Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Talk was the order of the day. Who said government didn't do enough for the people, who said they did, who said pensioners needed more, who said Cepep workers didn't.
Before and after Prime Minister Patrick Manning's near three and a half hour budget presentation, the gurus were in full flight.
We've already told you about the pre-budget panels, but post-budget remained much the same.

First let's deal with the immediate reactions. Kudos to TV6 for going live to the Parliament chamber for responses from COP Leader Winston Dookeran and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. However. Does Sasha Mohammed not understand that her microphone is live until she is told otherwise? There were audio problems at the beginning of the interview with Mr Dookeran so we missed most of what he said, then Miss Mohammed piped up with "I don't know what happen there!" Your engineers could not have been pleased with you announcing the obvious to the entire country.

Then she could not seem to remember where she was reporting from so she said "Parliamentary Channel" twice before correcting herself. Sasha we've seen you on camera before, why were you so nervous this time?
And when you went to Mrs Persad-Bissessar, you introduced her and she said "Thank you Sasha" and waited for your first question. Well after about 10 seconds the Opposition Leader figured out that no question was forthcoming and she launched into her response. You are the reporter. All you had to ask her was "What's your reaction to the budget?"; it would have suggested that you were in charge, not the interviewee.
Then the lighting on both interviews made it seem like they were speaking from a dark, dismal dungeon rather than the seat of the country's government.
TV6 tried to redeem themselves by replaying Mr Dookeran's interview in its entirety, but the audio problems persisted.
Overall poor execution.

Only TV6 and to a very small extent CNC3 attempted to spice things up after 4-30. TV6's revamped panel included Gregory McGuire, William Lucie-Smith, Sven Miki Grant.
CNMG had the same panel, along with CNC3, but CNC at least got in a comment from UNC Leader Basdeo Panday.

But the post-budget coverage did not last very long. After a recap of Mr Manning's speech by Sunil Ramdeen, WIN TV went to "Ellen", IETV stuck with VOA, Gayelle stuck with replaying its early morning post-hurricane interviews, Channel 4 went to an interview with an elderly man. TV6's coverage ended at 6pm, while CNC3 and CNMG went right up to news time.
However at 6 o'clock, WIN TV's Bobbi Jeffrey was back up (minus the fancy jacket) and said "The budget was presented just under two and a half hours ago and it is indeed over." Yes Bobbi the time/space continuum suggested that the budget was indeed over.