Well the Caribbean's first real hurricane swept through the region on Friday, and of course we had full fare on the interviews, video of wave-swept piers and people running for cover.
The overall coverage from the various stations was palatable, but there were a few things that irked us.
First, IETV's 7pm story from anchor Melissa Williams was actually file video from Hurricane Ivan's passage in 2004, yet she made specific reference to several incidents in St Lucia, Dominica and Martinique. Shame on you Melissa, it would have been better to just read the story to camera. Oh and by the way, Hurricane Dean was a Category 2; in your headlines you said "Category Hurricane Dean....".
But we're getting ahead of ourselves; let's go back to the midday news.
Roger Sant why did you kick Sateesh Mahabir off the CNC set? The hurricane story was too big for him to handle? Well you messed up on more than one occasion. Your director couldn't find the interview with the lifeguard at the top, so he went to the UNC call for the suspension of the Chief Magistrate, and the lifeguard story eventually came down to the end of the newscast. Then there was a long stretch of dead air before the interview with Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt, but why wasn't it edited properly? We know CMC's Desmond Brown was conducting the taped interview, but at the end why wasn't his sign out cut out by one of your editors?
We knew the hurricane was coming, but the execution of the entire thing was flawed. Roger maybe you just needed to relax, your neck tie seemed a bit too tight.
TV6 too had its own problems. Fabian Pierre finally got a taste of "things are all going wrong today".
The start of the newscast was OK. A package from Charlene Stuart on the hurricane, various pieces after that on the passage of the storm, I don't recall hearing the Roosevelt Skerritt piece from CMC. Things seemed to be going well, then Fabian hit us with this faux pas. He was reading a story on French football when he pronounced the name of one of the teams as "Lion" (Roar!) when in fact it's spelt "Lyon" and pronounced "lee-or" (and he did not correct himself). Then he pronounced the other team's name as it's spelt, "Nice" (no joke), but at least he caught himself and corrected it to sound like "niece".
(Well Fabian you should have told your colleague Samantha John about that because in the 7pm newscast she happily made the same mistake with "Nice", but alas she did not correct herself.)
Then while that football story was playing at noon, we saw a shot of Fabian reading his script, then the director cut back to the football story, but the yellow bar at the bottom of the screen was actually for the next story with tennis star Roger Federer. Well the Federer story came up, but there was no audio for a good ten seconds, so it was back to Fabian to cut to a commercial break. But where was the apology for whatever went wrong there?
Then for the story about protesting WASA workers, we heard a telephone voice clip from one of the union's representatives, Rodney Lewis, but we're sure the picture TV6 used was that of the union's branch president Salim Muwakil.
Well before they put him out of his misery there was time for one more mess up. Just as Fabian was about to go to a final commercial break, he was told to wrap it up, so he instead had to catch himself and wish the viewers Adieu. If looks could kill! We would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of that studio when the news went off the air.