Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The Newsday reported on Wednesday that US actress/singer Queen Latifah's jewelry was stolen from her room at the exclusive Stone Haven Villas in Tobago.
Reporter Nalinee Seelal told us "Queen Latifah, however, returned to her villa at about 12 noon and discovered that her US$10,000 bracelet, two gold rings, a gold chain and a silver ring had gone missing...Investigators...went to the villa and took a statement from Queen Latifah, who said the jewelry had a sentimental value to her and expressed her willingness to offer a reward. The upset star hoped to have her jewelry returned before she leaves Tobago today."

The story is also being quoted from the Newsday on MSNBC's online entertainment page.

But in the 7pm newscast on Wednesday on TV6, we were told that the jewelry actually belongs to a companion of Latifah and not the star herself.
The Thursday Express has that story by Elizabeth Allard: "It was not American actress/singer Queen Latifah who was robbed at the Stone Haven Villas in Black Rock, but a member of her entourage. This was confirmed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (Tobago) Nadhir Khan yesterday. The incident occurred on Sunday but was only realised Monday morning when checks were made."

So which version is correct?

The story is also being reported on the eonline site, but they are also reporting that the jewelry belongs to Latifah's companion: "According to a staff member at the Stone Haven Villas, the posh resort in Black Rock, Tobago, where the 38-year-old Latifah had been staying in a three-bedroom villa with a family member, the items taken did not belong to the Last Holiday star, but to her companion."

Was this a case of the Newsday running with the story before the true facts unfolded? Miss Seelal was probably told that the items were stolen from the star's room, and she assumed that meant they belonged to her.


The Guardian has debuted a new online look for 2009 (just one day ahead).
Not bad. Guess this was what they were working on months ago when someone inadvertently posted the beta page on the net. The page posted still says beta though.
Tell us what you think of the new look.


The last post caused quite a stir and we received several stirring comments. Here's a taste of some of them:

"To call her materialistic and to insult people you don't know, shows you need to get a life of your own."
(K. Hernandez)

"As for wikipedia, something is terribly wrong with that site, since it says Samantha John is married to Patrick Manning, and Shelly Dass is married to an American football player. Last time, we in Trinidad and Tobago checked, Patrick and Hazel Manning are married, and Shelly Dass is married to Robert Clarke, who is a well known journalist, not an American football player. That site is garbage. Is it a trini thing, or just a base human instinct to attack people who are easy targets like Samantha and Shelly?" (A. Williams)

"What is really going on with this blog lately? I thought you (we by virtue of participation) were about making constructive criticism, not personal or character attacks? Who is this "AD" person? He or she needs to concentrate maybe on making themselves a better person, and finding better things to do with their time, than clearly holding on to old high school grudges. You, "AD" need to grow up a bit." (Trini)

"Hmmm....wikipedia says Shelly Dass was given a jaguar for a bonus from Ansa McAl. Should we believe that about her too? Wikipedia says Samantha John is married to Patrick Manning with four children. Well, "AD" whoever you are, you clearly have been keeping abreast of current affairs in Trinidad and Tobago to hold wikipedia up as the gospel truth. Do you pray to wikipedia at night as well? What a sad person you must be to believe wikipedia, and mock and insult people based on what's written about them. That's like that government minister the other day in the parliament, standing up and reading a wikipedia definition for something. The point is, wikipedia is an encyclopedia compiled by ordinary people, many of whom would have an axe to grind with some poor person or another. It's not the bible, and surprise surprise, the subject like Shelly and Samantha likely have little to do with the garbage that's written about them." (Coffee)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


This reader has an issue with CNC 3 co-anchor Shelly Dass-Clarke's wikipedia profile.

"I'm home for the holidays and can't help but look at the local media and all its amusing characters.
"My cousin was showing me the wikipedia profile of a former classmate of hers (Shelly Dass) and she was having a good laugh that at 35, Shelly Dass cannot seem to get beyond the silly, materialistic, insecure schoolgirl she was when she was in high school.
The profile is clearly written by Shelly, and we are amused that she seemed to want to show that she was "successful" for someone so young. She has no idea about the numerous international figures who have published critically acclaimed books, appear on international tv and excel in the many other professions at very young ages?
And then that "million dollar beachfront wedding" to an "important family in Port of Spain". My God.
"(Just as an aside, what 'important family does Mr Clarke belong to? Because we've checked and not only are the Clarkes not really known in the local (much less regional and international) business sectors, but also, we've found no original colonial building named after his family, and no coat of arms attached to his family crest.)
"Shelly needs to realise that standard interviewing may be impressive for the apparently nepotistic Ansa McAl group, but it is amateur beyond reason in general.
And from what we understand, there are so many other deserving journalists in that company of accolades, but Shelly's face fits the profile of what is desired in the
Sabga-run company. You all know that discrimination is quite prevalent in T&T to date.
"Anyway, Happy New Year to the bloggers and keep up the good work."

Well wikipedia has had its share of people editing sites and embellishing with information that may or may not be true. Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report caused a stir a couple of years ago when he edited a site during his show just to prove a point.

So which other media workers have been embellishing their wikipedia sites?


Thanks Onika James of the Newsday for bringing some clarity to the many questions we posed after we read the initial stories on the stabbing incident outside an Arouca bar on Saturday.
"...Kelly-Ann Lucio, the sister of Kerwin Lucio, gave a different version of the events. Two guys came to the bar with two girls who were dressed up real sexy. Two fellas who were liming with my brother began harassing the girls, and one of the guys who they came with got vex, and began to rail up. My brother slapped him.

"“A short while later all of them calm down, and my brother went to get a drink for the same guy who he slapped. When Kerwin was coming out with the two beers he saw one of the men who was with the girls stabbing Al and that is where the thing start. It had nothing to do with no glass on no car hood.”"

But in his story in the Monday Express, Gyasi Gonzales sticks to his original script that the incident was sparked by an errant drink: "Police say the attack was triggered when one of Hospedales's friends placed his drink on a man's car, causing the man to become quite enraged. There was a fight between the car owner and the drinker. Hospedales, along with Patrick Holder, Kerwyn Lucio and Al Edmond, aka Rod Edmond, an ex-murder accused, reportedly tried to cool things down. The enraged motorist, however, drew a knife and stabbed Hospedales, Edmond, Holder and Lucio."

Saturday, December 27, 2008


We're hoping that the new year brings some clarity to fact-finding and telling in the local media.
The brother of a government minister was critically stabbed outside an Arouca bar on Saturday morning. However the details surrounding the event have once again been re-interpreted by various media houses.
Both stories in the Sunday editions of the Express and Newsday begin similarly.
Here's the lead paragraph written by Gyasi Gonzales of the Express: "A COLD beverage placed on the bonnet of a man's car led to the stabbing death of an ex-murder accused and the wounding of three other men-one of them the brother of a junior government minister."
And here's what Onika James of the Newsday wrote: "The simple act of placing a glass on someone’s car yesterday led to the fatal stabbing of one man, and the wounding of three others, including the brother of a Government minister."

But once again, the reader is left confused about the ensuing facts.
Mr Gonzales tells us: "...the killer, known only as "Cyat Eye" remained at large up to press time last night...(Al) Edmond, Patrick Holder, Kerwyn Lucio and Dane Hospedales...were liming opposite the bar...The Sunday Express was told that someone from the Edmond group placed a glass containing rum and coke on the bonnet of the killer's car. This reportedly enraged the man and he walked up to a member of the group and slapped him...Edmond...was instead stabbed in the chest. Holder, Lucio and Hospedales approached and they too were stabbed by the enraged car owner. "

But Ms James tells us: "According to reports Edmond, and his friends Patrick Holder, Dane Hospedales, and Kerwin Lucio aka “Cateye” were liming in the vicinity of La Luna Bar...a man placed his drinking glass on Lucio’s car. Eyewitnesses said Lucio became enraged, and an altercation ensued. Edmond attempted to make peace between Lucio, and the stranger who walked away from Lucio, but bottles were thrown. A short while later the stranger walked up to Lucio, and began stabbing him about the body...Edmond, Holder, and Hospedales rushed to Lucio’s assistance, and received several stabs about their bodies."

So which version of the event is correct?
Whose car was at the centre of the melee? Was "Cyat Eye/Cateye" the murderer or one of the victims? Who was stabbed first: Edmond or Lucio? Is the dead man's name spelt 'Edmond' (as in the Express & Newsday) or 'Edmund' as in the Guardian? How old was he: 28 (Express) or 29 (Guardian)? What time did the incident occur: 6:45 (Express & Newsday) or 7:45 (Guardian)? What kind of weapon was used: a knife (Express) or a broken bottle (Guardian)?


Once again Lennox Grant proves his prowess with the pen (or keyboard) in his weekly Guardian column, where he's extolling the virtues of those forgotten fruits of his childhood: "Downs. Stemmed globules of gold and crimson and green had been left in the dust, or mashed by indifferent shoe heels, or had rolled unnoticed, untouched, and untouchable, into the gutter."


Thanks for clearing the air on this one, Trini.

"I realise even though the administrators of this site strive for accuracy, even they too get it wrong from time to time, so just to clear the air on the prime minister's return, he did not come back at 12 noon as one newspaper reported and as this site is also quoting in response to C News' late mention that Dr Lenny Saith was a member of the welcoming party at Piarco.

"CNC3 was the only station with footage of the prime minister's arrival at Piarco. Sampson Nanton who must have had a big tip-off (unlike most Cabinet ministers), that the prime minister was returning, carried shots of Dr Saith together with Ministers Conrad Enill and Paula Gopee-Scoon waiting for the prime minister. It was a well detailed report showing all the activity before the prime minister arrived (clearly shot from upstairs in the eating area), as well as the arrival of the jet, the prime minister and his wife on the tarmac greeting the welcoming party and Mr Manning's classic wave before leaving for the diplomatic centre. Sampson clearly quoted that while Dr Saith had been waiting since before noon, the prime minister touched down at 2 pm (hence the reason for the 2.30 press conference in which the prime minister did say that he came straight from the airport). It appears that C News was only playing catching up the next day after being well scooped.

"So kudos to Sampson and CNC3 for a job well done. Either their sources are very high up, or somebody showed good judgement to check out the airport after learning that the prime minister's office called a press conference that (according to my media sources) came with a request for live coverage. Their coverage on Christmas Eve proved that while everyone was caught up in the season, real journalists were still at work uncovering what to me was the biggest scoop of the year."

And our original question stills stands: even if C News wanted to play catch-up, what was the point of telling us more than 24 hours later that Dr Saith was in the welcoming party? So what? And wouldn't that have been expected since he was holding the fort in Mr Manning's absence?

Friday, December 26, 2008


C News, what was the point of telling us in a 20 second voice over at 7:15pm on Thursday December 25th that Dr Lenny Saith was part of the welcoming party for Prime Minister Patrick Manning at the Piarco Airport, when Mr Manning arrived from Cuba around noon on Wednesday December 24th?
Slow news day?


It would be great if media people could define the terms they use everyday so they don't confuse viewers, listeners and readers when those terms are used ambiguously.
Case in point: "Police Killing".
Now when you hear that term, what's the first thing that comes to mind? For us it's the image of dozens of heavily armed, black or blue-clad police officers speeding into a community, jumping out of jeeps and shooting up the place, leaving bodies and angry residents in their wake.
What does NOT come to mind though is an off duty police officer in plain clothes cutting grass, getting into an argument with three people and subsequently shooting them, leaving one dead.
Suffice it to say that this little lesson is purely for the benefit of TV6's Sharmilla Persad.
Miss Persad's lead story on Christmas night was titled "Police Killing"....a police officer shoots a man dead in Arima and injures his mother and brother. There was no indication in the lead up to that packaged story that the officer was off duty (or a private citizen at the time) and that the incident was a personal dispute. You gave your viewers the distinct impression that this policeman went into the area with his colleagues (perhaps on a raid) and shot up the place, leaving one man dead, when nothing could be further from the truth. Steups!

Here's how Angelo Marcelle of the Guardian opens his story: "One man is dead and his mother and brother are in critical condition after being shot by a policeman during a dispute, yesterday."
Gyasi Gonzales of the Express begins his story by telling us: "AN enraged senior police officer shot and killed a father of seven, and wounded the dead man's mother and brother during an argument."
So as they begin their stories they tell us a police officer is involved, but they dispel any doubt that this incident took place in the line of duty.
Here's an article in the Newsday of what can truly be described as "police killings".

So now that we have the technical terms out of the way, it's time for us to once again look at the variations in the facts of a story.
Mr Gonzales tells us: "The incident occurred around 10 a.m. yesterday at Demerara Road, Arima. The off-duty superintendent was clearing some bush off a portion of land when he got into an argument with Ashley Charles, 27, who lived nearby, a police report said. Near to Charles were his mother, Joan Charles, 44, and his brother, Macay, 22."
Yet Mr Marcelle's account of the incident is this: "Reports stated that around 8.30 am an off-duty officer was cleaning bushes at his Arima home when he was accused of crossing a boundary and entering another yard. Investigators said Francesca Charles, 49, confronted him about coming into her land. Residents said an argument escalated between the two, when the officer pulled out his firearm and shot the women (sic) in the chest. On hearing the commotion, Charles’ two sons, Ashley, 25, and Mark, rushed to the scene and they, too, were allegedly shot by the officer, residents claimed."

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Thanks Express for the free newspaper on Christmas Day. Now if only we could work something out for the rest of the year.
Merry Christmas all.


Hopefully this will be the last response we have on this particular "discussion".

"WHAT THE BLOODY HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Though I am offended at Petron's comments I am also amused at the silly notions being echoed here. I DO NOT HAVE A CRUSH ON FABIEN PIERRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that the air is cleared, Petron, please let us put an end to this stupid squabble because truth and in fact we are really arguing over nothing, I forgive you.

"Might I also add that I am indeed 19 years old, full name Denzil Ramdass (you can search me on Facebook and see that I am very real). I am not a student studying journalism but rather I am pursuing a BSc. Pharmacy. Journalism is my passion but due to the low salary it pays, I have decided to keep it real and pursue a career which is more feasible and in which I find happiness.

"There...... enough about me, anyone else cares to elaborate about themselves lol. Thanks as well Allison, whoever you be for your comments. Please again I resound the call for professionalism in our comments, let us as Petron has previously said, keep it real.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Bright and Prosperous New Year."



This reader has a comment about a suspicious description of Chris Gayle.

"On 22 (December) Monday night, TV6 Sports' Vinod Narwani must have ran out of superlatives to describe West Indian cricket captain, Chris Gayle. It was the first time I ever heard the stoutly built Gayle described as tall and "pencil thin".
I guess an oak tree is tall and pencil thin too Vinod."


Monday, December 22, 2008


Nazma Muller of the Express is exploring the issue of pornography in a three part series, the final installment titled Religion and porn is published in the Tuesday edition.
In part two, titled "The Miseducation of Leon Hill", Nazma gives us a quote from interviewee "Mark", who says he buys most of his porn in New York but the rest he buys from a guy in Arouca for about $15 per DVD.
Well Nazma we would like to suggest you go to that DVD store in Arouca and find out from the retailer if his Christmas sales (to young and old) have seen any dramatic spike, since you gave exact details on where he can be found. The parents of your young readers must be really happy right about now.
Is that your contribution to sex education, hence the reason for the question at the end of your story: "Do you think sex education is the answer to addressing problems like porn addiction?"?


We got a good look at the C 7pm newscast on Monday, and truly it left a lot to be desired.
First off, Roger Dwarika seems to be going head to head with TV6's Fabien Pierre to see who can do the most stand-ups. Guys here's a note: it's not necessary for every story. Roger, it was not necessary for the follow up landslip story in Maracas because you did a stand up in almost the same spot already.
The stand up actually would have been better at the site of the pink (or was that orange?) guesthouse where you interviewed the owner who said the driveway and the gallery became separated from the house because of the landslip. But alas you told us "Our camera could not make it down the slippery slope...", so we only got a shot of the ladder leading to the house, a very far away shot of the house, and you and the interviewee disappearing into the bushes. Steups! What was the problem with the cameraman handing you the camera then climbing down the ladder, then taking the camera back from you as you both made your way down to where we the viewers could see the best shots of the damage to the man's home?
That part of your report was totally useless and should have been done as a copy because the viewers were left totally in the dark.

The other story which grabbed our attention was the one-man protest outside T&TEC's office by the Mayaro resident. The gentleman made some accusations against the company about the increase in his monthly bill, then there was a soundbite from a female customer corroborating the man's claims with her own experience of the company affecting "poor people". The third soundbite was from a customer who had an opposing view, saying that some people are illiterate and just don't know how to read their new bills.
Well did your "reporter" or the person holding the microphone attempt to get a response on the protester's claims from the company? We saw shots of people entering and leaving T&TEC's office, but no sign of a company official and no word in the story that your reporter attempted to contact T&TEC for a response. So what was the point of the story? Just to show someone protesting? Steups! Whoever wrote that story should probably get some tips from the Action Line columnist in the Express, who outlines readers' complaints then gives us responses from the offending entities.
Anyway, there was a press release from T&TEC last week that affected customers will be credited. We are guessing that neither the reporter nor the protester saw that story.

The redeeming quality of the newscast was the Lee sisters who looked really professional, though we are still coming to terms with Naette reading sport.

And perhaps the most annoying story (this time on TV6) was that of the falling boulder which flattened two cars and damaged a home in Glencoe. Dominic Kalipersad read the introduction to the story, and of course when you hear something as incredulous as that, the first thing you want to see is the flattened cars.
But alas, Leeron Brumell decided that the first thing the viewers should see was a 15 second soundbite from one of the affected drivers (BTW with NO cover shots of the car, just the interviewee for 15 seconds with some bush in the background). Did anyone actually hear what he said? We don't think so, because if they were like us they were cussing out the reporter for not giving us the shot as soon as the story started! Leeron, what possessed you to start your story with a soundbite? Steups! Maybe if you had a shot of the driver standing in front of the car holding his head and bawling that would have been perfect, or even an interview with the guy with the car clearly visible in the background. Again, steups!

Your colleague at the Express Peter Christopher tells us of one of the residents: 'Chin said they heard noise like if "something was running through the forest up there, then we just hear boom!"'
Notice where his quotation marks are? Peter it sounds as if you were describing the situation to one of your colleagues when you got back to the office and in your excitement decided to go with the vernacular description. Hmmmm.

And while photos and videos show that the two cars damaged were a Hyundai Matrix and a Nissan Almera, for some reason the Guardian's Kyle Jeremiah tells us "The second vehicle was a Mazda 323."
And the Newsday's caption for one of the photos for the story tells us that the owner of the home which was partially damaged by the falling boulder also suffered damage to his vehicle. Where did that come from? As far as we are aware and based on reports in other parts of the media, only two vehicle owners were affected: Camille Holder (owner of the Matrix) and Keino Pollidore (owner of the Almera).


Hmmm, since the gloves have come off, here's a response to the 'tiff'.

"....tis the season to be jolly....fa la la la la....why cant we all just get along? kiss and makeup people."



Hmmm. Here's a response.

"Ah Allison Deonath, lol if is one thing I give you credit for is that you know how to keep it real. So because the faceless poster said he/she is a UWI student you believe that is the case? Are you responding because it's your relative or child? That's not important. I too can get a few University workers at Universities considered to be higher up on the academic pyramid to respond to your post, but my maturity will not permit me to do so.

"And you're right, "DR" now that we learn is a boy name Denzil, probably has a crush on a cute Fabien Pierre, lololol. Trust me if "DR" is cute too, the chemistry would make something work out between the two.

"Allison you lack depth--- probably cute and other things other than academic landed you your post, if in fact that's where you work. As for the rest of your rants...Yaaaawwwwwwnnnnnn.


"Oh, Ms Allison Deonath, forgive my manners. My name is Petron Holder. (see, I have no problems saying my name. Now you know I got balls. :)"


Sunday, December 21, 2008


Here's one for PH following the last comment.

"This battle between PH and DR is quite amusing. DR at least had the cajones to say that he/she is a student at UWI and is only 19 years old. But "PH" chooses to attack the child for liking a Tv station. PH claims he/she is a media personnel..why not say who you are if you are supposed to be a public figure.

"And to assault a young child for his/her opinions (however flawed you may perceive him/her to be) is quite surprising and contradictory to your stance as a media worker whose job hallmarks are fairness, (impartiality) and openmindedness.
Why be so vicious towards this child for simply saying he/she likes TV6NEWS? Sounds to me like that child (I'm guessing it's a girl) has a little crush on Fabian Pierre and decided to do something to praise him. But if she/he likes the station as much as is said, that is her entitlement. PH, you also complain about the promotion of mediocrity..when your OWN rants against DR are ironically a demonstration of that very mediocrity. Again, say who you are if you claim to be such an expert you attack a child with an innocent crush on a cute boy! How banal.

"It's noteworthy that TV6 harsh critic, Trini, has so far not bothered to respond, possibly showing maturity and some degree of sense.
But then again, these attacks on the child by PH may have a very simple explanation...are you a former employee of TV6 who did not get your own way there and now react as an employee scorned? Are you a media personnel at a less popular station/news institution and angry you cannot get a job in TV6?
Or are you just some useless, run of the mill reporter who is yet to make any kind of national/public impact, hence your fear of using your name and going brave?
Why don't you find a story to write that may make this blog site praise you, if you truly want to make productive use of your time."

"Allison Deonath"
"Former Trinidadian resident"
"Currently a Management student at an Ohio university."

"(See, identification of oneself isn't so hard to do)."

Actually Allison, DR is male, first name Denzil.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


One more time....

""DR", Please find another blog to promote your rants. Your age and inexperience is evidence that you have a lot to learn about media. On this blog we keep it real, and those of us with more than a decade of experience in media who post here know what a good story is and what good media is. And this is why we critique. Please do not water down this good effort.

"I repeat, stop giving praise to mediocrity and ordinary work. I agree with you too, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

"Nuff said."



Well PH, DR is not very impressed with your comment.

"PH, why is it that you continue to pull me down? As "trini" said everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Come on PH, let us keep this at a professional level and try not to pull each other down in our comments and opinions. It is okay to differ in our views but I would not accept that I am mediocre for I AM NOT. And no I am neither Fabien Pierre nor a doctor but as I said in a previous post that I am currently a full time student at UWI so work out the logistics, (hint, I'm only 19 years old). And I shall not tolerate any kind of comments like that you have directed to me.
If I am in love with TV6, you cannot do anything about it. If you love CNC3, I cannot do anything about that either. So please guys, come on, let us be professional in our comments and not attack each other just because we differ in our views. What do you think Martine?"

"TV6's #1 fan,"
"DR (ie my INITIALS :P)"

Our response: 100% agree.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Okay, here's one for C News. In the Friday night newscast, the poll question was "Should the authories be blamed for floodings?"
That was the question scrolling across the bottom of the tv screen for the entire newscast, yet when the question was shown full screen, the grammar was correct.
So the person who can't spell typed in the information for the scrolling bar? And not one single person in that entire newsroom or studio noticed that the scrolling bar had incorrect grammar?


Here's a response to DR's comment.

""DR", Hopefully those initials are just that, initials, cause they are a poor representative of what the respectable acronym Dr. means so far.

"I expect mediocrity to praise mediocrity. After all isn't that what happens with most media awards these days? The best of the mediocre is awarded. But hold on, one day a sensible organisation would request re-submission of better work for award purposes, instead of rewarding/awarding the crap that's sent to them. This does not mean that the people who submit their work for award purposes do not do good work, they just do not send their best product.

"But "DR", what I see is that you are a simpleton with a passion for mediocrity and you get an orgasm out of ordinary work. As "trini" would say, keep it real, those stories you are praising, especially by Fabien Pierre are the usual run-of-the-mill stories. Keep on praising mediocrity and soon enough some of us won't know the difference or mediocrity will become the new standard.

"It was nice of you to extend condolences to Miss Mohammed. Fabien is that you?

"Keep it real."


Thursday, December 18, 2008


Some kudos for TV6 from their main fan, as well as for C News.

"TV6's #1 fan here once again and I don't give a damn to what PH and "trini" says but I must commend Fabien Pierre and the TV6 News on the series they are currently running, "UWI Under Siege". I am a full time student of the institution and Fabien in his report has highlighted some of the fears that I face on a daily basis. Thank you Fabien and TV6 News for highlighting the plight of us UWI students, your newscast is indeed as you say, the news of the people and by the people.

"I have also noticed that TV6 has scooped C News on the Red Eye story, kudos again on that TV6. C News, it is a pleasure to see sisters Naette and Golda Lee anchoring together, keep up the good work girls. I also would like to offer condolences to Sasha Mohammed of the TV6 News on the recent passing of her sister to breast cancer last Tuesday."

"TV6's #1 fan,"


Here's another reason for Peter Elias' nomination for Prime Minister from MTLW:

"...also because he knows absolutely nothing about politics which puts him in the same category as the other candidates!"



Once again the masses (33 of them) have spoken, and they've chosen PNM nemesis Dr Keith Rowley to be the next PM if there's a problem with Mr Manning returning to Trinidad from Cuba (if you know what we mean).
24 persons (72%) voted for Dr Rowley, 5 persons or 15% for Kamla Persad-Bissessar, 3 persons or 9% voted for none of the above, 1 person or 3% voted for Basdeo Panday, and neither Karen Nunez-Tesheira, Conrad Enill nor Dr Lenny Saith garnered any votes from anyone (they certainly need to develop their media contacts).
Well there's a story here if ever we've seen one, so go out and sharpen your pencils for what's certainly going to be an interesting few months ahead on the political front.

BTW, Miss Manradge of TV6, was it really necessary to tell us at 6am on Thursday that Mr Manning " said to be resting at this time"? Did you expect him to be jogging on the grounds of the hospital 24 hours after major surgery?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


And we have a new nominee for PM.

"I would like to nominate Peter Elias as Prime Minister!"

"Mirthrandir The Laughing Wizard"

Well MTLW, if the criteria is that he knows when to call it quits, then we second your nomination.

Monday, December 15, 2008


We've decided to play Devil's Advocate and throw out a poll on who you think should step into the PM's shoes should he have an unfortunate sudden demise.
The potential candidates may be obvious to some, and a surprise to others.


C News is giving viewers the opportunity to text in their comments to be shared with the national community, but what we see translated on the screen is filled with grammatical errors.

"Peter Elias has done well with the local pagents..."; "Chaguanas supermarket owners have raise all their prices".

We doubt you have the technology yet to have texts translated straight to the screen, so it's obvious that someone types that stuff in, but with all the grammatical errors?
Why? Aren't you there to edify and enlighten people? Wouldn't it be better to show those same people the correct spelling of their messages? Steups.
As we have said for CNC3's Morning Show until they came to their senses: please teach your CG people to spell, or hire people who can.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Hmmmmm. Here's a thought-provoking comment on what may transpire should the PM not return to Trinidad for obvious reasons.

"Wouldn't it be interesting if some enterprising journalist did a piece on the panic that set in among big intelligent men when Dr. Williams died? I am reliably informed that the people who first discovered him unconscious or dead, debated about whether to call his doctor, or to take him to the hospital. As if he might be revived and punish them for allowing anyone to know what had transpired.
And about the high-handed manner and ad hoc manner in which the next Prime Minister was chosen. Did Sir Ellis really choose George Chambers because he thought TT wasn't ready for an Indian PM? And why did such a basic political decision have to reside with the President in any case?

"If America and numerous other nations simultaneously elect or appoint via the party system a deputy for whomever is elected as head of the government executive, why can't it happen here? And why do we think that parliamentary democracy is for us anyways? Sometimes when you inherit things, you have to assess their value and keep or sell as necessary. I think it's time we review this political system of ours because the people have no voice. The individual you vote for does not seek your interest at their primary place of work - the Parliament - and will vote and contribute to legislation that you don't agree with or care about. And the very MPs that thousands of Trinbagonians voted for last November are now quite useless if the PM is called to his Master.
Only three of them actually have some experience in politics and government and there's going to be a terrific power struggle going on (which won't involve us by the way) should our current Prime Minister kick the bucket."



Here's some praise for Darryl Heeralal's story on the pigtail craze.

"I saw the Pigtail story as well with Darryl Heeralal on TV6, indeed it was a great effort and while I am tempted to say he should stick to writing, I rather urge him to go get voice training and fast. Otherwise he will be CNC3's Samuel McKnight part II. Great effort at a light story though Darryl, I thought it was a bit creative and different.

"By the way, did Samantha John promote that the "light special" was coming up at the end of the news? I do not remember hearing or seeing her do that.

"TV6's Head of News Dominic Kallipersad you used to stick some of your light pieces in the middle of your hard news, sometimes at the end of the first segment of hard news, now you doing like CNC3 and pelting them down to the back when three quarters of the audience is gone.

"What's the point then? I thought you were emulating greats like the BBC that places a light story smack in the middle of their hard news, sometimes at the beginning to either relax the audience with something more positive; or to serve as a cushion for all the negative stories they know the audience will be subjected to."


Thursday, December 11, 2008


We managed to catch Express crime reporter Darryl Heeralal dishing on the newest craze in east Trinidad... barbequed pigtail... during TV6's Wednesday night newscast (the story was couched in the Inside Business segment).
Interesting. Darryl we're not quite sure what prompted the move to this softer story line since your forte is usually crime, as evidenced by a quick search on the Express website (although dreadlocked citizens would probably consider it a crime to eat anything associated with pigs).

Well everyone is entitled to try new things, just as we are sure you sampled some of the barbequed pigtail. But a couple of points.
When we heard the first words from you, we thought Samuel McKnight of CNC 3 had switched stations. You sounded exactly like him. Not good, for several reasons and this is one of them.
Overall the story was ok, but we know this is probably your first foray into tv, so here's a pointer: next time, ask the cameraman to get some wider establishing shots of the area, so viewers can have a clearer idea in their heads of the location of your piece. We only saw close up shots of the pigtail sign above the stall, but if your cameraman had given us a wider shot which included the famous Valencia pillars, then we would not have to be guessing when you said at the end of your story that the stall is located east of the pillars. Just give us the shot and you won't have to waste time writing that sentence.

So what's next from you? We hear that there are several new bars and restaurants opening up along Ariapita Avenue. You game?


We've addressed this issue before, but one of our readers has picked up on it again.

"Take two, or was it CNC3?
On Tuesday night you treated or annoyed your audience with a double take of the same story from Sampson Nanton, I believe it had to do with the Tobago House of Assembly... sigh, why do these things happen? Didn't the mighty engineers see they were doing a double take and bring Wade Mark's response to the story after a few seconds? Why it took them all the way to the end of the story for them to realise it was the same story? And of course no apologies from the girls on set.

"And yes Samantha the former DJ now TV6's main started reading a story on Wednesday night towards the end of the newscast, and the story disappeared from the prompter, but you were not prepared for that, as if it were the first time and you did not expect it ---eh Samantha? Then you waited for the prompter to wake up again and you presented another story and did not apologize for the unfinished story you started. Sigh...why do these things happen? Samantha, you could have ad-libbed an explanation and moved on, and not just move to the next story like that.

"Damn! And Stupes!"


Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Well per our last post, namely that part about "the lack of oversight sometimes by copy editors", we have a piece written by Rhondor Dowlat of the Newsday for the Tuesday edition.
She's describing the accident at the UWI intersection of the CR highway on Sunday night which claimed the lives of two toddlers and both parents of one of the children.
But we are told "The other survivors which involved a white Toyota Corolla and a green Audi, were identified as Michael Poonwasie, one-year-old Joshua Lazarus, his father Jermaine Lazarus, Jermaine’s wife Theresa Butcher and Patricia Narcis."
Who survived the crash? The cars or the occupants?

Hmmmmm. And we will assume the same copy editor missed this one as well from Indarjit Seuraj's story on the young murder accused who appeared in court "Donning tattoos of two teardrops under his left eye,...".
He put those on just before he left the jail to go to court?


Now that we've voted on our favourite tv stations, it's time to turn our attention to the newspapers.
We've been very critical of some of the nonsense that passes for newspaper reporting, and the lack of oversight sometimes by copy editors, but there are some print reporters/journalists/columnists who give their competitors a run for their money.
We'll stay mum about our choices, but take the poll and feel free to tell us who are your favourites/least favourites.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


The Express Saturday edition has a story written by Joel Julien explaining that local Muslims will not be able to attend this year's Hajj at Mecca.
The headline (which may or may not have had any input from Mr Julien) reads: "No pilgrimage this year for ASJA, Trip to Mecca costs $45,000 a head".
Right off the bat that headline suggests that the trip has become too expensive for potential pilgrims, because of the world financial crisis or rising annual costs.

But after using four paragraphs to explain the purpose of the Hajj and the detailed costs, Mr Julien tells us in the fifth paragraph "However, the potential pilgrims, who were expected to leave last Saturday, have still not received the mandatory visas for the spiritual journey."
So the visa is the problem? It has nothing to do with affordability?
Mr Julien, you and your editor need to sit down together and discuss how NOT to mislead your readers. Why not say something like "No visas granted" for the sub-headline instead of putting in the cost of the trip?
As a matter of fact, you probably owe ASJA and Sheikh Majid Ali an apology for leading the population to believe that members of his organization cannot afford to go to Mecca.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


The Newsday and the Express of December 4th both carry the story of Bhagirath Parmanan, the elderly gentleman who won his lawsuit against the state after he was roughed up by police officers several years ago.
The court awarded him damages too, but we aren't quite sure how much. The Newsday's headline confidently trumpeted "Man awarded $72,000 for wrongful arrest and detention", while the Express had "$100,000 for police 'rough up'".

The Newsday's Laurel Williams told us "The judge, after hearing attorneys for Parmanan and the State, ordered that general damages of $18,000 should be paid to Parmanan. Six per cent interest must be paid on that sum from November, 27, 2004 when the lawsuit was filed. The judge also awarded him $1,176.39 at the rate of three percent from February 4, 2002.
"It was further ordered by Justice Shah that the State pay Parmanan $10,000 as damages for false imprisonment, at the rate of six percent.
"For malicious prosecution, the State was ordered to pay Parmanan $25,000 with interest at the rate of six percent from November 2004. Special damages were awarded in the sum of $3,250."

Now Laurel, we are assuming that you gave your readers the breakdown in figures then calculated it all and came up with $72,000. But your counterpart Keino Swamber at the Express chose not to give us a breakdown. Instead, he gave the full figure of $100,000, and wrote "Bhagirath Parmanan, is expected to receive the money, with interest, as compensation for assault and battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and legal costs." This is actually a lot easier on the eye, especially if you don't have a lot of time to sit and calculate the figures for yourself. Maybe Keino gave a rough estimate so he wouldn't have to do the calculations himself?

But the question still remains, how much was Mr Parmanan really awarded? $72,000 or $100,000? We used Laurel's breakdown to do a rough calculation and came up with just over $71,000; close enough to her figure. So maybe the problem is with Keino's calculation?
It should not be left up to the reader to guess.


Hmmmmm. The subs at the Guardian seem to be sleeping on the job.
An observant reader pointed out to us that in a story written by Gail Alexander for the edition of Tuesday December 2nd, one copy editor/editor/sub/whoever! apparently wanted some clarification on whether Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday's suspension from parliament was really coming to an end, and posed a question in parentheses within the submitted text. The paragraph and inserted question were printed without change.
"Panday was suspended on March 28, when he clashed with House Speaker Barendra Sinanan over use of a laptop computer. (wasn’t it more than this??) He was suspended until the end of the parliamentary session."

Well here's the full story, titled "Panday’s suspension nears end".
Gail we hope you made some noise, and editors/subs/copy editors/whoever!, pull up your socks!


Well the masses have spoken, 39 of them at least.
It seems the favourite local television station for news is IETV. 41% of those who voted chose IETV, 20% chose C News, 17% chose CNC 3, 15% chose TV6 and bringing up the rear, 5% chose Gayelle.

Let's see if this is a forecast of the annual media survey which we understand has been cancelled this year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Well at least one person agreed with 'trini' to an extent.

"Hey "trini" you're funny, lol. Ever tried to laugh and cry at the same time when you're not sure what to do about an uncertain situation? Well that's how pathetically hilarious D.R. was with his heaving praise for TV6.

"I wonder if he really wanted to say anything good about CNC3 et al, it must have pained him or her to be positive about the competition.

"Samantha is annoying me with words like seh-rious for serious, seh-ries, for series and oh gosh, several others of a similar nature..."



Here's a response to our post on favourite tv stations.

"Lol! Somebody please give TV6's marketing department a gold medal, whoever came up with the idea to write in to the blog and pay glowing tribute to them, as if the station is the best thing since sliced clever! D.R.? That's simply ingenious!

"Seriously though, I know we are all entitled to our own opinions, but Samantha Jo still needs help with her pronunciation. She has an affectation, that's a little, well...not, ummm...genuine (not meant to be mean Sammy). As for their weekend reporter Diane Baldeo..well I don't know who she is, and there's no meaning to what she says (nothing personal to you either ma'am). For me personally, I can't trust what TV6 says lately because I know the readers are not reporters. At least with CNMG, those girls like Golda and Charlene are out in the field...they report. Same thing with Shelly Dass, and Vashty Achaibar at IE, or even Paolo Kernahan at Gayelle. They can hold their own without a teleprompter. But when I see and hear Sammy Jo voicing commercials, and Diane Baldeo doing the same thing, and Maxine whoever playing love songs on the radio...and that man with the contact lenses on IETV..and I wonder: do I want them to sell me furniture and play me music, or tell me the truth about the political and social landscape? Age old debate folks, and a decision which TV6 hasn't been able to make.

"In terms of morning shows? TV6 ANY DAY, I love Andy Johnson, humble, intelligent, not obsessed with his image. A La Obama, a morning show I can believe in! lol.
Have a great day people."


Monday, December 1, 2008


Here's a response to our post.


"I see your comments on the writing of crime stories, but all that is evident with that crime story on Fox is that a Television news person wrote that story and Fox being the liberal media that they are must have made minor adjustments and put it out in print format. I have seen that kind of writing in the papers here where Television reporters write stories that are used for print.

"The dumb editors just remain rigid and say this is Television writing we would have no more of it, that's all. But we have had writing like that on crime stories before.
Track back a bit on google and you will come upon something, that is too tedious for me to do right now.

"Richard Charan has been creative with his pieces too, but it seems lately his fantastic pieces are being edited into mediocrity. Or he is too stretched with work to maintain proper standards."


We responded by saying that actually the story was written by an Associated Press Writer and printed verbatim by Fox and other news services, for example.


Some praise for a few local tv stations from a die hard fan.

"Hi Martine,
I just wanted to know if I'm seeing right, but is that a new set CNC3 is sporting or is it the same green screen with some animations added? New set or not, it really looks nice, it is about time you changed the background of that set so kudos on that. Also kudos on the sidebar next to the anchors, it looks quite lovely.

"TV6, though being CNC3's mentor in certain areas, could learn a bit from their competing interest and I do mean competing interest literally because has anyone noticed that CNC3's cast mainly comprises of TV6's ex employees? TV6 please, I resound the call for co-anchoring and also please take into consideration the idea of putting up a sidebar or you can use the graphics usually shown on the plasma screen during the News @ Noon on 6! I must admit that I am a die hard TV6 viewer and I love the new blood TV6 has running through its veins since the unfortunate exodus of staff to CNC3 in 2005 but all things happen for good, right?

"Samantha in my opinion gives Shelly Dass a run for her money and she has a lovely personality. Joel Villafana adds emphasis into his reading and Damian Salandy in my opinion is my favorite weather guy. Gerard Lampow though a bit stiff performs well and so does Fabien Pierre who I see as a reporter who would go all the way just to bring the news to us, the viewers. Diane Baldeo with her melodious voice and beaming smile is a veteran in the industry, her performance is just spectacular. I really wish Francesca would fly the coup and join her former co-anchor Dominic Kallipersad to give us a taste of the old days back in 1995 when they both co-anchored the newscast. Dominic adds credibility to the TV6 newsroom with many years of experience under his belt.

"Though still fairly new to the media, TV6's team of reporters fill us in everyday on everything we need to know on the day's happenings. And their exclusives and special reports, brings them to the TOP and above the rest, it makes their newscast unique and sets them apart from the rest. Yes CNC3 and C have been doing an excellent job, I agree with that fact but CCN TV6 truly stands out.
The new set just made my night when I first saw it, TV6 you forever hold a special place in my heart. I hope to see some of CNC3's staff crossing floors in the future to become part of a dynamic and vibrant news team. It really would look cool to see Shelly Dass and Samantha John anchoring together on the same set, so again please TV6, your new set sports a larger news desk, two more anchors can fit I'm sure.
So please TV6, take heed to the calls for improvement to your newscast from a mere viewer. Thank you.

"Now I would like answers on this burning question, are Shelly Dass and Odeka O'Neil back on the singles market because I have noticed that they are not sporting their marriage names of Clark and Seaton respectively anymore."

"TV6's #1 fan,

Well it seems DR doesn't appreciate the attributes of Gayelle or IETV, since they were not mentioned in this glowing tribute.

We couldn't resist so vote on your favourite local television station (which runs credible news) in our poll.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Writing for the sake of writing seems to be the norm now. Except for the columnists, writing in the nation's newspapers is no longer creative, no longer fulfilling to read.
We read this piece on the Fox News website, of a woman struggling to come to terms with the fact that her elderly father faces the death penalty, charged with the murder of her mother.
This type of writing is almost non-existent in local crime stories.

"The story of how Evans got here (jail) began decades ago, when he was just a teenager who fell head-over-heels in love and married his high school sweetheart. Together they raised an old-fashioned farming family, tilling land in a lush valley of southern Ohio.

"But now his wife, Carol Evans, is gone and police say he hired someone to kill her. Day by day, memory by memory, their eldest daughter looks into the past and struggles to understand what might has (sic) happened."

Thursday, November 27, 2008


The members of the Flying Squad have regrouped and have sent urgent suggestions on crime fighting to the Acting Police Commissioner.
Let's see if there will be any improvements in the crime situation.

Do you have any memories of the Flying Squad at the height of its success in the 70's and 80's? Drop us a line at


Well it looks like the PM and his Information Minister are serious about this "Media Committee", according to a report in Thursday's Express.
They are still trying to woo former CCN Chairman Ken Gordon to head the body.
We await the outcome.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Here's a response for Trini.

""Trini", I credited TV6's Sasha Mohammed for breaking the story, not for sensationalizing it. After all that is the norm with Sasha more so to write stories against the PNM and the PNM Government.

"Cellphone and Email tapping is practiced worldwide by Governments, and someone could know if their phone is being tapped. It does not happen without disruptions, granted all sorts of things could cause disruptions, but suspicion arises when there is a consistency with a particular kind of disruption. I believe the story is true.

"That being said, who are we to tire ourselves with Sasha's obvious biased reporting if the TV6 management refuses to control her content? Certainly not me, I done with that. I maintain the series is a good one.

"On the issue of Odeka and Hema over at CNC3, it is true that that station has a cultural belief of what is a good image for TV. It is as obvious as Sasha's anti PNM stance. But like everything else, societal pressure would force them to present a different picture. Had it not been for that, only the Shelly Dass types would stand a chance.

"The media saga continues.

"Oh by the way, I can't wait to see what position awaits Madam Mohammed when the UNC forms the Government someday."



"Flying Squad members offer help to fight crime".
'Nuff said.


Here's a response on the "Spy Games" series and the Guardian ad.

"Lol! Photoshop is funny (and scary)! I saw the shot of Hema Ramkissoon from CNC3 as well. She almost looks as tiny as Charlene Ramdhanie with all that photo editing! Look, both Hema Ramkissoon and Odeka Seaton are large women. There is nothing wrong with that. Why do they feel compelled to edit their pictures, when we can turn on the tv and see that they don't look like that? What kind of message are we sending? That Hema and Odeka are not comfortable with themselves? That tv is only for the perfect barbie doll types? No no nooo. Was Roger Sant's photo edited? Or Eric Mackie's? Or Keith Clifford's? What messages are we sending? That large women are ugly? That everyone should try to look like someone else?

"I really woke up to the reality of CNC3 when they went national. That morning, we saw full body shots of all the presenters as they sat on stools. Shelly Dass and Roger Sant are tiny, petite, little things, a bit on the pale side. Odeka and Hema are much larger...(again nothing wrong with that) but WHY is it, that they all appear to be the SAME height, and even the same COLOUR on tv? Are we making carbon copies of what we think a presenter should look like?

"On another note though, I have to say I disagree with PH and that Sasha Mohammed series. The piece is sensationalistic. It lacks substance, is based on someone's paranoid tendencies. I am still waiting on the reporter to present hard evidence that this is going on. The possibility of cell phone tapping is not new. What is new, is CCN's apparent lack of control over someone whose credibility has been compromised and political bias has become blatant."


The photo editing for the CNC ad may have been a product of the station's marketing department, and probably had no input from the two ladies (correct us if we are wrong). (There was recent debate on whether singer Jennifer Hudson's image was photoshopped for her new album cover).
Image is important especially when you are in the spotlight. As you say, they are both attractive women and should celebrate their physiques.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Pronunciation is a hell of a thing.
Melissa Williams of CNC 3 wants us to believe that the police do not have any 'cong-crete motive' for the murder of the gentleman who was shot to death on Tuesday morning while sitting in his car along Duncan Street in Port of Spain.

And can you say photoshop? That's what we see every time we look at that ad CNC 3 is running in the Guardian with its news anchors - Shelly Dass, Roger Sant, Eric Mackie and Odeka O'Neil-Seaton. The Odeka we saw on the 7pm news on Tuesday looks nothing like the Odeka in those newspaper photos (Tuesday Guardian pages A20 & B48). Those photos were probably taken a few years ago and dusted off for this new ad campaign.

Editor's note: We took it for granted that you would understand that we like the Odeka we see on tv just fine (a little wardrobe tweaking would be appreciated though). But no need to change the body image.


Here's a thumbs up for the TV6 special report on alleged government spying.

"Kudos to Sasha Mohammed over at TV6 on her breaking series "Spy Games". Not hearing the Government denying that one.

"Well Jerry Narace your Government got hit back by Miss Mohammed for your rudeness to her on live set sometime ago. Next time be nice and Miss Mohammed would return the favour I'm sure."


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Ministers Colm Imbert, Martin Joseph, Hazel Manning and Dr Amery Browne held a press briefing this afternoon at the Prime Minister's office to address the extraordinary flooding which took place on Tuesday.
CNMG was on the ball with live coverage from the start, at 4:15. CNC 3 joined them a short time later while the first speaker, Mr Imbert was still at the podium.
TV6 meanwhile is showing the cartoons Dragon Booster, Tom and Jerry and Pokemon.
Oh, they finished off with EZ Shop and did not bother to go live to the news conference.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Well yes! What do the old folks say? "What 'ent meet yuh 'ent pass yuh"?
After all that gun talk last week from the PM we see that he (or at least his Information Minister) is willing to put his money where his mouth is, with consideration for setting up a "Media Committee".
Minister Neil Parsanlal told the Senate "“This Government is not anti-media, nor does it expect a pro-Government stance from any media house... we require no favours. What the Government desires is the time-honoured journalistic practice of accuracy in reporting and balance in coverage by the media.”"

Gail Alexander wrote that the minister said "Since self regulation has not worked and media houses are adamant against imposed regulations, Parsanlal said that in recognising the issue of “who will guard the guards”, Government had asked the former CCN chairman (Ken) Gordon to chair the proposed team comprising media owners and workers."

TV6's Sasha Mohammed clarified the story by telling her viewers that Mr Gordon indicated he had been approached by the government to chair the committee, but that he had not yet agreed to anything and was awaiting the terms of reference.
Interesting that though Miss Mohammed and Anna Ramdass both work for the CCN group, only Miss Mohammed was able to get a response on this matter from Mr Gordon, while Miss Ramdass told her readers in the Express that "Efforts to contact Gordon for comment last night were unsuccessful." So there's no room for collaboration within the same organization? Hmmmm.

Well the media landscape is certainly heating up. Exciting times are ahead. But maybe media practitioners need to get out their marching boots, just as they did a few years ago when another administration was perceived to be trying to put the brakes on media freedom.


Now this is the type of weather that gets die-hard journalists excited. Not that anyone exults when there is death and destruction, but the opportunity to report on the extraordinary is always exciting.
That said, we have to give kudos to all the major tv stations for bringing us on the ground reports of the flooding well before the major newscasts were scheduled to begin.
At 4:30 we saw TV6's Fabian Pierre wading through muddy water (a la the old Sampson Nanton) at the bottom of Charlotte Street to give his viewers a sense of the depth of the water (the piece was recorded, and thanks for using that wireless mic). We also saw weatherman Damian Salandy out on the streets, standing there with a wired mic (your station only has one wireless mic? - like you 'ent 'fraid to get shock?).

CNC 3 had some great recorded overhead shots of the flooding along South Quay, and Melissa Williams did a good job on the telephone report.
C News' Charlene Ramdhanie was also out and about (via telephone), but we were disappointed that we did not see any live shots much earlier than your 7pm newscast. Time to ask Patrick for a news helicopter. Or should that be Neil?

At 7pm CNC 3 had a very cool flooding graphic and very dramatic music at the start of Sampson's report. TV6 unfortunately chose to run that same five minute report that Fabian did at 4:30 at the top of the 7pm newscast. Unfortunately it had already lost most of the dramatic effect.
And to cap off the drama of the day, CNC 3 and C News both wisely chose to extend their newscasts to continue with coverage of the flooding; CNC went to 8:15 with telephone interviews, while Miss Ramdhanie of C News brought us live reports from South Quay up to 8:45 with Golda Lee anchoring the programme. Unfortunately though the same packaged reports which were used during the 7pm newscast were used again during the extended newscast, and were used again during the 9pm broadcast without any re-editing and without any new material being added.
The 9pm broadcast should have started with Golda introducing Miss Ramdhanie for a live report to give an immediate perspective on the flooding, and she could have introduced one of the earlier packaged pieces, then the director could have cut back to Golda in the studio to continue with the flooding stories.

Here are the reports in the Newsday, Guardian, Express.

BTW, we caught this on the TV6 midday news: "Highjacked oil tanker nears Somalia". Hmmmm. At least it was correctly adjusted a short time later. Please check these things before the viewer sees them.


The media landscape seems to be heating up once again...the economy is making headlines as well as the inclement weather and country-wide flooding.
On Monday evening, the Central Bank Governor's pronouncements on the state of the economy were certainly attention-grabbing. To put it succinctly, DOMA President Gregory Aboud said "A bout of sanity is about to be revisited." (in terms of government's handling of that portfolio).

Sherwin Long of C News chose to begin his story on this issue with a standup. Not sure why. Then he chose as his background a shot of Ewart Williams doing a one-on-one interview with another reporter. Again, not sure why. Yet all the soundbites from Mr Williams that Sherwin used were of the Central Bank Governor at the podium during his speech. So Sherwin, you didn't figure to get Mr Williams to do a one-on-one with you as well?
Anyway we appreciated that you gave prominence to the IMF official's comments in the same story, rather than just giving us one by-the-way, stand-alone soundbite like we got from TV6.
And at 10pm that Central Bank story was still relevant as the lead, but somehow TV6's producer decided to push it back to third place behind a school protest and some other story. (Maybe some enterprising reporter {a la CNN's Jeanne Moos} can do a story on the anatomy of carrying out a school protest and send the results to TTUTA for inclusion in the school curriculum. Module I: You don't need to know how to spell to make a placard).

Charlene Ramdhanie's story on the aftermath of the deadly mudslide in Maraval was well written, very descriptive and she did a good standup, but the last shot in the story killed it. She talked about the clean up efforts in the village continuing, yet we saw none of it. What we did see was just a wide shot of the backhoe which was probably being used in the clean up effort. So what if someone had not seen the devastation of the surrounding area in the newscasts on Sunday?
Melissa Williams of CNC 3 on the other hand had much better cutaways for her story, as well as various soundbites from villagers describing the clean up effort.

C News launched their new set and graphics. Very spiffy. We thought though that you went a bit overboard on the very first night by using that online comment from someone saying he loved the new look. How do we know that's not just some 'pardner' of a staff member?

Onto sport. Robert Dumas, we are not sure who writes some of your scripts, but the video is very boring. For the story on Yusuf (the Pakistani cricketer), we saw just three shots in that story, and we are sure it was longer than one minute. The three shots were of him moving to sit at a table for a press conference, answering reporters' questions and a wide shot of the reporters. For a moment we thought you had embodied Yusuf as we were hearing your voice and seeing his lips moving.
And the person who wrote the story had some difficulty going into your video archives to find footage of Yusuf actually playing cricket? Steups! You do your viewers a disservice.

Odeka O'Neil-Seaton read the 9:30pm CNC 3 newscast. Her makeup looked good, not overdone as it sometimes does, but she read the news as if she were disinterested, or maybe distracted. We're not sure which one. But we didn't pay much attention to what she was saying because her nonchalance was very distracting.

According to Sampson Nanton, Sheraz Khan is the "President of the Sheep and Goat Association". That title ran at 7pm and 9:30pm. Hmmmm. Yes Sampson he has a goatee, but his title should be "President of the Sheep and Goat Farmers Association".

Miss Williams-Allard of TV6 was not to be outdone when she told us that the THA is being sued by the family of Yannick Quesnel (her pronunciation of his last name was kwes-nel). That ran at 7pm and 10pm. Hmmmm. Miss Williams-Allard, it's actually pronounced 'kennel'.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


There is so much talk in T&T at this time about "Press Freedom", but clearly that term means different things to different people.
Consider the International Press Freedom Awards, and those who will be honoured later this month.

THE PM & POWER 102 (8)

Well this is what sparked the latest salvo from the Media Association.
Louis Lee Sing of I95 saying in a press conference that the TTPBA needs to urgently address deteriorating standards in the media.
"“The grim reality is that officials, both in the private and public sectors, are afraid to speak to the media—out of a single fear there will be no balance, no objectivity—no fairness,” Lee Sing added."
By the way he is the boss of the new MATT President Marlan Hopkinson, Secretary Sterling Henderson, Treasurer Marcia Braveboy and 'radio personality' John Benoit, as well as former MATT President Dale Enoch.
Maybe we should have made that call ourselves to the TTPBA and bypassed the reporters!

Here's what Ken Gordon had to say on the matter during his visit to CNC 3's The Big Story on Monday evening.
"Gordon, a former chairman of Caribbean Communications Network said, “Anybody who purports to be a broadcaster should be expected to conform to certain standards. If they do not conform to those standards, they should be made to understand that there are going to be consequences.”"

THE PM & POWER 102 (7)

The Media Association has sent yet another response to the PM's tete-a-tete at the radio station.

"The Media Association appreciates and encourages the expression of divergent views as we believe it substantiates our position that freedom of expression remains a right that all should cherish.

"The first utterances of the new administration emphasized its commitment to above all else focus on training and improvement of our membership and the industry.

"Recent events have sparked much debate on the issue and we agree with those who would like to see better standards in the industry. However, we maintain our position as expressed in releases as it relates to the action of the Prime Minister at the offices of 94.1 F.M.

"In some regards we are heartened by the Prime Minister’s position that in the future he would seek redress in the courts if he believes he has legal grounds to do so. The association does not agree with the view expressed that the association has been fighting with the Prime Minister. We do not believe that expressing a different opinion constitutes a fight.

"We encourage our members to strive for excellence in their work and intend to aid in this regard as best we could (sic)."

"Executive, M.A.T.T."

Monday, November 10, 2008

THE PM & POWER 102 (6)

The media honchos were all over the air waves Monday...discussing and rehashing the PM's visit to Power 102 and whether he should or shouldn't have.
We saw Peter Ames of the TTPBA and MATT President Marlan Hopkinson on the CNC 3 Early Morning Show, Sterling Henderson of MATT and veteran journalists Lennox Grant and Peter Richards on the TV6 Morning Edition, and former CCN Chairman Ken Gordon on CNC 3's The Big Story.
Let's hope the PM paid attention.

But Information Minister Neil Parsanlal already has a response for them.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


An avid reader of this blog sent us this link to a very interesting story from the Washington Post; it's the autopsy of the McCain/Obama presidential campaign.
The comments on the article are very interesting.

Friday, November 7, 2008

THE PM & POWER 102 (5)

Here's the Media Association's response to the PM's statements at the post-cabinet press briefing.

"Freedom of speech is enshrined in Section 4 of the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago. The Media Association takes this opportunity to remind its members and all members of the population that we have a responsibility and right to comment on the actions of public officials and issues of national importance.

"While we agree Mr. Patrick Manning has the same rights as any other citizen, a prime minister has greater power, which should be exercised in the public interest, with due care and responsibility.

"MATT notes it is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, a Prime Minister has taken issue with a media house. Mr. Manning has every right to consult his lawyers whenever he feels aggrieved.

"The association notes that in the Privy Council’s 1936 ruling in the Ambard case, Lord Atkin said, “The path of criticism is an open way: the wrongheaded are permitted to err therein.”

"With regard to the Prime Minister’s statement that “expecting redress from the media is asking too much,” MATT begs to differ. Individual media houses have mechanisms for dealing with such matters and members of the public are also free to ask the Media Complaints Council to intervene if they are not satisfied.

"MATT maintains its position that the Prime Minister’s visit to 94.1fm was inappropriate and unnecessary.

"Marlan Hopkinson
"Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago"

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The PM has put a spoke in the wheel of new car dealers with his announcement that he has had discussions with BMW officials in Germany with regard to leasing vehicles for the Summit of the Americas and the CHOGM.
The President of the New Car Dealers Association, Philip Knaggs is quoted in the Business Guardian as saying he is 'flabbergasted' that the government would choose this option, since it would cost taxpayers close to $35M TTD.
Well Mr Knaggs, maybe he read our earlier piece on this issue and noted that your offer sounded a bit suspect.
Or maybe it would be better to just cut out the middle man and go straight to the manufacturer?
Or that it was difficult to swallow giving your association between $50M and $100M TTD?
Hmmmmmmm. Your pick.

THE PM & POWER 102 (4)

Here are the newspaper reports dealing with the PM's responses to media queries about his visit to the radio station.
Express, Newsday, Guardian.


Here's a Letter to the Editor in the Newsday which partly reflects what we have said about Barack Obama and John McCain's speeches on the night of November 4th.

"So in the end both men praised each other and look forward to working together at some point in order to procure the common goal of a better USA. In essence, President–elect Obama and Senator Mc Cain (sic) harbour no overt bitterness towards each other. They showed a level of maturity that knows when campaigning is over – an understanding that Democrats and Republicans must unite to effectively address the floundering economy, foreign policy, security, health care, education and all other critical business.

"Sadly, TT’s politicians appear to be devoid of such political maturity, since an Opposition Leader will generally not regard the Prime Minister as his own Prime Minister."

THE PM & POWER 102 (3)

And here's another comment.

"I heard Prime Minister Patrick Manning tell journalists at Thursday's post cabinet briefing that he is entitled to the same right as any other citizen to walk into 94.1FM to express upset over something aired on that station that was displeasing to him.

"Well Miss Paige De Leon, please tell Patrick he is a public official and is not entitled to conduct himself in the same manner as any other citizen, otherwise ah want a ride on de private jet and he must pick me up in the State's car when he see me on the street.

"Now if he is a regular citizen that is entitled to the same rights, he shouldn't mind being called Patrick in this capacity. In any case, I think the present laws do allow the same rights to politicians and the public, so maybe you were legally right Mr. Manning but you were morally wrong.

"If we so want to be like America, we should then follow them and change the laws to not allow citizens in Patrick's position the same amount of freedom or rights as citizens. What say you Mr. Manning?

"Watch out T&T the Broadcast Code is coming and this country will be just like Guyana when it arrives."


THE PM & POWER 102 (2)

Here's a response to the MATT press release on the PM's 'visit' to Power 102 and 94.1FM.

"Question: apart from that rather conservative press release, is MATT or anyone else doing anything about this Manning/radio station incident? We are walking a dangerous line when politicians can block off a street, and demand apologies.

"I also caught that Jerry Narace interview with Shelly Dass. I thought it was rather entertaining compared to the last one. He was clearly trying to be subdued, speaking softly and smiling at Dass, but she provoked him, telling him "please don't read from that've said all that before". He looked like he was ready to bite her head off, but she moved on. Then he started criticising the media, and she said "minister, you might want to drop that..not tonight" or something like that. It went on and on..I swear local tv is becoming more entertaining!

"Speaking of which...where is Paolo Kernahan's Skews show??? Come on've got gold there! There's only so much "mainstream" media we can take!"


Well Trini, several journalists tried to grill the PM on the Power 102 issue at today's post-cabinet press briefing, but he (as usual) coolly side-stepped them, saying he had a right to protect his name, or something to that effect.
Mr Manning told them he did not ask the station's management to suspend anyone, as he told them what they did there was their business.
Interestingly he asked if any citizen of this country had the right to visit a radio station, and when he was told yes, he said that right extended to him as well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Nicola Barriteau of C News is an attractive woman and certainly well-endowed, so it baffles us why she often wears tops which are way too tight for her on the Live! show, and to read the midday newscast.
Take for example today's episode where she's wearing a bright yellow shirt, and just spoke with the two guests about the bridal expo.
On Samantha John the shirt would have been perfect, but unfortunately for Nicola it's just too tight and some of the buttons look like they are about to pop.
At one point it seemed as if the cameraman was trying to give us an extreme close up shot in order to block out the distracting buttons, but that didn't last very long.
So Nicola, forewarned is forearmed. There are lots of nice shirts and jackets on the market that would suit your body type and still make you look good. Since you are your own producer you can approach your bosses to foot the bill for some stylish threads.
(And you can also save yourself some pending embarrassment just in case one of those buttons decides to pop while you are Live! on the air.)
You're welcome.


Health Minister Jerry Narace continued his rounds (no pun intended) of the media houses to give his government's views on health care and perhaps continue to smooth ruffled feathers after all his recent bad press.
On Monday evening he was the main guest on the Big Story, along with Chief Medical Officer, Dr Anton Cumberbatch.
His most recent (and more memorable) one on one interview turned out to be a sham, with fingers pointed in both directions.
But speaking with Miss Dass, the minister's tone was very subdued (probably given pointers on his bedside manner), and no one seemed to be trying to upstage the other.
Pretty boring stuff.


Here's a response to Dandai Ramdass' comment on the US election coverage.

"Dandai Ramdass : actually you are wrong, deliberately or not, is another matter. ALL the stations ran with an election night panel..including CNMG and CNC3. CNC3's host was a businessman, his guest was political scientist John la Guerre.
PLUS Shelly Dass did in fact discuss the US elections in her show, with a report from US ambassador Roy Austin. I distinctly remember that, because the ambassador was dry, and unimpressed with Obama (maybe because he is a Republican).
And I have to disagree a little with the thought that the bar panel for TV6 was bad. I think it was different..granted...but let's shake things up. Too many in studio talking heads!"



Richard Charan's story of the policewoman who was killed by her estranged husband has a somewhat misleading headline in the Wednesday edition.
The story, titled "Killed in her sleep" is not quite accurate.

Mr Charan tells us "She was big and brave - a police officer trained to win a fight - so her attacker waited until she fell asleep before hacking her to death.
The body of PC Nisha Dhanessar was found in the kitchen of her home at Main Road, Tabaquite, at breakfast time yesterday."
Now if you decide not to read the rest of the story, you are left with the impression that Mrs Dhanessar fell asleep on the kitchen floor and was then chopped to death.
But close to the end of the story he tells us "Dhanessar fought for life, police believe, because she was a buxom woman twice the size of the suspect.
There was a bloody trail that began on the living room couch, where she is believed to have fallen asleep, that led into the bedroom and to the kitchen."
So in truth and in fact she was not chopped to death in her sleep because she woke up during the attack.
If she had not woken up, then we could have safely said that she was killed in her sleep, hence there would have been no fight for her life and no trail of blood from the couch to the kitchen.

BTW, I95's Dale Enoch told us during their midday newscast on Monday that Mrs Dhanessar's husband (name called) had been in an altercation with her and was being sought in connection with the murder of his wife. This was unlike the other media houses which later in the day reported that a 'relative' was being sought in connection with the murder.
Now suppose Mr Dhanessar had not taken his own life and was proven to have had nothing to do with the murder?

And there were conflicting reports on who actually found her body. At 7pm, TV6 told us her son found her body, but Mark Bassant in his report for C News told us a neighbour found the body, even though the scrolling news line running across the bottom of the screen was telling us that her body was found by her 7 year old son (the ticker was removed for the 9pm newscast).

And on the story with the young man who shot policeman Edward Alleyne, Charlene Ramdhanie of C News gave us his name, told us he was 17 years old, and we saw video of him being led into a prison van and sitting in a police car. But TV6 told us the young man was 16 years old, they did not give his name, nor did they show any video of him.
So how old is he really? In his story for the Tuesday Express, Gyasi Gonzales told us "the boy was born in May 1991, lives with his mother and had no previous or pending court matters." So that means he's 17, right?
Meanwhile the scrolling news line at the bottom of the screen on C News told us a "17 year old appears in court for the attempted murder of police sargent Edward Alleyne".

Still on Monday's news, TV6's sports reporter James Saunders told us former Joe Public coach Keith Griffith resigned from the club, yet the graphic across the screen told us the team's management had sacked him and two players.


Here's the first comment on the local coverage of the US election, from Dandai Ramdass.

"Hey Martine,
I must firstly give thumbs up to Gayelle and TV6 for their extensive coverage of the U.S. elections 2008. Gayelle however outlasted the latter carrying on with in - studio coverage till after twelve am the next morning. (sic)
Their panel also included former CNC3 morning show host, Josanne Lennard (who also served at Gayelle as a news anchor in the past) and Errol Fabien, formerly of Gayelle's morning programme.

"TV6 had been following the elections since six am on the Morning Edition (sic) with Andy Johnson and also carried another programme at half past eight till ten hosted again by Andy. Joining him on set was Dr. Morgan Job, Indira Rampersad I believe and another (panellist), I can't really remember his name.

"Gayelle also started off the day with the Big Story, something which Shelly Dass failed to address last evening on her programme. Whatever is going on with CNC3, who failed to start off the day on the biggest story of the week and yet they did not even catch up on Jeremy Matouk's programme this evening. Not because they have a national license now means they have to just handle national issues.

"Once again TV6 proved to be the best. C as well followed in the footsteps of CNC3, shame on them as well. TV6 and Gayelle, keep up the good work.
Oh and by the way, has anyone noticed that Odeka O'Neil no longer carries the name Seaton?
Also TV6 could you please revisit the idea of Co - anchoring? Maybe we could see Samantha and Rochelle or even Dominic reading together. After all just look at the size of that new desk."

Well Dr Morgan Job was truly animated in his speech and posture, so much so that we were led to believe that he arrived at the pub much earlier than the show's start time (9pm and not 8pm as heavily advertised).
Did you hear his description of Governor Sarah Palin, which included the words "vapid" and "vacuous"?
And can Dominic Kallipersad tell us whose idea it was to host the programme at Trotter's Pub? None of the US networks or even the BBC did that. They had interviews spicing up their programmes from all over the world, but none of the shows were actually hosted in a glorified rum shop.
But then again, maybe the thinking was that Trinis like to lime and the best place to get the real 'ole talk on the election was at a pub? Smokey's and Bunty's probably had a more animated crowd.

Dandai we also will take issue with Miss Johnson co-anchoring the TV6 news. We recently heard her voice on an ad which was run on TV6, and it's not common practice for news presenters to voice ads, for obvious reasons. Then again, Miss John is in a similar position and that has not prevented her from presenting the news.
Dominic Kallipersad made lots of mistakes in presenting the 7pm news last Thursday, so maybe he needs some brushing up, and a shot of something to liven him up a bit (maybe whatever Dr Job had).

Share your comments on the election night coverage. Send them to


Well the polls have closed and the results are in: Senator Barack Obama will be the first black US President (and truly the first African-American) in the White House.
His victory speech (text and video) holds lots of lessons for local politicians on how to be gracious in accepting victory, while his rival, Senator John McCain's speech (text and video) also has lessons for local politicians on how to concede defeat without dividing a nation.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


The Media Association has issued a press release relating to the Prime Minister's unscheduled visit to Power 102 last Saturday. Seems he didn't like what he heard during the midday newscast.

"The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago received reports of an incident involving Prime Minister Patrick Manning at the Abercromby Street offices of Power 102 and 94.1 FM.

"The Association contacted the station’s Vice-President of Operations, O’Brien Haynes who confirmed the Prime Minister visited the station on Saturday 25th, October 2008 to express his displeasure with the contents of the station’s 12:25 pm newscast. He described the Prime Minister’s demeanor as calm and cool.

"Mr. Haynes said the Prime Minister expressed concerns about crosstalk during the newscast on statements he made at Thick Village with regard to the increase in the price of premium gas and drivers converting from diesel to CNG.

"The Vice-President said following an internal investigation it was agreed by management at the station that a newscaster and presenter were in breach of programming protocol. Mr. Haynes added the employees were suspended.

"The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago notes the unprecedented action of the Prime Minister with surprise and some concern. The Association deems the Prime Minister’s visit to the station as inappropriate in light of the fact that it can be perceived as an attempt to intimidate or to stifle freedom of the press.

"The Association feels the Prime Minister has available to him many avenues of redress and should have perhaps considered the perception of his actions.

"MATT values above all an independent media operating without interference or fear, however the Association as well notes that standards of journalism must be adhered to at all times."

Sunday, November 2, 2008


We've decided to add a couple new features to the blog: a poll and the Quote of the Day.
We'll try to ask questions relevant to the media, but from time to time we'll jump outside the box.
That said, the first question we'd like to throw out is to the top right of the screen: Who do you think will win the US election?
We've had lots of debate on the issue right here as well as (we are sure) in newsrooms across the country, so here's your chance to vote, minus a green card.
Voting ends at 9pm on Tuesday November 4th.
The Quote of the Day is at the bottom of the page, beginning with words of wisdom from playwright George Bernard Shaw.


Well we haven't seen enough of the extended programming on CNC 3 to make a judgement on whether there is anything different there, but we did notice that they have lots of American shows being promoted. Hopefully it's not more of the same.

We saw most of the on-air personalities during the period when they were announcing that they were finally going national on Saturday morning, with comments from the GM and MD, and shots of the studio and newsrooms. Caught a glimpse of Mr Nanton dozing and that was added for the news story.

We were expecting perhaps a new-look newscast, but that was not to be either so we'll deal with what we saw in one story in particular which intrigued us.
It was the murder/suicide in central Trinidad. CNC 3 had a packaged story which included an interview with the mother of the woman who was killed. Her right arm was in a sling as she too had been attacked by the murderer, and she looked clearly shaken but was able to give a clear, concise on-camera interview of what took place.
At the same time, TV6 was running the same story but their account of the elderly woman's condition was very different. The newsreader Joel Villafana (the sportsman?) told us that she was warded in critical condition at hospital. Hmmmm.
So was it that she did the interview with CNC before or after her critical condition arose?
Then the next morning, 95.1FM's newscaster told us the woman had been treated at the Chaguanas Health facility and discharged. The Newsday's Onika James does not mention anything about the elderly woman's condition beyond the fact that she was chopped. The Guardian's Adrian Boodan told us she was treated at the Chaguanas Health Facility and discharged.

Miss James however told us that the dead woman, Ms Romeo was the mother of two children, "a 13-year-old daughter, and a 16-year-old son." Mr Boodan told us that Ms Romeo's children "...both attend primary school,...". While Keino Swamber of the Express told us Ms Romeo was "a mother of two primary school children."
Both the Guardian and Newsday spelt the woman's name as "Ursilla Romeo", but the Express had "Ursula". However Keino Swamber told us her mother's name is Ms Badal, while the Newsday had Bahal and the Guardian Bahall.

And the discrepancies don't stop there. Mr Boodan told us "He had a hatchet in his hand and there was blood on his clothes. Williams told (his nephew) he had murdered Romeo and that he would drink a poisonous substance and kill himself. Relatives did not initially take Williams seriously because he had made similar threats in the past." Was there blood on his clothes the last time he made the threat? Steups!
Mr Swamber told us "Williams then told a relative, Anston Daniel, that he had just killed Romeo, drank a poisonous substance and was going home to sleep. Williams's body was discovered at his home at around 7.10 a.m. yesterday." What time was the relative given this grim story, since the crime was allegedly committed on Friday night? Steups!
Too many unanswered questions exacerbated by the discrepancies in reporting.