? Anyway at 10 a.m. Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nation, Harold Hoyte, informed staff that former Associate Managing Editor Roy Morris will be returning to the Nation as Editor-in-Chief from September 16. Harold really knows how to do things. Now the very people that this would affect, the editors, sub-editors and reporters, were not present at the meeting when Harold made his announcement, because of the short ten minutes notice of the meeting and also because most newsroom staff don’t arrive early since they work late into the evening.

Anyway Harold proceeded to tell the staff present that there are some who will not support the return of Roy (nuh wonder he hide and announce it to non-newsroom staff), but it was the decision of Board of Directors and he stood by the decision. Basically he was doing like former Prime Minister Erskine Sandiford did in the 1990s – saying like it or lump it. Hoye told staff that following advertisement of the position, Morris applied and after an interview process was chosen as the man for the job. Well if wunnuh think that Roy would just ups and apply for this job because he saw an advertisement in the Nation, wunnuh need wunnuh heads examining. Adults should leave lying to children. Roy had already told the staff of Barbados Today that Harold had called him and made the offer. Anyway Harold knows how to fool the staff at the Nation. He is notorious for crying, back in the days when he was Editor-in-Chief, when the Nation had to lay off staff. And wunnuh know they had some foolish bitches that would cry with Harold, including some uh those going home. But that for another occasion.

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Roy Morris ME

Roy Morris

Roy Morris

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

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

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Are We to See the Second Coming of Roy Part II

Submitted by Nomen Nescio
Roy Morris

Roy Morris

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

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

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

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Are We to See the Second Coming of Roy?

Submitted by  Nomen Nescio
Roy Morris

Roy Morris

Word in the journalistic fraternity is that Roy Morris will be returning to the Nation Newspaper come 5 September. Ever since a week-and-a-half ago when the Newspaper advertised for an Editor-in-Chief the phones have been buzzing in Fontabelle about the imminent return of the PERVERT Morris, who at present is the Editor-in-Chief at the fledging on-line Newspaper Barbados Today.

Well for those suffering from short memory it was back in July 2007 that Morris, the then Managing Editor of the Nation Publishing Company, was fired after he invited a 16 year old girl he met whilst the girl was visiting the Nation, on a night ride in his jeep. As the story unfolded, after making his play for sex and was turned down by the teenager, Morris placed his licensed firearm on the dashboard, the sight of which persuaded the young lass not to resist.

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