Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Media Watch has been quietly observing that Bobbi Jeffrey-Hicks of TV6's Extra has been doing very well for herself. The show itself still needs work (but just one week to go), but Bobbi has shown improvement in her presentation, she's quite fluent in her reading, and she wears what suits her.
Watch yourselves girls. New kid on the block.


Kudos to Andy Johnson for what Media Watch will call his "on the road" series: going to the communities and asking for their input in the election discussions. The session at the Hugh Wooding Law School was especially informative, as was the session with university students some weeks ago. And Dr Job "gave Jack his jacket". The special pieces as well in the morning are informative. But Miss Stuart, please ask your editor not to use talking head shots of the political leaders over someone else's voice. It's distracting and confusing.

Robert Clarke over at Gayelle, your piece on the two cousins contesting the Barataria/San Juan seat comes three weeks after TV6's Fayola Bostik and IETV's Nadine Hackett ran the same feature.
Magella was very gracious in accepting a bit of criticism from a caller on Cock a doodle doo, which she co-hosts with Dennis McComie. The caller said she listens too little and speaks too much. Dennis looked a bit exasperated and the nail in the coffin was when the caller referred to him as Errol Fabien. He promptly hit the receiver on the telephone.

And Keith Clifford where have you been all weekend? The talk of the town has been the trip to South Africa by Basdeo Panday and Jack Warner to "meet" with Nelson Mandela. The ad was played during a break on your morning show, and the well-informed Cordielle referred to it. What did you say? "I did not see it and I don't want to make an uninformed comment on the issue." So Keith wants to take a look at it then call up Jack Warner and have him clarify once again the purpose of the trip and the outcome. Good luck. Even the South Africa Times has the issue splashed across its pages on Sunday. Where have you been? Anyway, here's the site for your info.
And to all the reporters in this country, why didn't any of you do the requisite background checking before running Jack Warner's side of the story wholesale when he returned from his "meeting"? You were all scooped by a South African writer.


CNMG again leading the way with campaign coverage. The station went with live video from TWO locations on Monday evening, from the COP and UNC meetings. Where is the competition?


Well, well Jessie Mae Ventour of CNMG, looks like you had a very good night's sleep after you ended your early morning and lunch time shift yesterday. You are bright and bubbly in red and white, they have definitely adjusted the lighting on you and the rapport between you and Fazeer is excellent.
Keisha David you also look nice in bright blue and white outside City Gate. Not sure if we like the earrings and necklace combo though. Just keep the earrings.
And over at CNC, Cordielle Street looks exasperated and bored by Keith Clifford, who went into a looong monologue before they looked at the newspapers. Well Cordielle, Media Watch is exasperated too.

CNMG's news lead at 6am was a Chaguanas man was shot to death in Port of Spain late last night, but TV6's lead was that the UNC leader Basdeo Panday wants to set up a young offenders court if his party wins the election. TV6 went on and on with the UNC, six sound bites in all, a total of six minutes, then a sound bite from the prime minister about a blood feud. What about the COP meeting last night? Not a word about that.
CNC as well went on and on with Hazel Manning and schools, then a package from Marcia Braveboy on Flow's new cable charges. Why did you need to replay that entire story? Free ads for Flow's broadband cable.

And TV6, whose idea was it to start the Morning Edition right off with the news? There's no welcome from the hosts, so just imagine walking straight into someone's home and sitting down to have breakfast without even saying good morning to the people who own the house. And we don't see Andy Johnson and Dr Morgan Job until 6:18. By then your competitors have already got into the meat of their first interviews.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Simone Harris over at CNMG, "How do you feel about that?" can only be asked so many times without getting idiotic responses.
Your interview with COP candidate Danny Solomon was a classic example. You told him he and the PNM's Gary Hunte are new to politics, then asked "How do you feel about that?". He said he does not feel threatened and boasted about all those one on one meetings with community leaders. He lambasted Mr Hunte for not walking around enough to meet with residents, yet one of Mr Solomon's own colleagues recently said the candidate should not have to walk around; the community should come to him/her. Why no challenge on that?

Next, you said "There's been a lot of campaign violence happening. How do you feel about that?" Well how do you expect him to feel?

Then, "What do you think about your political leader Winston Dookeran?". Surely you were expecting him to say he thinks Mr Dookeran is a bad leader and will lose the election?

Then you moved on to St Ann's being a PNM safe seat, and you piped up with "...they've been in power for almost forever." (Yes people, that is verbatim.) Well Simone your forever seems to have a ten year gap.

And you seemed to be on the defensive against all Mr Solomon's statements about the PNM. At one point Media Watch felt as if YOU were a PNM candidate and Mr Solomon was the interviewer.
Then he said the British government HAS Trinidad and Tobago on a list of countries not to visit; you did not correct him, since that travel advice was lifted months ago.
At the end of the interview you said about his constituency "...I think it's a PNM stronghold." Your OPINION is not important Simone. You are the interviewer and you are supposed to KNOW.
Then you said "I'm Simone Harris and I'm out." Steups!
Once again Simone, your interviewing skills are very weak and you need to do much more research before you interview anyone else. Hopefully your bosses are monitoring your lack of progress on this show. You'd better stick to being "Judge Dredd".


Well it's countdown time for the elections campaigns, and this week all the media houses will be pulling out all the stops to show who is number one in elections coverage.
CNMG is still leading the way by the look of things, with live coverage of the COP rally in Sangre Grande. Paid political time, but coverage all the same. WIN TV also went live to COP, with IETV taking their feed. And I95 got in on the action with coverage of the PNM meeting.
Even Synergy is trying to get in on the action, with promised interviews with the main political leaders this week.
Monday night CNC 3 had Shelly Dass on the Big Story with Mervyn Assam, and TV6 had Heroes.
One week left Six.


Sunil Ramdeen and Jessie Mae Ventour seem to be suffering from a lack of sleep during this hectic political season. Jessie read the midday news on C and she looked like she was about to fall asleep. She co-hosts First Up with Fazeer Mohammed so we're guessing she has to be at work by 4am, so midday is really the end of her shift. She looked really tired, and her face was shiny, as if she was called up to read the news at the last minute.

Then Sunil is "chief cook and bottle washer" over at WIN TV. He does a morning show, a night talk show, plus he reads the news and he is the Head of News. But then again, it's expected that you'll be working a bit harder since your newsroom has been depleted.
By the time he got to the sport stories on the midday news, he was reading so slowly we thought he was slurring.
Media Watch is hoping you'll be popping lots of vits in the coming days because your station promos say that WIN TV will be going live to the three political party headquarters on election night next Monday. How are you going to split yourself?
And Sunil while you're at it, can you try to have someone record a clean feed of your political meetings? You showed a repeat of Winston Dookeran's speech in Sangre Grande on Monday night, and the location and "LIVE" were stamped on the top left hand corner of the screen. The video looked like it was recorded off the tv on BetaCam. Why didn't you just get the cameraman to record the speech for play back? Then when you went to Patrick Manning's speech on the hustings on Monday night, the video was perfectly clean. Why the discrepancy?

One more thing. Your sports reporter, Kent Fuentes needs to be taught how to write to pictures. His story on Roger Boynes went on and on, but for the first 30 seconds, we heard Kent's voice and saw Roger Boynes sitting at the press conference talking (no sound from Boynes), so it looked like Boynes was having an out-of-body experience. Then at one point Kent said "Speaking at this afternoon's press conference...", and this bit was repeated. No one caught that in the editing process or when it first aired on Monday night? And why did you choose to repeat the story in its entirety at noon the next day? You really need some sleep Sunil.


Kudos to Cordielle Street, Asha Javeed, Sheldon Yearwood, Natasha Nunez, Garth St. Clair, Charlene Stuart and Kimberley Castillo on their achievements in the PAHO Health Awards. Something for your colleagues to aspire to.


Media Watch was a bit startled to hear the voice of CNMG's Jessie Mae Ventour on TV6 on Sunday evening. We thought she had jumped ship in the middle of the elections campaign. But then we realised she was just voicing an ad/promo for the ministry of the Attorney General. All part of the package?


Page 11 of Monday's Guardian shows a woman waving a flag at a COP meeting in Maraval who bears a striking resemblance to TV6's Cherise D'Abadie.
If any of your media colleagues would like to hazard a guess, feel free to email Media Watch at; and Cherise feel free to let us know if we are wrong about the photo.
But if it is you, then the management at TV6 has to ask themselves some serious questions.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


So TV6, Media Watch was a bit surprised to see your Saturday newscast extended to 45 minutes instead of the regular 30 (without a heads up to viewers), so we thought we would see how it would pan out before commenting.
So on Saturday your lead story was the airport chaos and the possible legal action by the CAA. Yet your competitors, CNC and CNMG both began with the chopping of the COP candidate. Both stations as well had soundbites (Dookeran and Gopaul-McNichols), but TV6's story from Fabian Pierre had more shots of the Police Commissioner than the man who was chopped, and no soundbites.

CNMG's Curtis Williams had a package from the PNM's youth rally, but we did not see anything from TV6 at all. IETV's story from the rally ended with a looong piece from the man dancing in short shorts, then up comes Vernon Ramesar with a straight face to say that a man had been stabbed to death following a political meeting!
TV6's newscast ended at 7.45, but there did not seem to be any real extra content, except for the additional ads.

Then on Sunday the same applied with the extra time. CNC and CNMG lead with the prime minister, Six led with air traffic problems. And we finally saw the PNM rally packaged by Sharmilla Persad. Did the rally and the edit finish on Sunday morning? And TV6 finally got a sound bite from Dookeran on the stabbing, 24 hours later.
And even though the newscast was again extended by 15 minutes, a story by Sasha Mohammed from the UNC meeting in Point Fortin was the last thing we saw; but just about a minute into the story, it was cut abruptly and Miss John said goodnight. Did you encroach on the time for commercials?
And Miss John, the mosquito which spreads malaria is pronounced "AID-ees egypt-i" NOT "EYE-dees egypt-i", and that northernmost village in Tobago is pronounced "SHAR-lotteville", not "CHARR-lotteville" as in charbroil!

IETV's lead story on Sunday was also the air traffic story, with Giselle McIntyre saying that tempers "soared". Should have been "flared". Then Ria Rambally wrote a story on Kelvin Ramnath on the hustings following "a heart surgery". How many hearts did he say he had Ria??? Then she said nothing will stop him from "partaking in politics". He's having his politics with fries??? Steups! Then Giselle again comes up to say "the body of a man discovered dead...". EH? And again the lead in to Ria Rambally's story on the boy who was knocked down on the bus route read that the driver "was unauthorised to use the bus route." Had enough? Well one more from Giselle. She did not wait for the director to go full screen with a story, so as soon as she reads the lead in, we see her combing her hand through her hair. Tut tut.

The highlight of Sunday's news was CNMG's Mark Bassant. He looked comfortable throughout the newscast, then at the very end he said "Well that's where we wrap up. (Startled pause) Stay with us. (Laughing pause and a wave of the hand). And have a good night." Then he looked down and laughed. Mark believe us, your viewers were laughing with you, not AT you.


Finally we see TV6's Sharmilla Persad. The picture that's used when you are on the phone reporting is quite complimentary. Hope you look like that when viewers bump into you at the supermarket. And Keisha David yours isn't bad either. However, there's a dark shadow under your chin that makes you look like you are wearing a black scarf along with your pearls. You need to have the photographer check it out. (PS Great that you removed the shades from on top your head in the morning.)
And Miss Khan Daniel is not bad either. Her eyebrows are a bit severe, but her make up (when she puts in the effort) is quite subtle and complimentary.


SCENE 6: up Simone (wearing a jacket)
Thanks viewers for staying with CNMG's Campaign Trail.



SCENE 1: up Knycky Cordner
Welcomes viewers to the show; toss to Simone (wearing slinky top)

SCENE 2: up Simone
Again welcomes viewers, recaps last show


For those of you who don't know, Campaign Trail is an extension of CNMG's Campaign 41 elections coverage (serious stuff). Digicel Rising Stars is an American Idol lookalike entertainment show where Simone is known as "Judge Dredd" (not so serious stuff), and we would have hoped that ne'er the two should meet.
What is the rationale here CNMG? You recently published a full page ad showing off all the people you have working at both your radio and television arms, yet you have one person doing both serious and frivolous stuff?
It's like Samantha Harris of Dancing with the Stars interviewing President Bush about the US policy on Iraq.


So TV6, the point of having Andy Johnson out on the promenade at San Juan early on Friday morning was what?
First of all, no one knew he was going to be there (except the ten viewers who saw the last minute of the 10pm news on Thursday night when Cherise D'Abadie was prompted to tell people to watch the Morning Edition). Why didn't you create a promo? Was the trip to the Croisee a last minute decision?
Andy came up as usual at the beginning of the show and told viewers he was in San Juan, but the next time we saw him was at 7.14. So we had Dr Morgan Job in studio doing a loooong interview. What was the problem? Did Andy's guests show up late?

Well in the first place, Andy should have been anchoring the show from the outside location; it would have added the live dynamic element that's often missing from studio interviews. Secondly, even if the Croisee guests showed up late, why didn't the producer pull a question out of his or her hat and pull people off the street so that Andy could interview them? It would have saved your viewers from being bored by Dr Job and switching to another station because they were wondering where Andy went to.

Then later in the day, CNMG carried live coverage of the PNM's manifesto launch, with CNC 3 taking a live feed. What did we get from TV6? CRICKET! Granted, if Brian Lara was on the pitch for the West Indies Media Watch is sure even the PM would have postponed his speech. So once again TV6 is playing catch up with CNMG, even being upstaged by cable station 3.
And once again no live video from the elections campaign platforms from TV6 on Friday night. Even CNC went live to the COP platform in Gasparillo.
It's three weeks and counting TV6. You have one more week to redeem yourselves.


Marline Couray, bline thief, Brathwiate, confectionary, Fervier.
Come on with the bad spelling! Impressionable young minds and seething older minds are watching.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Well Media Watch missed the inaugural programme of activist Verna St. Rose Greaves on Gayelle, titled "Treeaay", so we have no clue what that word means. But Verna, there are ways to do things.
Recently you were on the set with two female election candidates. At one point you said "I am getting a three minute sign. What's that? The end of the show? (And you seemed annoyed when you said) Alright, but let's take some more calls." Steups! Why do your viewers have to hear that?
And later someone called and said something about your head, they were cut off, and someone else called and commiserated with you, and the two of you went on and on about whether you should cover your head. Keep it professional.
And what's up with the "set"? It's a desk with a black curtain up behind you and lots of lights, and you have a credit for the "set" at the end of the show? Steups!


Media Watch was really disturbed to hear the 6pm newscast on I95 on Friday evening.
The lead story was that Caribbean Airlines had cancelled several flights on the airbridge. Up comes the company's PR Manager listing each and every flight that was cancelled, about 15 in all. "BW 1520, BW 1521...etc, etc, etc". This went on for about a minute. At the end of her sound bite, Janelle comes back up to say the flights were cancelled because the runway was closed for repair work. AND THAT WAS THE WHOLE STORY! What was lead material about that?

Then Janelle went to a story from the PNM's manifesto launch, with a sound bite from Conrad Enill. She went to two other stories, then came back with a sound bite from Patrick Manning from the same manifesto launch, and introduced it by saying "...his public utilities minister...". How did she come to be owned by the PM?
Then again there was another story from the PNM, this time from Martin Joseph. She says "The minister says in the future steps will be taken to deal with crime." And whoever wrote that story didn't go up to Mr Joseph after the launch to ask him what he was doing for the last few years that he didn't have time to deal with crime? Steups!


Media Watch wasn't aware that Sasha Mohammed was interested in what anyone thought of her reputation. Seems she's signed up to Naymz (, under the heading Multi media journalist.
According to the site, "This is your opportunity to tell the world why you are talented, valuable and unique."

Thursday, October 25, 2007


IETV showed us some blatant horn tooting when their news presenter Maxine Maharaj read a story that the station was being congratulated for inviting (via press releases) the leaders of the three main political parties to take part in a political debate. According to Maxine, "None of the candidates has officially responded.", but she went on to say that Dr Tim Gopeesingh believes Mr Panday would be willing to participate in the debate.
Well Maxine, before you get too excited, Media Watch is willing to bet that the other television stations have already beaten IETV to the punch in inviting the political leaders to a debate. BUT WITH PERSONALLY ADDRESSED INVITATIONS!
Media Watch can just imagine your RSVP:

Letter to the Editor
Dear Sir,
Please allow me to use this space in your newspaper to decline the public invitation from IETV to a debate among political leaders.
Unfortunately, the TATT informs me that your station does not have a national broadcast license, and because I don't discriminate, I tried to base my decision on fact.
I found your media survey results hidden in a slim slice of the media pie, so I am now forced to consider the personal invitations from CNMG and TV6.

Secretary #2
for Prime Minister Patrick Manning

PS Why is the satellite dish on your set graphic so much larger than the map of Tobago?

And once again Nadine Hackett, you have lots of potential and Media Watch is pleased to see you persevering with your standups.
Still a bit stiff though, and some of your words sound a bit strange, e.g. 'nine "hondrod"'. But Media Watch has a question. Who came up with the name for your segment, "Judgement Day"? Did someone get a heads up on the apocalypse at a planning meeting? It does not work because the segment does not have a hard edge, and the subject matter is run of the mill news.

Charlene Stuart, was there an earthquake when your cameraman was taking cutaways for your interview with Merle Hodge and Hazel Brown? Well the earthquake did not register at the Seismic Research Unit, so clearly you need to tell your cameraman to use his tripod! Reporters, don't be afraid to insist that your cameraman use his tripod. Your viewers don't see or hear the name of the person who shot the video; they only see your name and you will get the blame when the finished product looks like crap.

Sasha Mohammed, do you recognise this statement? "...the claims and vitriolic attacks in the last few weeks..." in reference to a story on the UNC. Whose claims were vitriolic? Those of the media or those of the UNC? You need to be very clear who you are referring to, and break down the big words.

Simone from CNMG, please don't let the Digicel show take up all your time, because it seems you are not doing enough research for your more serious role on Campaign Trail. How could you ask Nafeesa Mohammed when the Children Act will be passed? She was right to remind you that parliament has already been dissolved. And why didn't you jump in to ask her why her government took two years to bring the legislation back to parliament, when Kamla Persad Bissessar AND every other women's group in the country was calling for this after the murder of Sean Luke? Lost opportunity. Steups! Politicians will get more chances to run their mouths without check.
So powers that be at CNMG, if the political big boys and girls do decide to come on the show, will you consider bringing in a seasoned journalist to interview them? Guess not. You'll probably (and hopefully!) just schedule them for Campaign 41 with Julian Rogers during the evening news.


OK TV6, we finally have to give you some credit for going live to an outside event at night. But Sasha Mohammed interviewing Errol Mcleod at a protest outside White Hall? What happened to the three political meetings that were taking place in Fyzabad, St. Helena and Tabaquite?
On Tuesday night the UNC was in the Croisee. You had Sasha on the phone. Why no video? Are you sure your viewers will see a political platform before the election?
So unfortunately Media Watch can't give you a passing grade just yet, although Sharmilla Persad was at the Fyzabad meeting, but on the phone.
CNMG kudos to you....Curtis Williams in Tabaquite (by phone), Sasha Harrinanan in Fyzabad (by phone), and Golda Lee with live video feed from St Helena.

On Monday night, Cherise D'Abadie cheerfully announced that the TV6 news would be extended to two hours and your own promos say viewers will get "...up to the minute news and action from the political platforms". Even Bobbi is in on the promotion; she's been shown with the company's engineers looking over expensive equipment that is supposed to bring live pictures from the platforms (perhaps on election night only!).
Then Cherise also did not say that TV6 Extra would begin at 8-30, so your viewers who have come to expect it at 8 were left wondering whether they would see it all. And now "On the Margin" is a segment within Extra? What happened to the Monday night 9pm slot?

Extending the newscast needs to be done properly, because when you promise elections coverage from 8pm, that's what your viewers want to see. Case in point. Monday night at 8pm your viewers saw a story on John Rahael opening a health centre and soon after that, a story on real estate fraud.
Wednesday night the international weather forecast was going on at 8:01, followed by a long commercial break, followed by Inside Business. The first time your viewers saw a political story was at 8.14. A telephone interview with Keisha David at a political meeting. But Cherise why did you try to wrap up Keisha and tell your viewers you were running out of time, when earlier there were at least five irrelevant international stories that seemed to just be fillers????

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


What is the purpose of rehashing the previous evening's news every half hour the next morning during the talk shows, when it's the same stories over and over? Both CNMG and TV6 are at fault here.
Why not try to get some fresh stories from the newspapers and use file video over the scripts?

And why is Derek Ramsamooj on your morning show for an entire hour CNC? Is he your in-house political analyst? Well you need to let your viewers know that; it's like too much of a good thing. But is there really a need to bring him in three times a week? On election night you can keep him on set for as long as you like, but on a day to day basis, try to vary your guests. Hazel Brown was also on for a long time. You will bore your viewers.

Miss David at TV6, on Tuesday night the Prime Minister told supporters that the sugar industry would be revived "Over my dead body"; that was the front page story in your sister paper, the Express on Wednesday; Andy Johnson spoke about it in detail; yet when you went to City Gate on Wednesday morning to poll commuters, you went back to Anand Ramlogan's threat to take legal action against anyone holding dual citizenship contesting the election (front page Guardian on Monday). What gives?

Miss Khan Daniel over at Talk City, why hasn't your producer provided you with a teleprompter? You look really uncomfortable looking down at the scripts then looking back up at the camera when you're reading the half hourly morning news.
Also, please try to wear jackets that fit. Media Watch was hoping you wouldn't pass out because that pink jacket looked like it was cutting off the blood flow to your arms.
And one more thing; remember that tv is a visual medium. One morning you turned up without a stitch of make up. That would be perfectly acceptable if you only have to deal with listeners, but you would be tempting your very savvy viewers to switch to the well made up Miss David, Miss Street or one of the American networks if they have to face your un-made up face again.
And getting to work late IS NOT AN EXCUSE.
(NOTE FOR FAZEER: E! has a new show called "Yo on E!". Take a look.)


Well, well, Fabian Pierre is expanding his repertoire at TV6 by now reading the 7pm news on the weekend. Not bad.
But Fabian your debut was marred by some fundamental errors of judgement in news gathering. On Friday evening, all the major television AND radio stations led their newscasts with the arrest of UNC A candidate Lennox Smith. On Saturday evening, TV6 was the ONLY station with video of Mr Smith emerging from the police station on Friday night, yet Keisha David's packaged story was buried in the newscast! Miss David, the credits at the end of the newscast show that you were the producer, and you had the opportunity to blow the competition out of the water by using that exclusive video as a lead, because both CNMG and CNC ran the very same story as a copy. Even your sister paper the Express had the Smith story on page 3 on Sunday. Lost opportunity.

Anyway Six led with the PNM political meeting from Friday night with the Prime Minister promising a state of the art highway network. What is so new about that? Yet both CNC 3 AND CNMG led with the Prime Minister's WIFE publicly defending him for the first time (at the same political meeting) on criticisms that he has dictatorial tendencies! We did not hear a word of this from Six.
Then all three stations reported on the UNC political meeting on Friday night. CNC and CNMG's main packages reported that Kamla Persad Bissessar told Christine Kangaloo that she knew a secret constitution existed. Yet TV6's take on the story was that Mrs Persad Bissessar stole the show by promising womens' rights and a whole host of other things if the UNC A wins the election (and it was just two soundbites with a bit of video, again buried in the newscast).

CNC's Sampson Nanton managed to scoop the competition with video of a verbal clash between supporters of the COP and the UNC A in the Chaguanas West constituency. Not a word from CNMG or TV6.

Finally Fabian, when there are technical difficulties you need to keep it professional. For some reason there were problems with the weather on Saturday evening and when your director went to black you were heard giggling loudly. Remember the rule is that your mic is live until you are told otherwise. And what are "showery" conditions?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Sophia Khan Daniel of Talk City 91.1/CNMG has a great voice.
But finally the station's viewers can figure that out without being distracted by the cleavage at 6am while she reads the news.
Thank you for keeping it professional.
And Sophia remember that you also have listeners who are not sitting in front of a television set and will not see your name flashing across their screens, so you and your stand-in news readers/presenters need to identify yourselves before or after your news updates.

Recently your colleague Fazeer Mohammed gave an explanation as to why his producers decided to let the viewers see all the activity that takes place in the radio studio during the morning simulcast. He claimed it was so that the viewers had an idea of what really went on in a radio studio without seeing random people walking around behind the presenter "waving and picking their noses".
Well Fazeer you have been guilty of what you accuse your competition (probably Gayelle) of. Unfortunately one morning while you were engaging in some very personal facial grooming, your director took a very clear shot of you. Don't you have monitors to let you know when you are on air? You need to take that up with your producer.

And Cordielle Street of CNC 3 it's nice to see you've reverted to your fitted jackets; you present a much prettier picture now.
But you need to keep an eye on the person who is putting up your written graphics. What is "Issuses For The Campaign Trail"? That graphic stayed up for quite a while one morning until someone finally got it right. And CNMG's telephone graphic saying "Online", to let viewers know that someone is being interviewed via telephone. Shouldn't that be "On The Line"? Online refers to the internet, not so?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


TV6, this is week two of the campaigning and we are still waiting to see live pictures from a political meeting on a week night that is not paid for by the UNC.
CNMG's Campaign 41 is beaming live video from Mayaro. Where are your pictures?


CNMG's Campaign 41 is still leading the pack with its elections coverage. Live pictures from the PNM's political meeting in Mayaro, as well as a sound bite from the Prime Minister and several live interviews with Curtis Williams. Kudos. You also had phone interviews with Golda Lee and Hema Ramkissoon, all centered on the allegations by COP candidate Gary Griffith. Where is your competition? And your question to the public tonight was very relevant: on the result of the Selwyn Ryan poll.

IETV and CNC 3 led with the death of the young boy who tried to save his goat. Actually this was a good lead because it is human interest and the death of a child is always headline news.
TV6 your lead story and People Meter question were questionable. The lead was the PTSC bus drivers' protest and you asked your viewers to say whether they agreed with the protest action. What was the justification for the lead?

IETV do you also have staffing problems? Melissa Williams, Giselle McIntyre and Nadine Hackett, as well as the young lady who reads the news seem to be working themselves to the bone. They are the only voices we hear besides Mr Morais on occasion. Nadine's piece on the San Juan Barataria constituency was not bad, but your stand up was very stiff. Fayola Bostik's (TV6 Extra) report on the two brothers contesting that same seat for opposing parties was a winner. Fayola take a bow. It was well written, you used interesting sound bites, and it did not drag on and on. The sound bite with the cousins agreeing to disagree with dignity was well chosen.

Curtis Williams you seemed rather nervous during your live report, and this translated to poor pronunciation: "thru" instead of through and Franklin "Kyan" for Khan.

Shabaka Kambon, your colleague Fabian Pierre should have warned you that too much intonation is just annoying and distracting to the viewer. You see-sawed through that entire Gary Griffith report. And at the end of your story on Winston Dookeran you committed a no-no; you wrote the obvious on the fact that COP supporters danced around and hugged the political leader. We saw it. There must have been a more creative way to end your story.
Neil Beekhee over at CNC 3 did a much better job with his story on La Brea. He stood with the Pitch Lake in the background and referred to the fact that Sir Walter Raleigh made history by using this country's pitch, then he linked that history to today, where the people of the area can once again make history with their vote in the election.
A word of advice though Neil, try not to turn your back to the camera when you want to point to your subject, and when you are interviewing people, you need to get to their eye level. The man playing cards had to look up at you, which is a no-no.

Samantha kudos to you for FINALLY giving your audience a transition from one story idea to the next, when you said "Moving away from politics..." when you transitioned from the UNC story to the fire officers.

Miss Ramdhanie, Media Watch did ask you to give the pin stripes a rest, but pitch black velvet? The colour was a bit too harsh for you and ended up accentuating the flaws in your make up. At least the fit was good, so maybe you could translate that to a softer colour. And Roger Sant, the knot on your neck tie was WAAAY too small! It looked like you borrowed the tie from Neil before he went to La Brea. A fatter knot would add some proportion to your face and neck.

Julian Rogers you are one of the best interviewers around. You had a difficult subject in Gary Hunte who gave monosyllabic answers, but you managed to draw him out to get the answers you needed.

And last but not least. Bobbi, Media Watch is not sure about the short sleeved chocolate jacket, but you looked good, and you need to watch your scripting. You said "Between them the three main parties...". A basic rule of grammar is: between is used when referring to two things, and among is used when referring to more than two things.
And kudos for the dramatic reduction in hand waving.


Miss D'Abadie, a German acquaintance of Media Watch has asked a question which we are unable to answer. So we are posting it for you to have a go at.
"Ist diese Dame auf den Nachrichten, die wie alt, wer auf dem links sitzt? Warum schaut sie, wie sie lange Tage und sleepless N├Ąchte hatte?"


Exactly two months ago Media Watch suggested to Fabian Pierre that he should get his bosses to get him a jacket that fit him properly. Well Media Watch is pleased to see that he took the advice to heart and is finally sporting a black jacket that looks like it was made for him, not Desmond Brown. Now if only Dr Job would follow the same advice.


OK Media Watch was hoping to stay away from this topic for a while, but there's just so much fodder that it could not be ignored.
Media Watch's list of best dressed tv personalities includes TV6's Andy Johnson, CNMG's Julian Rogers and a distant third place goes to CNC 3's Roger Sant. Keep it up guys; your dapper suits make you stand out from the crowd. (Sampson Nanton probably would have made the list too based on past experience, but we haven't seen him in months). Ladies, the men are showing you all up! You need to get stylists to help you pick the right outfit for your skin tone and body size.

But so far the few who aren't doing too badly are Bobbi Jeffrey-Hicks at TV6 and Golda Lee at CNMG. Their suits are not over-the-top and there's no token cleavage. Morning Edition's Keisha David is looking very dapper these days (thanks to some gentle hints from Media Watch). But Keisha you need to remove those sunglasses you insist on propping up in your hair on mornings; they are just as unnecessary as the clip board Media Watch scolded you about.
And Cherise D'Abadie finally got a suit in blue that complements her complexion; some of the others make her look older than she is. But Cherise ditch those HUGE pearl earrings which do not belong on a news set.

Cordielle Street of CNC 3 you are trying and you probably would have topped the ladies' list, but your choices are questionable sometimes like that school marm high-necked, pink floral top with the pink sweater AND pearls AND your grandmother's brooch (usually you are smart-looking in pin-striped suits). Then there's Talk City's Jessie Mae Ventour. Her suits just do not fit properly and the colours are too dark for her complexion.
Charlene Ramdhanie do you have anything to wear besides that grey pin-striped suit and the green inner piece? And Naette Lee you need to give the black and peach jackets a rest.
And while we are on C, someone needs to tell the plump young lady who reads the news on the Talk City/CNMG morning simulcast that it's not an entertainment show; she shows too much cleavage for a serious newscast.

For the rest of you, try to get a company-sponsored stylist or just search the net to get some tips on how to put your best-dressed foot forward. After all, you are in the limelight and even if your company does not pay attention to your wardrobe, trust us, your viewers are paying very close attention.

Monday, October 15, 2007


It's strange to see someone doing political interviews when their claim to fame is entertainment tv. Simone from CNMG started as a flight attendant, then turned to acting on local soap opera Westwood Park. When the station opened she hosted the Morning Ritual and is now the judge of the Digicel Rising Stars show...
she's known as 'Judge Dredd'.

Well now she's interviewing political candidates such as Vasant Bharath and Karen Bart-Alexander on CNMG's 'Campaign Trail'. Not your typical career path, but Media Watch can't imagine Paula Abdul interviewing US political heavyweights Barach Obama and Hilary Rodham-Clinton next to, say, Larry King and Anderson Cooper.
Well Simone I guess we'll have to wait and see how your career shift pans out. Wonder what was going through Karen and Vasant's minds when they showed up on the set and saw Judge Dredd? (Guess she's following in the footsteps of TV6's Sammy Jo, oops, Samantha John who started as a radio DJ.)

And Media Watch has been reliably informed that another tv personality, we'll call her Miss S. from WIN TV is soon expected to fly the coup to head to CNC 3. Recently WIN reportedly told staff it was closing its newsroom for a while, so several staff members went to other stations, including Bobbi Jeffrey-Hicks who is now at TV6. Well Miss S. just took a bit longer than the rest with the job hunting. We'll see.


Just thought you should know.


OK clearly Media Watch is not alone in its observations about the standard of media work and presentation in Trinidad and Tobago. Only recently Dale and Tony's conversation turned to the matter of pronunciation by television news presenters and one in particular. We'll spare you by not mentioning your name in this forum since more than 50 thousand people already know who you are.

Why do you persist in saying 'homocide' instead of 'homicide'? Why do you persist in saying 'saries' instead of 'series'? Why do you persist in saying 'may who' instead of 'Meighoo'? You need to get your act together, and this goes for all your other colleagues at all media houses who think they are number one! Your managers should hang their heads in shame every time they turn on their television sets. Why are they not exposing you to proper professional training to help you improve your craft????

It's a known fact that media managers in this country often take people with the bare minimum of media/journalism training and put them on the air because they sound good or look good. But your audience is very discerning and they are aware that all is not well. Take heed because there will always be new kids on the block who can do a much better job.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


CNMG seems to be winning the ratings war since the general election date was announced. On the very same night, C News began its Campaign 41 elections coverage. Sure the three main stations carried live coverage of the presentation of candidates from the three main parties, but C News is the only station that has given viewers live coverage (with video!) of the various political meetings during the week.

CNC 3 does not have the ability to go live on its own, therefore it's really a two horse race between C News and TV6 to see who can pull in and satisfy more viewers over the next few weeks.
Media Watch is of the view that C News is definitely leading the way. They have had live reports from all the main political meetings during the week, with reporters on the scene, interviews and live video from the platform. But what has TV6 done? Close to nothing! TV6 had telephone reports from Sharmilla Persad and several others on the campaign trail at the political meetings, but no live video until Friday night when the UNC presented its last batch of candidates. What's up with that TV6? You seem to be resting on your laurels, taking credit for being the number one television station during the last survey, but not living up to that in recent times. Don't you have a functioning elections plan in place?
And where was political reporter Sasha Mohammed on Friday night when the UNC was in St Augustine? Well we were introduced to Shamelia Thomas. Her picture is nice, but she gave too much unnecessary information at the top of her report, and she could do with some polishing on the voice.

And TV6 all the other stations had video from Prime Minister Patrick Manning's walkabout in his own constituency on Monday evening. At the end of the 7pm newscast on C News, there was video from Curtis Williams interviewing Mr Manning, but there was not a word from you on this, not even the next day. What happened there?
You need to pick it up during the coming week. Even your Morning Edition is going live to City Gate and the Beetham Highway to take comments on the elections race, yet you can't rustle up a night crew to go live to at least one political meeting? Steups!

Friday, October 12, 2007


What's up over at CNC 3? Rosemarie Sant are you experiencing staffing problems? How come your sports anchor Roger is voicing up so many regular news stories and interviewing political analysts? Is something wrong with Sampson? It's time to bring him out of the woodwork and put him to good use during the election.
By the way Rose, after all these years you don't know that writing and voicing one story for more than three minutes does not make it any better?
And Rosemarie why did you choose to do a packaged story from Kamla Persad Bissessar's speech at the UNC's Sunday rally for Monday night's newscast when Shelly Dass had already done a piece from the very same speech on Sunday night? Don't you think she did a good enough job?
PS Shelly, you need to pay attention to your wardrobe. Your jackets need a little tightening up so that they fit you better; too much loose cloth hanging around in the wrong places. Very distracting.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Media Watch has been looking on at the new elections fare on the various stations and we hate to say we told you so, but...we told you so! A few weeks ago Media Watch predicted that the powers that be at TV6 were waiting to reveal Bobbi Jeffrey-Hicks' role during the elections. Well her time has come with the TV6 Extra at 8pm. Interesting concept. Not the usual hard news, interview style of Campaign 41 over at C News. But Bobbi here are a few observations.

First, the focus of your show is ambiguous. Is it serious? Is it a 'dramedy'? Elections is serious business, and you need to move beyond conceptualisation and get a clear idea of what you want to do with that half hour of precious and expensive air time.

When you are introduced at the top of the 7pm news, why don't we get additional notice/teases of your show during the rest of the newscast? If some of your viewers tune in after the first five minutes of the 7pm news they will have no clue TV6 has additional fare at 8pm because no one says so until 7.59pm and there is not even a recorded piece during the commercial breaks. You are doing your show a disservice.

Your 'exclusive' story at the top of Extra is very interesting. On Monday you had information on Kamla Persad Bissessar's choice of music for the UNC rally, then you had the revelation about Jack Warner running for the Chaguanas West seat. But something is amiss here. Are you working in a parallel newsroom at TV6? How come the political guru Sasha Mohammed did not have those stories for the TV6 news? Anyway there is no evidence to show that anyone in this country tunes in to news at 8pm to get exclusive stories, so you are actually better off teasing your exclusive in the main newscast at 7pm then fleshing it out in Extra.

You also need to separate the editorial from the news. Case in point on Monday when you said, "Well hopefully a day will never come in Trinidad and Tobago when we assassinate our politicians."
Hmmm. Well Bobbi, when the Jamaat al Muslimeen stormed the parliament during the 1990 attempted coup and Diego Martin Central MP Leo Des Vignes was killed, technically that's an assassination. And when former Attorney General Selwyn Richardson was gunned down outside his home in 1995, again that's an assassination.
You also said, "When it comes to voting, teachers aren't that special (PAUSE)." Then you went on to say that TV6 thinks teachers are special. The scripting needs some work.

The soundbites for 'Coming of Age' and 'On the Money' are a bit too long; they seem to drag on and you could end up boring your viewers (and yes Sharmilla Persad, people who sit in front of television sets are VIEWERS not LISTENERS as you referred to them).

Whose idea was 'Vote for Me Too'? You ask the candidates what they think their chances are. Do you expect them to say they think they will lose? It's better to ask them a different question and just ask the constituents what they think the candidates have to offer.

The piece on the vendors was quite interesting, as well as Media Watch's favourite piece, 'Hook, Line and Singer'; that actually gives your show a light feeling after close to two hours of heavy news.

Your wardrobe is refreshing, especially the red jacket. The fit and the colour were good on you, but a bit overpowering with the background. And you wave your hands around too much. We know the entire show is scripted and you probably have to use your hands for punctuation, but not for the entire half hour!

So overall on a scale of one to ten, Media Watch gives you a six, more for effort than content.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


It may seem that Media Watch is picking on TV6, but this is not so. Media Watch just sees that there is room for improvement at this and all the stations, and will continue to toe that line until the powers at be pay attention.

Why is the lead story on the News at Noon usually a murder? This is the silly season and politics is the order of the day.
On Monday when Stephen Cadiz announced that he was leaving the UNC Alliance, your lead story was a murder. When he was part of the Alliance you hung on his every word, so why was he suddenly not important enough to be your lead? CNC 3 led with it, and the TV6 mic flag was prominently displayed at his press conference, so what was the problem? Well eventually you got around to Mr Cadiz as story number five at noon, AFTER protesting Tobago teachers and after the analysts from your morning show. At least it was rectified for seven and he turned out to be the lead.

Then on Tuesday when Petrotrin workers were protesting and there seemed to be a looming gas shortage, once again your lead story at noon was a murder. What was the murder victim's name again? Media Watch is not trying to diminish the value of a human life, but in hindsight, which stories do you really think were more important at the national level?

Monday, October 8, 2007


Media Watch has been reading the dailies, weeklies and all and sundry newspapers and finds it truly disturbing that those touted to be the best often go to print with so many mistakes.
This is an open letter to Keith Smith of the Sunday Express.
On pages three, four and five of the paper dated October 7th there are numerous typographical errors. Who is checking and double checking to make sure everything is OK?
Anna Ramdass, page 3 - "...who will who be contesting the election...'; "...are will now be contesting electoral seats."
Kristy Ramnarine, page 3 - "...lightning flashed and thundered rolled..."; " shelter the rain under the various tents...".
Richard Charan, page 4 - "...placed the blame on the death on the sugar industry at Panday feet,...".
page 5 - "...which Panday promised to reveal tomorrow at the rally..."(the rally was Sunday).
And last but not least, Juhel Browne's page three story where he is recapping the Prime Minister's speech. He says "...People's National Movement (PNM) supporters who appeared to fill Woodford Square,...". Juhel it's either they filled the square or they didn't.


Juhel Browne of the Express did well to get a follow up story on Ken Valley for the Sunday paper. Mr Valley was of course missing in action from the PNM's rally at Woodford Square on Saturday, and according to Juhel's story he was holding an emergency meeting with some of his constituents while the rally was taking place.
Where were the tv cameras?


Kamla Persad Bissessar clearly stole the show at the UNC's presentation of candidates. But who recognised this?
The television producers did their viewers a disservice by not showing any reaction shots from the platform while Mrs Persad Bissessar was delivering her heart felt speech. They can argue that it was a paid political event and varied shots would have been limited during the live feed, but where were the news cameras to capture the shots that were needed for the news stories???

C News and CNC 3 produced packaged stories from the Opposition Leader's speech, but TV6 chose to give their viewers just one sound bite from Mrs Persad Bissessar, one from Basdeo Panday, then they went straight into soundbites from Patrick Manning and Prakash Ramadhar from the PNM and COP rallies on SATURDAY! What was the point of going back to those stale soundbites when they were already splashed across the newspapers? Twenty four hours too late TV6. And once again Cherise D'Abadie failed to indicate to her viewers that there was a shift in focus, as she went straight from Basdeo Panday to Patrick Manning speaking one day earlier without batting an eyelid.

A good follow up from CNC 3 was the farewell church service for Eddie Hart. They were the only ones with video and an interview with the outgoing MP.

Well Ria Taitt of the Newsday was way ahead of the pack in her reporting on the UNC rally. The front page picture showed the Opposition Leader with her upraised clenched fist with the headline "NO WOMAN, NO CRY", and Ria's story gave a good synopsis of her speech.
The Guardian had the same headline and a similar picture, but their main story was Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj being welcomed back into the UNC fold.
The Express however missed the boat. Their headline was "SWEET ORANGE" with a wraparound of crowd shots on the front, and ON THE BACK, a smaller shot of Mrs Persad Bissessar holding hands with Jack Warner and Basdeo Panday. Their main story as well was that Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj had returned to the party and was criticizing the COP.

TV6...a word to the wise. Maybe you need more resources out in the field as Sasha Mohammed found a novel way of indicating to Dr Tim Gopeesingh that she was ready to interview him at Mid Centre Mall during one of her few live segments. In the absence of a producer/assistant...she snapped her fingers at him. Unfortunately for her...the cameraman went to a wide shot and the director took the shot at the very moment she was snapping her fingers at Dr Gopeesingh. A little too casual, don't you think Sasha?


The PNM, COP and UNC all presented their election candidates over the weekend (UNC teased us with half their number), and the major television stations carried live coverage.
TV6 though had reporters on the scene at Woodford Square (Charlene Stuart), Skinner Park (Sasha Mohammed), and Sasha again at Mid Centre Mall, as well as in-studio guests. What happened at CNC3 and CNMG?

There was not much time for the reporters to do their thing because of the nature of the broadcasts, but Miss Stuart you did well to get Fitzgerald Hinds to comment on his participation at the PNM rally, and Miss Mohammed got several of the COP members to respond as well. However Miss Stuart, Media Watch has often chastised your colleague Sasha for looking away from the camera when doing her live or recorded reports. You looked away too much during your 7pm report; this was very distracting. And what was up with the lack of lighting on you? It was clear that you were positioned near the stage light, so only half of your face was clearly visible, while Sasha had a light on her so bright that she looked like a ghost! And Sasha, Media Watch is sure you called Carolyn Seepersad Bachan by the wrong name when you wrapped up your interview with her, and why did you look directly at the camera when posing a question to Selby Wilson who was standing right next to you? Perhaps the question was just way too long and you had to look at the field teleprompter? Next time keep the question short and to the point.

Well the 7pm news brought disparate views of what took place.
CNC3 led with the Prime Minister saying that the opposition parties did not demonstrate a commitment to developing the country. TV6 on the other hand led with a soundbite from the Prime Minister boasting that only the PNM could draw such a large crowd to Woodford Square. C News' Charlene Ramdhanie's packaged story dealt with some of the main candidates. At one point she was speaking about Eddie Hart and Esther Le Gendre, but we saw Dr Keith Rowley and Howard Chin Lee. She went on calling names but we saw only shots of the crowd. What happened with the editing there Charlene? The candidates were presented long before 5pm, and long before your newscast.
And TV6 after those first two soundbites from the PNM rally you practically went to other news...then to sport. What about the COP rally?


Miss Ramdhanie at C News kudos to you for the improved polished look and sound. Your makeup looks good and you have finally realised (whether through Media Watch's prodding or some training) that shouting at your audience does not suggest that you are authoritative. Keep it up.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Media Watch has clearly been neglecting mail and the feedback. Here's another.

Fabian said...
I came across this post today, and have to admit two things: 1, I found it quite hilarious, adn 2, I appreciated every bit of criticism that came my way for mispronunciations of words like "Nice". To err is human, but to progress is the greatest facet of humanity.
I hold myself totally accountable for not PROPERLY reheasing my scripts that day, but in my defense, they (sport) came at the eleventh hour, and i did not skim through. No excuse on one hand, but a reason on the other. Thank you, and please keep the criticisms coming! I look forward to the challenge to increase my wherewithal and professionalism.




Our inbox is full. Here is what a "Media Worker" wrote:

You should be careful reporting what those "birdies" tell you. My understanding is that Charise opted out of her contract with CNC for reasons that have nothing to do with Shelly. Both Charise and Shelly are respected professionals and to suggest some kind of animosity is salacious and counterproductive. Not only is it unfair to both of them to post unsubstantiated gossip, but i would suggest that you have your facts straight when calling people's professional credibility into question in a public space such as this. You could end up in court.

And it's always good to remember that some "birdies" have agendas.

Good to see someone doing this though. Hopefully it will keep the local media on their toes. Good luck.

We'll give Shelly a call, after all everyone has a right to reply here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


This is the last publication dealing with this issue. We have had enough email, alright, hate-mail, naming almost everyone. Is it Colleen, maybe it's Rose herself, Natalie Williams anyone? What about Jones P.? Media Watch inbox is filled. Media Watch would only say everyone whose name has been mentioned should probably be flattered. Today, we publish no more letters but let this serve as a warning this is the final installment in this guessing game that we will tolerate. Go whisper among yourselves, or for that matter, go clean up your stories. There is always room for improvement. Don’t shoot the messenger.


We have been getting lots of emails about who we are. We will share our amusement with you, here’s another email. Again, it’s an edited copy.

Dear Colleagues,
It has to be Sunity Maharaj. She is the only one capable of such comments. She is the only person who has worked in every newsroom. Think about it. It has to be Sunity.

A Colleague,

We actually like these pseudo names. We are also in your newsroom.


It's nice to see the old Naette back. Naette, good to see your hair pulled back. Your jacket, make-up and accessories looked really nice. Media Watch still thinks the nose ring has no place while you are on the news-set. Hema, good piece on Ramesh. Good to see so many stand-ups on C News. C, good election coverage so far. You had updates from all the critical points, Golda at COP’s meeting, Curtis live, Charlene’s earlier piece. Well done C.


Forgive us for posting this so late. It came to the mail box on September 3. Media Watch had not checked the email in a while so that's why this piece is only now being posted. It's an edited version because Media Watch doesn’t believe in maligning people's name. Media Watch is more concerned about constructive criticism. Media Watch is flattered since the writer by her own admission admits that Media Watch observations are correct.

Here’s the letter:

Fellow journalists,
It is with deepest regret that I write to inform you that the person you’ve idolized - the author of the media watch blog – is a charlatan.
When the site first began posting blogs, I know many of you were very excited to read the content.
In fact, you actually looked forward to seeing what Media Watch would post next with great anticipation.
Unfortunately for all, the author turns out to be some “little” person who finally got a window to air personal grievances.
I’ll now address some victims.
Charlene Ramdhanie, you have a beautiful voice and your stories are well written.
But I do agree to a small extent that maybe your voice is too strong for anchoring.
Naette Lee, I LOVE the change with your hair. You look neat and you do well as the face of C News.
Sasha Mohammed, the brush up is a good idea.
And who are you kidding Madame Author, we know you’re employed with TV 6.

A colleague,
Stephanie Garcia.