Saturday, August 18, 2007


At first we thought IETV had just one reporter for Friday's news in Melissa Williams. She anchored the newscast, as well as she did three packages in the first segment, and she read two stories to prompter. Melissa you need more expression in your voice if we have to hear it for eleven minutes.
But maybe she was left to edit her stories alone as well because one of her stories on Hurricane Dean had serious video and audio problems. No one caught that?

Then later we heard reports from Robin Morais and Vernon Ramesar.
Robin needs some voice work and perhaps a closer look at his script. The sitting of the House of Representatives was adjourned to Monday and this was "accepted by all concerned". We are concerned about what takes place in the Parliament and no one asked us if we wanted the sitting adjourned!
The story on Ian Ali's death was well written but devoid of a single image of the artist. If we were visiting Trinidad we would have switched off because we would have had no clue and no interest in who you were speaking about.

Golda Lee on C News looked fresh with the wavy hair, but she did not sustain our interest with the Hurricane Dean stories.
The first story of course was Dean, but right after that she went to a story of the UNC calling for the Chief Magistrate's suspension, and eventually came back to Dean.
Curtis Williams did a comprehensive story on the country's gas reserves, but a word of advice Curtis, pick up the pace.
Sport anchor Robert Dumas was mixing and matching with the mint green tie and the cream jacket, then he introduces a story from "the beeb". The what? Robert, you might be forgiven for referring to a BMW as a "beemer", but we have never heard anyone outside of the BBC referring to the Corporation on air as "the beeb".

Well CNC3 had most of the right moves with Dean coverage, however they used the same video ad nauseum for all the stories. The only story that had fresh video was the one about the damage to vessels at the Power Boats pier. That was actually a good story from Neil Beekhee.

Otto Carrington's story about Nelson Island naturally began with video of the boat they travelled on rocking to and fro in the rough waters, but then he said they "...braved the bad weather....
despite the bad weather." in the same sentence.
Splitting that Nelson Island feature in two was not a bad idea, but the first one about the conspirators should have had pictures of the 1970 Revolution, to give a sense of what actually happened; even newspaper clippings would have jazzed it up a bit. The second feature actually took us inside the prison, which was interesting, but still, no pictures from that critical time in our history.
Marcia Hope of TV6 stuck to the actual event, with again, no sense of the history of the event.

Francesca Hawkins of CNC is perhaps still one of the best on tv. But next time you read a story about a far away country, make sure you know how to pronounce the name of the place correctly. The earthquake in Peru was centered in "Ica" NOT "Inca".
And later Roger Sant was all over the place with "areas in Mayaro was affected" and the "car slammed into an electricity pole and ripped into flames." Come on.

The bright spot for the day's news coverage was perhaps CNC's weatherman Eric Mackie. Take a bow Eric.
His coverage of Hurricane Dean knocked everyone else out of the water. He came in for the midday news and gave comprehensive coverage, then again during the evening newscast he wrapped things up quite well.
Second place went to TV6's Meteorologist Joey Stevens. Nice graphics, but we did not get a true sense of how the bad weather affected the Caribbean.
And last but not least was Ean Wallace of C News. Tut tut. Ean was left to look over his shoulder at the weather graphic floating on the big screen monitor behind him. Well this is his first taste of a real hurricane. He went missing in action from TV6 as the hurricane season was heating up ahead of Ivan three years ago.
Maybe Eric can give you a few pointers.

Overall TV6's news coverage was ho hum. The only thing that stood out to us from the divas was Samantha John pronouncing the French football team's name as it's spelt (Nice), and Cherise D'Abadie saying "tragedy and beauty all at once" after the Latin America Today segment (one story was the devastation following the Peru earthquake, and the other was a ballroom dancing competition).
To which one of the stories should we attribute that huge smile?

And the producers did not do justice to that story at the VERY end of the newscast about so-called everyday people who were talking about rising food prices ahead of the budget.
We had no clue it was coming up. Luckily we did not switch to another station permanently after your second commercial break or we would have missed it. Why didn't you tell the viewers to look out for it? Well one clue that something was up was the fact that the story by Sharon Hamilton Cudjoe was cut at 7.50pm. It jarred us because the clock on the wall told us it was too soon for that story to end.

But Miss Lashley with the very British accent, we don't know that we agree with your choice of a cross section of the society that's affected by the increased cost of living in Trinidad and Tobago. We saw the single mother (who is a business owner), the university student (getting free education courtesy the government) and a dentist (who by your admission is living a life of luxury and has famous friends).

While we don't discount the fact that they are citizens of this country and have a rightful say in what happens here, Media Watch did not see their struggle to survive, which is how your story was introduced. We saw the shots of the vendors at the side of the road at the beginning; why didn't you try to get one of them to tell you how they survive on less than minimum wage with five children to feed? Or what about the Cepep worker who gets only a fortnight of work per month? And what about the pensioner who has to survive on just one thousand dollars a month?
Are you a Trini with a British accent or a visitor trying to put some order to what Trinis are facing? Do you really understand the issue?
Otherwise it would have been better to deal with each case separately over the course of the week, rather than lump all the interviews together and not telling anyone it was coming up.