Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Media Watch would have thought reporters would use the slower pace of the holidays to hone their writing skills, the editors to hone their skills on video and the producers to give us a wide range of stories other than blood, gore and politics.

On Wednesday night, Charlene Ramdhanie of C News told us of a murder in Diego Martin. But what did we see for the entire 30 seconds of video on the screen? A close up shot of a canal and someone standing with their back to the camera, and another close up shot of a piece of broken green bottle. Not a single establishing shot of the area so viewers could figure out where the incident took place.

Then Natalie Briggs gave us what could have been a really interesting story of a couple celebrating 50 years of marriage. But the writing and the editing left much to be desired. She did not tell us how many children or grandchildren the couple has, and we saw the couple in one position for the entire story: sitting side by side on two separate chairs. They were handed wedding rings by a small boy whom we assume is their grandson, then there was an interview with their daughter who stood between the couple, and the C News mic flag was stuck in her face, so we know your camera crew was there.
So. Where were the other shots to cover the story? Where were the shots of the jubilant relatives inside the house or even on the verandah? Not a single establishing shot of the house. So they lived 50 years in this one little room? What did they do their entire lives? Were they professionals? Labourers? Stay at home parents? Too many unanswered questions.

Elizabeth Williams Allard of TV6 ventured to Charlotteville to once more hear the people say that the authorities do not care about them. At least this time we got both sides of the story: villagers as well as the Agriculture and Infrastructure Secretaries of the THA.
But Elizabeth, does your cameraman know how to white balance? We understand that the place must have been overcast, but your video was black and blue, like it had taken a real beating. We couldn't see anyone's face properly, except at the very end of the story, and it seems that the cameraman shot the interviewees with their backs to the natural light.

Samantha John, please don't say respectively, as in "...8.3 and 2.6 percent respectively.". You confuse your viewers because they have to go back in their minds to figure out what you are referring to as 8.3 then 2.6, then they miss anything you say after that because they are doing mental gymnastics.

Ah Shabaka Kambon again. So the former general from Latin America "...had been resident at a hospital since early December..."? Is that a five star facility? Can we have the address?

TV6 you ran a story on poor Christmas sales at groceries in Port of Spain, but why didn't you use that story for your Inside Business segment instead of the generic story from the BBC on cars?
Then for the headline Samantha said "...many opt for the beach on boxing day...", but we did not see any shots of the beach; instead we saw a shot of people walking on the Brian Lara promenade and cars in Port of Spain.

Perhaps the highlight of the night was Charlene Ramdhanie of C News. She looks a lot more composed, mature and professional and her presentation has improved immensely. Keep it up.