Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Newsday, how did you come up with that headline from the Prime Minister for Monday's edition about a "secret" PNM convention? As far as Media Watch is aware, Prime Minister Manning stood on a platform and said at least three times that the party would hold a "special" convention on Saturday. You would probably say it's the printer's devil at work, right?

And Sharmilla Persad of TV6, your continued use of the term "PNM regime" is all wrong. Everyday use of the word "regime" in a western world sense gives a negative connotation and refers to a government that is a dictatorship. None of the major international bodies which associate with Trinidad and Tobago like the IMF, World Bank or the IADB have ever referred to ANY government in this country as a "regime". Does your producer carefully check those scripts?
And while it seems you've picked up the pace in your voicing, you still have not grasped that when you end a sentence, the pitch in your voice should drop considerably to indicate to your audience that you are at the end of a thought.

And Sasha Mohammed, it's passing strange that your story about Andre Monteil on Friday night did not fully highlight the fact that Mr Monteil did not breach any laws with his transactions with the Home Mortgage Bank. That was only mentioned in the last two paragraphs of your minute and a half long report, while it was the first thing that was said in the Express report the next day. How do you decide what should be highlighted in your story? Remember you must give the viewer the freshest bit of information first, then you can rehash the old details.
And while we are at it, Media Watch is still trying to make up its mind about you. Most of your stories begin with a 15-20 second sound bite, and end with another soundbite. You may say nothing is wrong with this, but it suggests laziness on your part as you did not put any thought into choosing an effective piece of video to begin your story, as you would have to write to your pictures. Beginning with a sound bite suggests you cannot adequately capture with your script the essence of what the speaker is saying; this is effective for profound sound bites, but not every sound bite is profound.
You also need to make your sentences shorter and declarative. You write in parentheses too often so you end up with long sentences which have too much information and which confuse the viewer.

And for all reporters, the rule is that you MUST address your speakers with a title. You cannot say just "Rowley" or "Seetahal" or "Panday"; it is always Dr Rowley or Miss Seetahal or Mr Panday. The title is dropped only if the person you are referring to is a convicted felon.