Thursday, January 31, 2008


Cherise D'Abadie at TV6, unfortunately your cameraman and Director for the 7pm news on Wednesday seemed intent on showing the entire country that you need to start using a new brand of wrinkle cream.
At the very point when you were cuing a break, the cameraman decided that was the time he was going to check his focus on your face, so we saw every crease, and that was the exact moment the Director decided to punch up the shot!
What is going on?
We hope you gave them a few choice words afterwards.


Kudos Raymond and Justin, one of the best "interviews" for the Carnival season so far with The Mighty Lingo and his Extempo skills.


Raymond Edwards and Justin Dookhi at Talk City and CNMG, allyuh cyah beat Lingo, but allyuh not bad at de Extempo at all!
Kudos, but doh give up de day job just yet.
PS Give de cameraman some pointers nah?!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


None of the people who reported on Wednesday's double fatality near Trincity Mall mentioned in their stories that this is the third such incident to happen in that very same area in the last two years.
Remember the brother and sister who died when their car crashed into the river along the highway, and remember the young women who died when they were heading to an 18th birthday celebration?
Following the second incident, the Ministry of Works and Transport placed a huge billboard on the east bound lane of the highway near the scene of the crash calling on motorists to slow down.


The Guardian says "PLANS to celebrate Kewal “DJ Lalo” Ragbir’s 50th birthday with a five nights Ramayan were squashed when he succumbed to injuries in a vehicular accident...".
Shouldn't it be that the plans have been quashed?


Nikita Braxton of the Express is reporting that Cro Cro is "still to decide on Calypso Monarch final".
But at 9pm Wednesday, Curtis Williams of C News reported that Cro Cro said he would participate in the final after having been assured by the TUCO President that there would be changes to the judging panel.


"Pres Max to get a second term"
Ria Taitt of the Express is the only one to follow that story, even though all the media houses covered the proceedings in the House of Representatives.


Marcia Hope of TV6 says the Chinese worker "drops" several metres to his death.
Sampson Nanton also says the man falls several metres.
Well Marcia shouldn't that be "falls" to his death?
And you and Sampson should break down the length of the man's fall for your viewers: say that he fell more than 16 feet or almost two storeys.


Shabaka Kambon of TV6, you should have flipped the script for your Latin America Today package.
You began with scantily clad women doing their dancing practice for the Brazil Carnival, then you went to a very well dressed woman calling for one of her loved ones to be released by his kidnappers, then you went to US President Bush making a statement (clearly not about Carnival).

Rule of thumb: go with the most important information first, and think about what's the last thing you want the viewer to remember or what's the last image you want to leave them with.
Yes Carnival is just around the corner, but you always have to think about prioritising the information you have.
Your package could have ended on a much lighter note with the Carnival story, rather than the heavy statement from Mr Bush.

PS You gave us a very strange pronunciation of Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen's name.


CNC 3, why didn't you use the soundbite from Ian Collier of the Chamber responding to the Chinese worker's death closer to the original story?
It was used so low down in your newscast that it seemed like an afterthought.


A few faces missing from the news these days,
We haven't seen Charlene Ramdhanie of C News for a while. We hear her voice occasionally on some stories, but no sight of her.
We also haven't seen Bobbi Jeffrey-Hicks of TV6 at all since the swearing in of new government ministers. Maybe the powers that be are saving her for Carnival?
And what about Kristy Ramnarine of TV6? We weren't her biggest fans, but one minute she was doing the carnival stories, now she's not there at all and we are seeing everyone else getting in on the act.
Well Kristy, the season isn't over yet.

PS When will we see Hema Ramkissoon reading the news at CNC 3?


TV6, when you write the name of someone who has been knighted, you always use their first name after the "Sir", e.g. Sir Shridath.
But your graphic was "Sir Ramphal".
Will you then in future give us "Sir Branson", "Sir Clarke", or "Sir McCartney"?
Here's what Wikipedia says about referring to persons who have been knighted: "Accompanying the title is the given name, and optionally the surname. So, Elton John may be called Sir Elton or Sir Elton John, but never Sir John. Similarly, actress Judi Dench DBE may be addressed as Dame Judi or Dame Judi Dench, but never Dame Dench."

And what does "nonsence" mean? We caught that in your Viewers Comments.


"Julien resignations mere ‘protocol’" (,72327.html).
That's the title of the Newsday's response to Asha Javeed's lead story in the Sunday Guardian.
Notice there's no byline.


Carolyn Kissoon and Kimoy Leon Sing of the Express South Bureau have an interesting story on a man trying to find his twin brother.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Juhel Browne of the Express, interesting story on the CJ's speech, but for anyone, perhaps a foreigner, who didn't know what he looks like, your photo shows you interviewing the DPP.


Sasha Mohammed of TV6, that story out of the DPP's media interview following the CJ's maiden speech was way too long.
It seemed much longer than the lead story, and it appeared that you wanted to use every single soundbite from Mr Henderson.
Remind yourself when you are tempted to do that next time that you are writing for television, not a newspaper.
If you wanted to give us more than five minutes of Mr Henderson's interview you should have approached your Head of News and asked him to give you that five minutes later in the newscast where you could have run part of the interview uninterrupted, and of course with a scripted intro and outro.


Ivor Archie gives his maiden speech as Chief Justice during a special sitting of the Supreme Court, and of course it's the lead story on all the stations.
Since it's a changing of the guard, some enterprising Assignments Editor should have anticipated that there would have been speeches from the floor - DPP Geoffrey Henderson, Law Association President Russell Martineau and SC Martin Daly.
What we saw of them while they addressed the CJ was the backs of their heads! Not one single frontal shot of any of them.
There was one camera facing them and we suspect it was the Information Division.

So no Head of News, Senior Producer or Assignment Editor thought to contact the Info. Div. or even the Supreme Court to find out how the "ceremony" would pan out and then make a decision on how many cameras would be needed?
You do realise that the next time you get to shoot something like this will be about sixteen years from now? Anyway most of the senior newsroom people would have moved on by then and we hope there should be some young, fresh, enterprising blood in those newsrooms.

At least we hope your various cameramen used the opportunity to get good close up shots of all the senior judges who were sitting with the CJ, because we would hate to think you had them all under the radar and when the next crisis arises in the judiciary you would have to resort to using newspaper photographs of any of them!


The game of musical chairs on the T&T media scene continues, with Hema Ramkissoon returning to her former place of employ at CNC 3.
Hema was most recently one of the faces of the nightly news on CNMG.
Well Hema, we hope that's not a backward step, literally and figuratively.


Charlene Stuart of TV6, there were lots of spelling errors in your story on the truck drivers: "...truckers pockets...",
"Malyasia", "Ramkisson".
Then during your story the graphics on the right side of the screen were extremely small and there was a 7pm graphic superimposed on top of that.
What was the problem?


Finally someone who looks and sounds like they know what to do when they are live at a Carnival event!
Sandra Maharaj was live on C News during the 9pm newscast at the King and Queen of Carnival semis at the QPS.
She was cool, calm and collected, she knew what to say when the cameraman was on her. She said "Let's take a look at what's happening on stage" and the cameraman panned to the stage then went back to her.
No strange facial expressions, no tripping over herself with too many or too little details.
Sounds like someone did some planning and coordination with their cameraman.
Kudos Sandra.

The only problem we had with your interview, and this was certainly not your fault, was that the spotlight on you was soooo bright that you almost looked like a ghost.

Well you have just a few days to pull some of your errant colleagues aside and give them some pointers before the real test comes on Monday and Tuesday.
We'll be watching.


And Natalie Briggs of C News, who is "Ee-vor" Archie??
You couldn't perhaps be referring to the new Chief Justice, "Ivor" Archie?
Was that the same story that ran at 7pm? And no one caught that faux pas?


Oh gosh C News, "Presidentcy"?? 9pm news headline on Tuesday.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Kudos to Asha Javeed of the Guardian for her scoop on Ken Julien.


The Express also has the lead story of Cro Cro threatening to pull out of the Dimanche Gras competition.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


The "massacre" of eleven people from three villages in Guyana was lead material on TV6, CNC 3 and IETV on Saturday.
But Sunday night only IE and CNC 3 decided to give us an update at all, and at the top of their newscasts. IE had video from a protest as well as video from one of the homes, while CNC had video from the BBC which was used on Saturday night.
The main update was that President Bharrat Jagdeo spent more than an hour today meeting with residents of the three villages that had been terrorised.

TV6 on the other hand led with the country's latest murder, this time a music vendor in Port of Spain. Fabian Pierre says the murder toll is 36, but CNC 3 had the murder as their second news item, and Francesca Hawkins said the murder toll is now 45.
Who is correct?

CNMG led with reigning calypso monarch Cro Cro threatening to pull out of the Dimanche Gras competition. They were the only station with that story.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Fabian Pierre at TV6, too much head and eye movement in presenting the news. Keep it simple.


Charlene Ramdhanie of C News, when you get poor quality video from a company (RBTT at UWI), there is no law that says you have to use it.


CNMG, why did you begin your newscast late?

While Sola James seems very comfortable in front of the camera for her stand up for the story on children's carnival, why did she decide to begin the story that way?


CNC 3 had a very short piece of video from the BBC on the massacre in Guyana, but no pictures.
Sampson Nanton had an interview with a newspaper reporter in Guyana. But Sampson, the name of the newspaper is spelt "Stabroek", NOT "Starbroek".

TV6 on the other hand had two or three black and white pictures from the murder scenes, but no interview, and once again generic file video of people walking around in Georgetown.


OK IETV, so you decided to show us those unedited photos of the people who were killed in Guyana.
Melissa Williams said your station felt compelled to show them because of the brutality of the incident and that some of the images were disturbing.
Your entire story was based on those photos, but there was no way to cover the rest of the spoke about residents burning tyres and causing a pile up of traffic...we did not see any of that.
What we did see were file shots of people walking in the market and along a street.

You spoke of the President of Guyana getting caught in the traffic pile up and having to "foot it" into the village to see the massacre for himself. Well again we did not see any of that. Once again we saw file shots of people walking along the street very calmly, as well as file shots of army officers standing around in the street.
Why not just write to the pictures you have and do the rest on camera?


CNMG, who held a gun to Natalie Briggs' head when she voiced that story on Shurwayne Winchester at the B Mobile concert in Woodford Square on Friday?
She had no life in her voice, unlike Shurwayne's performance, and she sounded as if she was gritting her teeth.
You should have asked Joanne to voice the story.


Joanne, much better effort for your live piece for the 9pm news.
Practice makes perfect.

Friday, January 25, 2008


And it was so corny that after Kristy's interview when she tossed back to the studio, there was some unscripted dialogue between Cherise and Samantha, with Samantha saying "Do you think someone will give us a car if we tell them what's coming up in regional news?".

BTW, whose idea was it to use that soundbite from the Culture Minister on Friday night, when it was recorded at the post cabinet news conference on Thursday afternoon? So on Thursday it was not important for us to hear the minister say that the necessary measures are being put in place for Carnival?


Kristy Ramnarine of TV6, our suggestions seem to be falling on deaf ears.
Cherise tossed to you outside a mas camp, and while you introduced your guest Mr George, you should have thought of some more interesting questions for him rather than, "So why are you giving away a car?"
And once again we could not see the face of your interviewee because the camera was high above both of your heads and the lights were so bright that he decided he should show us the back of his bald head instead of the front.
You just needed to gently turn him to face the camera, and next time ask your director to make sure the camera is the right height.

Then you ended by saying "Thank you Cherise I'm Kristy Ramnarine."
Yes we know, but what if we tuned in late and did not get the name of your interviewee or what you were speaking about?

And then we had Joanne Briggs over at C News. Naette Lee tossed to her at a calypso tent.
She said "We are here at the Ambassador Club. We are here at the Ambassador Club. We are here at the Calypso Icons tent and as you can see and hear, it's about the icons."
We couldn't see anything except three men standing next to her, and we couldn't hear anything but her voice as there was a lull in entertainment at the tent.
Well Joanne, the men were standing on either side of you so you were looking from side to side in quick succession, and all you needed at that point was to hitch up your skirt and grab a tennis racket and you would have been well suited for the finals of the Australian Open.
And why were you so casually dressed?

AND.....just like Kristy, at the end of your interview, you did not even tell your viewers who may have missed the beginning of the interview who you were speaking with or where you were reporting from. You just tossed back to the studio.


OK Rosemarie Sant at CNC 3, so you wanted to include Shelly and Odeka in reading the lead in to your lead story, but oh gosh why did it have to be so long??

Anyway, we really think your handling of the dengue issue was much more balanced than everyone else's.
Rosemarie's story centred on the Health Minister's pronouncements on how the issue is being handled by the government.
Then Nadalene Singh came in with a story from the Chief Medical Officer saying he's not surprised about the matter since the men were living in some shady conditions, then Kimberly Mackhan's story focused on Calder Hart rebutting allegations that the Chinese men live in poor conditions. (One of the paragraphs in the lead in was unfortunately repeated in the first paragraph of the package.)

TV6's story on the other hand (Sasha Mohammed's report) dealt specifically with the opposition and Dr Tim Gopeesingh in particular bashing the government over the handling of the issue.

CNMG also led with the dengue story, but focused mainly on the conditions under which the men are living.


Sasha Mohammed at TV6, you have been doing these stand ups in front of the green screen for your station's lead stories for several weeks now.
But you still don't know how to recover when you make simple mistakes. Too many facial contortions and hand movements. You make it so obvious to your viewers that something went wrong with your presentation.
Don't your bosses pull you aside afterwards and give you any tips?
And why did your director give us a wide shot of you? Your clothes were untidy.
Get it right!


Giselle McIntyre of IE News, that story you read about the cocaine that is allegedly being sold from the police station in south is very suspect.
As a viewer it sounds like your source is none other than the policeman whom you say was trying to make enquiries about the missing cocaine.
Then you said his phone has been out of service for the last five weeks.
So it stands to reason that the police commissioner's phone has been disconnected for the last five weeks as well, since you did not even try to get a response from him about the serious allegations of drugs being sold from a police station!

Well we at Media Watch think it was your producer's phone that's been out of service for several weeks.
How did he/she allow that story to go to air with so many allegations and no verification??


Naylon Dwarika of WIN TV, why are you indulging in denigrating the National Security Minister, and also encouraging your viewers to do the same on "Conversations with the Nation"?
Why are you calling Mr Joseph a 'count'? And you had a good laugh with one of your callers who told you you had better watch yourself in case your tongue slips on the word 'count'. HMMMM.
So how are you now to seriously cover a story on Mr Joseph.

Then one man called and was trying to take the show down a race path, but you promptly cut him off and said "All yuh let me do the talking", "Dey cyah charge meh, they cyah take meh to court", "lawyer and dem have to be real good".
Hope your company's lawyers are real good.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


The GM of the Stock Exchange is Wainwright Iton.
Not Wain, or Wayne.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It seems we spoke too soon.
The director cuts back to Fabian in studio and while we think he's cuing a break, we don't hear him at all, but we continue to hear the audio from Bunji Garlin at the Square.


TV6 much better today with the B Mobile show at Woodford Square.


There's CNC again showing us a graduation ceremony for Ansa McAl managers.
Well your bosses can certainly say Rosemarie Sant is following orders.


Desha Rambhajan, the orange-coloured jacket in which you read the midday news on CNMG was almost sleeveless.
Why? You did not look like a professional television news presenter.
Yes it's the carnival season, but there's no reason to "dress down" to read the news.
Your producer should have stopped you when you entered the studio.

But then again, we are seeing Simone at the Savannah for her "Live on C" segment and she is wearing an almost identical jacket.
Is that the new carnival uniform?


And CNC 3 uses again the soundbite from the young footballer named Peltier where he is sitting down and Vinod Narwani is standing over him.

News really moving slow today.


CNMG, the relaunch of Caribbean Airlines' in-flight magazine was such hot news that you had to bring it to us at 12:07pm, right after the crime story?
That story deserves to be mentioned in passing at the end of the newscast, or left for some entertainment segment.


TV6, why are you showing us Shabaka Kambon's package on financial issues from the Norwegian professor that was already run at 7pm Tuesday??


Midday Wednesday, CNC 3 has an on camera interview with Winston Dookeran calling on the Central Bank governor to deal with the backlash from world stock market upheavals.


Thanks for the feedback we have been getting.
We appreciate it.
Keep the mail coming.


CNC 3, do you know what a "wain" is?
"A wain is a type of horse-drawn, load-carrying vehicle, used for agricultural purposes rather than transporting people,...".
At 7pm Tuesday, you had a pre-recorded telephone interview with "Wain" Iton, GM of the Stock Exchange.
At 6am on Wednesday, Dr Keith Clifford interviewed via telephone "Wayne" Iton, GM of the Stock Exchange.
BUT. At 7am, Marcia Braveboy used a soundbite from Mr Iton from the 7pm newscast with the same incorrectly spelt name which was recorded the previous night.
Yes Marcia you can say you did not produce the original piece, but you need to check, double check and triple check what you use.
How difficult would it have been to use a live super over the soundbite, or just ditch the stuff from the night before and edit up the fresh interview?
Anyway, kudos for sticking with the markets.

TV6's Keisha David on the other hand can't get any such praise.
At 7pm Keisha your station led with the issue of the markets, yet at 6am, your "Good Morning Port of Spain" question was whether people agreed with proposed upgrades for the health sector.


TV6's lead at 10pm was that a man had been acquitted in the San Fernando court of murdering a teen.
Just one picture of the man and his family outside the court and a very long script.
OK, maybe you got the story late from your sister paper the Express, but you need to chop the script down to the bare minimum for the newscast.
Samantha was tripping over herself and gasping for breath because the script was just too long, as if it was copied and pasted wholesale from the Express.

PS CNMG had video outside the court and an interview with the acquitted man in their 7am newscast Wednesday.


WIN TV, the two young ladies you had on your set at 8pm Tuesday need some training in how to be tv hosts.
We missed what they were talking about, and even though we listened for close to ten minutes, we still could not get the gist of their discussion because they never said what they were talking about and there was no bar at the bottom of the screen to let us know.

They sat side by side looking at each other. The young lady on the right was the more talkative one, but her fashion forward sense saw her wearing her hair piece around her right wrist.
Then the one on the left said nothing sensible, but kept echoing what the other one was saying.

And this is the best use of your expensive air time?
Then again if you can't fill it with anything sensible then anything goes?


Here's a new one for local tv.
The main man at CNMG, Julian Rogers sitting on the set of Gayelle's Cock a Doodle Doo interviewing that station's main man, Errol Fabien.
It's all in keeping with Errol's 20th anniversary of being drug free. He will hold a "Freedom Walk" next month to commemmorate.
A few things though Julian.

How come you didn't take Errol to your set, or interview him at his home since it was such a personal issue?
We admire the fact that you said the local media is joining forces to commemmorate this event, but it seems that the cause has been taken up alone by CNMG. You went live to the event at President's House before noon, but we did not see a thing in the news at midday or later in the day on CNC 3, TV6 or IETV.

Then at 8pm we saw your recorded interview on CNMG, yet Gayelle at that time was showing some pre-packaged local comedy (with very poor canned laughter), but which more importantly was not what you were going on about.
Errol is so important to Gayelle that they couldn't preempt that show to do a simulcast?

Then Julian you said you were struck by the fact that Errol was driven to give up drugs because of his love for his children, yet you didn't see the merit in interviewing him at home surrounded by his kids or even having them on the set?

And isn't it public knowledge that several other media personalities have successfully battled drugs, like Andy Johnson, so why not bring some of them in to share their experiences as well?

This project, while it certainly has merit, just needed some more thought and pre-planning.
The "Freedom Walk" is at the end of February, so you can easily produce several pre-packaged pieces and build a grand show around the midnight walk.

PS Julian, you've abandoned "Portfolio 41" without any warning or explanation?


Odeka you look really nice in a suit jacket with an inner piece.
The colour suits you and the ensemble is not at all distracting.


TV6 thanks for changing your lead headline at the end of the 7pm newscast to reflect the market story, instead of going back with the story on the Norwegian professor.


Cherise D'Abadie, "The body of the French woman found in Tobago has been identified and she is Marielle..... of France."
It stands to reason that if she is a French woman then she is from France.
Pay attention to the script and try to catch these redundancies before you go on air.
But the person who wrote that should be more careful, and the producer should have caught it.


Vinod Narwani of CNC 3, why were you standing over the seated footballer named Peltier as you conducted the interview with him?
Result: he didn't know where to look, so he didn't look up at you (which would have been wrong) nor did he look at the camera.
No eye contact at all.
So your cameraman didn't know to pipe up and say, "Vinod the angle is off, either you sit opposite Peltier or ask him to stand and face you for the duration of the interview."?
Roger train your sports staff.


Back to the markets.
The C News poll question was whether a US recession would affect T&T, yet the story wasn't good enough to lead.
But TV6 led with the markets upheaval, yet their People Meter question was about consumer spending.


C News ran a story on the Port of Spain Mayor hosting the Mayor of St Catherine at his office. Naette Lee read that the meeting took place yesterday (Monday).
But that event must have taken place on Monday morning, so why were we seeing the story at 7.20 Tuesday night?
What was so earth shattering about it?
Well the St Catherine Mayor did say he sweet talked his way into the pan prelims. Maybe you could take that up with Patrick Arnold.

BTW Naette, please tone down the white or irridescent green eye shadow. It's distracting, and does not have to exactly match your inner blouse. We're sure your make up artist can come up with more flattering shades of green.


Kristy Ramnarine of TV6, one of the rules of thumb of live interviewing is that you should recap your interview before you toss back to the presenter.
You interviewed someone at the Queen's Park Savannah, but we caught you near the end so we don't know what the gentleman's name was, nor do we know what the interview was about.
You need to say a very brief "I've been speaking with (name) about (subject), now it's back to you in the studio, (or say the presenter's name)". That's all.
Then you said "Thanks viewers for listening."


Once again it was still the biggest news of the day, the upheaval in the markets.
How was it handled?
First to mention (and we use the word loosely) it was IETV. Giselle McIntyre gave us a short voice over at two minutes to seven, at the end of her half hour newscast.
CNC 3's first headline was that the Central Bank governor says more local people are growing food to offset high food prices.
TV6's first headline was that a Norwegian professor said there would be a continuing fall in the US dollar.
C News led with a murder.

CNC's first story focused on back yard gardening, and a review of financial literacy by the Central Bank governor.
TV6 actually began their newscast with the markets story.
Sasha Mohammed was up against a green screen shot of the Central Bank (the bank is a few blocks away, why not a live shot?).
And Sasha why was your lead in so long? Then you had a telephone interview with Robert Mayers of CMMB. Again, his office is a few blocks away from yours. What was the problem in getting him or someone from his office on camera?
And again you had a telephone interview with Ronald Ramkissoon speaking from Miami. You couldn't get anyone at all on camera to respond to this issue? The story had been brewing since 6am Tuesday.
But we have to give you some credit for being the only station to recover from the faux pas at noon, after we spelt it out in black and white.

Sasha's story had a soundbite from Mr Mayers saying the markets upheaval has repercussions for T&T, yet this was never mentioned in the headlines, and their very first headline was the tame one about the Norwegian professor.

Now despite the fact that all the reporters attended a session with the Central Bank governor that very morning, no one took it upon themselves to approach him for a one on one interview on this looming crisis?? And we know you did not try since there was no reference in any of your stories to Mr Williams not being reached for comment.

At 7.10pm C News looked at the fear of recession. But that should have been their lead story. They had an on camera interview with Brent Salvary, the GM of CMMB.

Later TV6's Nathalie Chrysostom had a package from the Central Bank governor talking about right spending choices. Nathalie did you attend the assignment or did your assignment editor just send a camera? Didn't you or anyone else think to pull the governor aside and ask about the market fears?

At 7:15 CNC ran a voice over about the federal reserve rate cut. Then they had a recorded telephone interview with Wain (sic) Iton, the GM of the Stock Exchange. His second soundbite said the local markets were not affected on Tuesday, but people should brace themselves. So the person who recorded that interview didn't bring it to the producer's attention as a potential lead story??
Then there was a package from Sampson Nanton. He had an on camera interview with Subhas Ramkhelawan, and his story was that fears were not misplaced, and effects would come eventually. Again, not lead story material?

Then Sampson did a stand up outside CMMB on Independence Square, asking exactly what we did, what is the impact on the man in the street? Don't think Mr Ramkhelawan answered the question.
Your stand up wasn't bad, but you needed to flip the entire story as the lead was buried just before your sign out.

All the stations have long packages on the financial planning seminar, but clearly no one was paying attention to the news of the markets. But by the time we made our post pointing out their deficiencies, the assignment with the Central Bank governor was over and he had already gone back to his cushy office.
Probably refused to answer his phone which must have begun to ring off the hook.

So yes, you all told us about financial planning for locals, but the biggest financial market in the world is seeing the possible start of a recession and that's not lead material?


The story on the launch of the two new vessels was reported by CNC 3 in their 7pm newscast on MONDAY night, clearly from an event on MONDAY morning.
Yet there was nothing about this on TV6 until noon on TUESDAY and IETV had a story in their 6:30pm News TUESDAY.
What's up with that?


But Nadine Hackett's piece on the opposition and crime included this phrase "...failing PNM government...".
Nadine you cannot make such sweeping statements without attributing them. Who said the government is failing? Why not quote them directly?
Reporters must be careful in their scripting that someone else's opinion does not come across as theirs.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


IETV, why do you have Giselle McIntyre voicing two stories at the top of the newscast when she is the anchor at 7pm?
Why not have Nadine Hackett or someone else voice one of her stories?


We put this one up for good measure.
It's not often that we respond to this sort of crap, but we felt it necessary to post this email in its entirety because this is exactly what's wrong with media in T&T.

"Dear Mr Martine, if you are so called. Yes, clearly some of the media personnel that you CONSTANTLY criticize are not up to international standards or YOUR standards for that matter but from reading your blogs, i have made a conclusion of my have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with your time. Some of the things that you wrote are not of the slightest interest to anyone. Why are you looking at Shelly Dass' clothes? Now, to the point.........I believe that you cannot obtain a position in any media house, maybe because you are unqualified.......and clearly you are....because if you were you would know that placing children's names in the newspaper under the age of 16 is against the law (try consulting a lawyer before tapping away on your keyboard). Please find something better to do with your time (Working at CEPEP may make use of your time better). While our media personnel are out on the streets of Trinidad and Tobago working hard to get us the news you are here criticizing them. If you are so perfect then apply for their the one at TV6 i.e. the cp operator or pay the women at CNC3 and CNMG a wardrobe allowance to buy clothes if you don't approve of them. Come on Mr. Martine be a MAN.....hope to see you behind a camera very soon, reading the news and not holding your breath as you claim Shelly Dass did, not mispronouncing "Duke" street as "Dook" either and not being dramatic as Shabaka Kambon.

Yours Disrespectfully,
Watch Dog."

Let's examine this letter paragraph by paragraph.
In paragraph one, the author is trying to blow his or her own horn by excluding himself/herself from the list of media people who are not up to standard.
First rule of thumb: don't blow your own horn. You are only as good as your last story.

2. Your conclusion that our observations are not of the slightest interest to anyone suggests your narrow world view.

3. We look at Shelly Dass' clothes and every other presenter for one reason - tv is a visual medium.
Let's tell you what industry experts say:
"Women: don't fall victim to NOISE! You've all seen it, flyaway, frizzy or huge hair, loud prints and stripes, tacky jewellery and makeup put on with a trowel. No one will hear a word you say if he or she is distracted by all that noise. The best anchors have no noise. Their appearance and delivery are as smooth as glass. Strive for solid colours, smooth hair, discreet jewellery and blended makeup."
4. We've referred to this post for good measure, but it would be remiss of us if we didn't point out that the point you took away from this post totally missed the mark.
We never implied that the names of the school girls should be posted in light of the new information which was coming in.
Perhaps this explains why so many people say they've been misquoted by the media.
We won't go as far as recommending literacy class.

5. Are you implying that CEPEP is a less worthy occupation?
Then perhaps as a member of the media you might want to keep that opinion to yourself since your contempt for that institution might be reflected in any story you may be asked to cover on CEPEP.

6. CP Operator? We've checked and double checked our book of television jargon and nowhere did we find that position.
Were you trying for CG Operator? Hmmm. Getting it right seems to be an issue with you. Hope your editor/producer checks your scripts properly.

7. As to these concerns: "...holding your breath as you claim Shelly Dass did, not mispronouncing "Duke" street as "Dook" either and not being dramatic as Shabaka Kambon.", let's refer you again to the industry standards.
Here's what the experts say: "Work on a conversational tone; keep the register low but natural; project your voice with your gut not your sinuses; speak it, don't read it."

BTW, your writing and analysis is as deep as an A'Level student who has never seen the inside of a tertiary level institution for an actual class.

Journalism 111
Humble messengers


Well TV6 came back at the very end of their newscast to bring KMC live from Woodford Square (this time minus Kristy), for about eight minutes.
Kristy maybe you and your bosses need to review whether you are wasting your time getting all dolled up to spend so much time in the sun, then only being on air for a maximum of ten seconds, if so much. Get your practice on some other show. This one is not creatively put together at all: the cameraman and presenter were not prepared, no real intro, no presenter over the boring parts of the performance.
At least the cameraman finally got around to focusing on the action on the stage.

TV6 you should have used your live resources to go to the stock exchange or the Central Bank instead for a report on the upheaval in the markets!
The US is one of Trinidad and Tobago's main trading partners.
You should have sent a reporter to do a live stand up. Even if the reporter said there was no comment so far from the financial authorities, then the reporter could have written that into their stand up and the director should have then cut to an international package.
It just takes a bit of creative producing and writing, which seems to be lacking among all of you.


So. TV6's Fabian Pierre tosses to Woodford Square where KMC is performing in the B Mobile carnival concert series.
So we think, great no Kristy today.
KMC is on the stage, but the man who is doing the main part of the performance is not even in the shot, and the camera seems to be locked in place.
Then the cameraman figures out he is live on air and starts wildly trying to focus his camera, and we eventually get a shot of Kristy standing near the cameraman. He proceeds to try to fix his focus on her.
Then the director goes back to Fabian in studio looking a bit peeved and he cues a short break.
SO. Who cued the live shot in the first place?
This from the station that is supposed to be giving us all things Carnival?
Well CNMG already beat you to that.


Stock markets around the world are reeling as the US federal reserve cuts interest rates!
All the international stations have been leading with the stock market upheaval as breaking news, and the global economic turmoil is supposed to top the agenda at the world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland.
But what do the local stations lead with??
TV6 leads with a decomposing body found in Tobago....their business lead is TSTT declaring $100M profit.
CNC 3 led with Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj's statement from last night (same one from Rosemarie Sant's story).
C News is using the markets story as a VO in their international segment.
So clearly all these stations were searching for news based on their questionable lead stories, but the biggest news of the day was right under their noses!

So none of your assignment editors have been watching the international news? And clearly none of your Heads of departments as well!
So of course no one decided to send a cameraman and reporter to the Stock Exchange to get a feel of whether the turmoil is affecting local stocks immediately, or what will be the long term effect.
No one picked up a phone and called a financial analyst to get a sense of how this will affect the man in the street???!!!

All the international stations were on the ball.
At 6am US time, MSNBC was talking about the markets, BBC had breaking news at 9am local time, by 10.30 local time Bloomberg had a comment from the White House that it's a slow down not a recession.
At 11am, TV6 took a feed from CNN with their lead being the upheaval in the markets, and CNMG went to a calypso show.
CNC 3 led their 11am update with Stephen Cadiz, but they did mention that the local Central Bank Governor is to disclose the results of a financial literacy survey. Not a word about the markets.
At 11.30am, CNN's live coverage was under the heading "Market Meltdown". 'Nikkei hits 28-month low', 'Tokyo stocks suffer worst one day loss since 9/11'.
At midday, CNN went live to their reporter in Switzerland to get a feel of how the people who matter are responding to the upheaval.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Kenrick Bobb of the Express, what's wrong with this sentence from your story on the maxi taxi driver who was buried on Monday?
"Ward Sister Glenda Mike, the lady he stopped to pick up on that faithful day on the Priority Bus Route gave a moving testimonial as to his last moments when she spoke to those gathered."


Not sure why TV6 has recruited Express reporter Kristy Ramnarine to do those Carnival pieces. So there's no reporter in your newsroom who can introduce Machel Montano in Woodford Square for ten seconds, then do a package for the news?

Well Kristy, you need some training on how to read your story.
You said "It's the third consecutive year that the event has attracted a massive crowd."
Now for those who didn't hear the story, just imagine that sentence read with a two second pause between each word.
And clearly you have not been taught to write to your pictures - you said at one point Machel ripped his pants, but we never saw that shot.


Here's an open letter to Head of News at I95 Dale Enoch from a reader of this blog. The writer has given his/her initials as M.L.

"Today I would like to focus on the obsession with the use of prefix 'MISTER'.
You have criminals with aliases such as 'Satan' and 'Shooter' who police say were involved in numerous crimes, but I95 continues to refer to these people as Mr. this and Mr. that.

Come on Dale Enoch, you like to criticize so much and this is just the tip of the iceberg of nonsense perpetuated by your station.

Next, the poor script writing...EVERY DAY!!. Then we also need to give a shot of adrenaline to Sterling Henderson, it's true that lots of times he's reading about murders, but don't let the entire newscast sound like the obituaries."


Sasha Mohammed, that graphic along the right side of the screen which covered the face of Ivor Archie was totally unnecessary.
And once again, we are appealing to your boss Dominic Kallipersad to rethink the move to have those tiny, newspaper-type graphics covering almost every story.

And Sasha, at the end of that story on the CJ, you said Sat Sharma had no response to the appointment of Ivor Archie as his replacement, yet you showed a talking head shot of Mr Sharma speaking to members of the media.
Why didn't you find a shot of him sitting at his desk or walking, but saying nothing?


So CNC 3, every time your bosses at Ansa McAl have a function you have to report on it?
The senior managers from across the region held a training session and you gave us a full package on COO Jerry Brooks asking the managers to surpass the one-month record of $100M TT in profit in 2008.
And we know it was not a press conference, since your microphone was the only one in front of Mr Brooks.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Kimberly Mackhan of CNC 3 you have a nice voice, even tone, but watch the pronunciation.
You tend to leave off the ends of your words and not pronounce 'th'; you end up saying 'yout' and 'towe-zand'.


We are surprised that Sasha Mohammed of TV6 had anything else to say in her lead story from today's crime debate when her lead in was so long.
Keep it short Sasha. You are supposed to tease the viewers with your lead in, not bore them.
And watch the over-emphasised eye movements.
Very distracting.


Kristy Ramnarine, the Express reporter who is trying to make the transition to television, needs some more voice training.
Her speech is very stilted.

And Media Watch is not sure who is responsible for creating the graphics that go along with stories (the cg operator or the reporter?), but once again there's a spelling error.
In Kristy's story we saw "De Sapper wins an eight title".


Odeka at CNC 3 can you please sit up?
The slouching does nothing for you.


Nicola Barriteau of C News, you read your station's midday newscast today, yet during the 7pm news on TV6 this evening we heard your voice on an ad for Republic Bank's telebanking and online banking service!
You and your bosses need to make up your minds whether you are one of the faces of an objective media house, or whether you will be paid to voice ads for private/public companies.
How can you now read a serious story about Republic Bank with a straight face?
Where is your credibility? Steups!
And once again, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Lyse Doucet would never be caught dead voicing an ad for the HSBC bank, no matter how much they offered.


Giselle McIntyre of IE News, thanks for taking our advice and getting your bosses to hire someone else to voice the promos for the tv shows 'Dallas' and 'Oliver'.
We are hearing the voice of Adrian Don Mora instead of yours. Good. Stick to reporting and presenting news.
Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Lyse Doucet would never be caught dead voicing a promo for a tv show.


Vashtee thanks for NOT naming the second fisherman involved in the chopping incident in Tobago today.
One man was killed and the other is in serious condition at hospital.
Of course he is the main suspect in the man's death.

Unfortunately, Elizabeth Williams-Allard of TV6 named both men in her live report for their midday newscast!
Miss Williams-Allard, the gentleman may be charged in connection with the other man's death and since he has neither been charged nor appeared in court, you are NOT supposed to name him.


Vashtee at IE News, it's nice that you can scroll down on your teleprompter for yourself from your computer keyboard, but every time you scroll we are hearing the loud clicking.

But unfortunately this means you are not changing the pages of the scripts in front of you so you had to shuffle through them very unceremoniously when you had to return to your lead story.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Carol Matroo of the Guardian, do you realise you have conflicting statements in consecutive sentences on your story on the housing lottery? (
"...if the Housing Ministry and the Housing Development Corporation have their way in implementing the lottery system to distribute houses.

Since 2001, when the HDC was known as the National Housing Authority, the ministry had implemented a “housing lottery” or a random computer draw, whereby expectant home owners would acquire a house."

There is no indication from the HDC or the Housing Minister that the housing lottery was abandoned since it was implemented seven years ago.


Maxine Maharaj, the jail on Frederick Street is often referred to as the "Royal Gaol" not the "Royal Prison".


Camille Bethel of the Express has an update on the three schoolgirls in Friday's edition (
But within the story there are once again conflicting details.
"They were found hours later at the home of one of the girl's relatives in Diego Martin."
Later she wrote "The mother said the girls knew that they had to go home but they had no money to get there.
"That was when one of the other girls started crying and someone saw them and we found out where they were."

So the person saw them crying inside the house and just decided to call the police, or did they get lost on the streets as reported by the Newsday and were then found by the passerby?

You also wrote that psychiatrist Dr Hari D Maharajh "said sex education should be taught at all levels of the education system and taught with human biology."
Did you try to get a response from the Education Ministry to inform your readers of the Ministry's official position on the teaching of sex education in schools?


Shaliza Hassanali of the Guardian had an interesting side story on Thursday coming out of the funeral of photo journalist Dionne Jarrette. (
She quotes the officiant Brother Gregore (sic) Florence as saying that condoms were found in the school bag of the 12 year old girl who, as she says, "...ran away from school..." along with two other students from the Newtown Girls' RC School on Tuesday.
Shaliza does not name the children in her report. She further quotes Bro. Florence as saying "...they had planned to run away since Monday."
Shaliza's report also states that the girls "...were found yesterday at the home of a relative in Diego Martin."

Compare her story to the one printed in the Newsday without a byline (,71598.html).
It says the girls who were "lost while returning from the home of a fellow classmate at Bagatelle on Tuesday night, were rescued by a passerby who took them to the Patna Police Post."
The Newsday also does not name the girls.

Camille Bethel of the Express also attended Dionne Jarrette's funeral and quoted extensively from Bro. Florence.
But not once did she mention any of his revelations about the three schoolgirls having "run away", when earlier media reports said they were just "missing". Nor did the Express print an update on the whereabouts of the girls.

TV6 named the three girls on Tuesday night when it was thought they were missing, and the Express printed their names on Wednesday.


Nicole Barriteau and Mark Bassant of C News, where is "Dook" Street in Port of Spain?
As far as Media Watch is aware, the longest thoroughfare in the capital city is "Duke" Street.


TV6 has a new voice on the air, but it would seem only for the international news.
Alas someone needs to help Natoya Johnson pronounce a few words.
She said "mist-hap", "pa-ssengers" and "M-Y Kabaki" (Kenyan President?).
Tsk tsk.


CNMG's Golda Lee took us live to Arima for the Single Pan preliminaries.
She interviewed Vernon Morancie. But just as when Joanne Briggs did her interview recently, we only saw the side of Mr Morancie's face, and his eyes were hidden by his cap.
Next time Golda ask your interviewee to remove anything that hides their face (unless they specifically say they don't want to be recognised by the police), and turn them to face the camera.

Also Golda you said "Looking around at the bands we see more young people...". And like Joanne's interview, not a single cutaway to bring some visual appeal and break the monotony of staring at the side of Mr Morancie's face.
A trick of the trade is to think of some questions before you go on the air, then ask your director or producer to get one of the cameramen who gets to the site early to take a few corresponding cutaways to cover your interview.


Work on the spelling Six.
In Joel Villafana's tennis story we see "Fabrice Santoro plays his 62nd Gran Slam".
And prior to the international stories you have the graphic "BA plane crash land".


Once again TV6 your new red, white and blue graphics at 7pm are way too small and crowded on the screen. They look like newspaper bullet points.
You are not catering to an audience which can stop for ten minutes and try to decipher the tiny print. By the time they begin to try to figure out what's on the screen, they completely miss what the reporter or presenter was saying and the graphic is pulled off the screen.
Can you come up with something better to make watching your newscast easier on the eyes of your viewers?


Sampson Nanton of CNC 3, was "gilded" the only adjective you could find to describe Calypsonian Sugar Aloes?


Maxine Maharaj of IE News and Kimberly Mackhan of CNC 3, why are you speeding through your scripts?
Do you have a Carnival fete to attend after work and want to get there before the gates open?
Slow down!


TV6 you are right around the corner from the jail on Frederick Street where officers were searching for illegal weapons.
Was it too much to ask that you send a reporter to do a telephone interview from outside the jail like CNC 3's Otto Carrington did for the midday news?
Then again you probably heard about it on their station and couldn't play catch up before your newscast ended. So all we got was a line at the very end of the newscast telling us to look out for the report at 7pm.


"...residents has...", "...menistral problems...".
Tsk tsk TV6.
Who checked the stories for the midday news voiced (and probably written) by Nathalie Chrysostom and Marcia Hope?


Raphael John Lall of the Guardian, why did you wait two days to get a response to the Port Authority's decision to change the way foreign used cars are packed in containers for shipment to Trinidad?
( "Foreign used dealers say car prices will rise".
That's what was missing from your original story.
The Port Authority chief said at the press conference on Tuesday that all stakeholders had been consulted about the new rules. Wasn't it a given that you should have contacted some of those same stakeholders for the original story and not left your readers wondering what those people thought?


Andy Johnson of the Express has a great wrap of the Barbados election result, (
as does Vashty Maharaj of the Newsday (,71594.html).


Jessie May Ventour over at CNMG, we know you are in a radio station for First Up, but your microphone stand seems to be blocking your view of your guest and vice versa. You seem to be looking around it to see urologist Dr Bajranjee.
It also takes up much of the shot whether the camera is picking you up or the guest.
Why not ask the powers that be to place the mic stand to your right against the wall so that it's not so much in focus during your interviews?


Andre Bagoo of the Newsday, the first sentence in your story titled "Voice messages in murder inquiry" is very confusing.(,71613.html)
"THE NEXT time you leave a voice message on a telephone, think twice. It could get you in jail."
What does that mean?
You clearly don't mean "land you in jail", because the suspect is already in custody.
Could you possibly mean "follow you in jail" or "catch up with you in jail"?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


TV6, why didn't the producer of your 10pm newscast Tuesday do the sensible thing and go to Andy Johnson for a live report on the Barbados elections at the beginning of the newscast instead of 23 minutes into the programme?
It almost seemed like an afterthought.
CNC 3 led their 9:30pm newscast with a three minute telephone interview out of Barbados with a journalist there.
Andy's report was less than two minutes.


To the young lady who read the midday news on Tuesday on the 'Trini Bashment' radio station - Love means zero in tennis.
You unfortunately said Roger Federer won his first round match in the Australian Open with a "six nil, six three, six nil" result.
We say nil for zero goals in football. We say love for zero points in tennis.
You could argue that you did not write the script, but it just shows how unaware you are of basic sports terminology.


Camille Clarke spells the name of the little boy who died in the Paramin fire this way: "Jacall Artieas", the Newsday spells it "J'coll Arietas", and here's the version printed by the Express: "Leger J-Call Areitas".
Which is it???


Check out this photo in the Newsday (,14290.html#foto).
Does it look like the photographer Ishmael Salandy asked Justin Arietas to stand "amidst the ruins of his Paramin home where his brother J'coll, three, perished in a fire on Sunday."?


Joanne Briggs of C News kudos for taking us live to the Sagicor Exodus pan yard Tuesday night.
You were not the subject of the interview with the two members of the pan side. While we understand that you had them standing on either side of you, we only saw the sides of their faces while you faced the camera.
The better thing to do would have been to have them stand side by side on either your left or right, then (as is done on the international networks) you should have turned your back to the camera and the cameraman should have picked up the frontal view of your interviewees.

Also, the very, very short cutaway we saw of a yellowish colour pan yard was not good enough. That shot probably came from your live OB truck, but the video on your shot was perfect.
If your crew got to the pan yard early, why wasn't one of the cameramen directed to get some cutaways of the band practicing or even individuals tinkering on their pans so those shots could be used over the live interview?
Good idea but we hope to see some improvement next time.

Also Joanne, your interview with Jomo was a bit off on the audio, with the background music competing with his voice.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Rolph Warner at C News, the audio on those soundbites from Shaun Pollock and Dwayne Bravo following the West Indies loss to South Africa was terrible.
There seemed to be some feedback perhaps in the recording so we heard a very loud echo on the sots, but CNC 3 ran almost the same soundbites and the audio was perfectly fine.
Why did you see the need to use those sots? They dragged down the quality of your story and your entire newscast.
It would have been better to script their sots and do a graphic.


Is the name of the AG's husband "Newton" George or "Newman" George?
Every report has something different.
Please give us the correct name.


Recently Sampson Nanton reminded us that the Prime Minister indicated that George Maxwell Richards was the Cabinet's choice for President of Trinidad and Tobago.
That soundbite came from the retreat at Salybia last November.
Yet TV6's story gave no indication that there was even a nominee in mind. Their story focused on the Information Minister's statement and the fact that "The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago may soon have a new president...".
Why not say as Sampson did that "The country may soon have a new president..."?
We thought you were speaking about a different country.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Even the Newsday's photographer Nicholas Ramjass missed the main shot of the AG, but he did get a shot of someone receiving an award.


Media Watch would like to thank Express photographer Roberto Codallo for his explanation of why he did not have a single published shot of the AG as she was being attended to at St Joseph's Convent on Friday (
But it seems to us, Express, that your photographer was not as on top of the assignment as perhaps a reporter may have been (even though Juhel Browne wrote the lead story, there's no indication he was actually at the event as his story relies heavily on the press conference with the Information Minister).

The photographer had several missed opportunities.
1. "...had taken photographs of Annisette-George as she took to the podium (front page shot). He then went outside for a moment."
What were you doing outside when the incident occurred? What was so important that you could not sit through the speech?
And your moment seemed to drag on because the AG had time to make several points - "She appealed to the girls, among other things, to show respect for themselves during Carnival." (,71287.html) - before her fainting spell.

2. '"I just happened to look inside and I saw people by the podium. I went back outside and saw a couple of teachers rushing with glasses of water to the podium," Codallo said.'
Why did you go back outside without first trying to get a shot of the action inside?
So your instincts didn't kick in and tell you to get a shot even of people bending over her while she sat on the floor or wherever she was, get a shot of the commotion, a shot of the teachers with the water, even a shot of an empty podium to try to tell your story?

3. "Codallo said he then tried to gain a proper vantage point to get photos of Annisette-George being taken out of the school. Some minutes after Fitzgerald Hinds came outside and spoke to me...".
Minutes went by and what were you still doing outside, without a single shot? You said later that Mr Hinds blocked your view of the AG by placing his hand over the camera lens and standing in front of you.
So his hand was there from the moment she fainted to the moment her car went out of sight up the street?

Mr Codallo is quoted as saying "...the school hired him (Hinds) as a security now that he is not in Parliament...".
Well Media Watch would suggest that Mr Hinds deserves a raise for doing a damn good job of providing security. You tried to make him look bad, but you raised questions about your own work ethic.
You don't even have a single published shot of his hand over your lens or of him trying to block you to prove your point.
If you have the shots, why weren't they used?

Juhel Browne we can't believe your superiors made you write that story and you agreed to do it.
You should have just left us with the single shot on the front page of the AG taking the stage.
It would have left us with some questions, but now we have many more questions than answers.


Has anyone seen or heard any special Carnival programming outside of news?
If you have, let us know.


Both CNMG and CNC 3 went live to the PNM's Thank You rally last night. We don't recall seeing anything on TV6. (Correct us if we are wrong and they did air something).
TV6 you better watch yourself. CNC 3 just got their national license so you will certainly get a run for your money.
CNMG is already taking the lead in going live to everything, and CNC looks like they will follow that path.

Oh but TV6 did go live to Express reporter Kristy Ramnarine who was covering Phase II Pan Groove's sponsorship deal with Petrotrin.
However Kristy your producer should have told you that your hair was a distraction, both for yourself and the viewer, as we never saw a good shot of your face. Pull it behind your ear, and let the interviewee stand on the side where we can see your face.


Where were the photos of the Attorney General when she collapsed/fainted/drifted on her feet?
We saw what looked like file shots of St. Clair Medical, but not a single video shot of the school where the incident occurred or of anyone involved.
Kimberly Mackhan of CNC 3 News quoted the Information Minister as saying that the decision to take the AG to St. Clair was not as a result of a "...lack of fate."

Thursday, January 10, 2008


We've had some feedback on one of the issues we pointed to recently.
It's been brought to our attention that television reporters are often asked to lend their voices to stories they did not write.
This of course puts them in a ticklish situation, since if their Head of News/Producer asks them to voice a story they can hardly refuse, and it's hardly likely they can make changes to the original script.
Well we hope that reporters speak up about this practice, because they often end up with egg on their faces when the finger is pointed at them for inaccuracies in the script or just poor scripting, when in fact all they did was voice someone else's work.
Media Watch suggests that Heads of News and or Producers can look at adding a super to each story not written by the person who voiced it, and it could say "Report compiled by...".


Some lapses at TV6 tonight.
Marcia Hope said "What is sad are...".
The lead in and the first paragraph of Latin America Today were exactly the same.
The audio on Sasha Mohammed's road story was awful. There was some loud crackling on the interviews and the audio mix was bad - the voices in the background were competing with Sasha's voice.


Miss Patterson read the midday news on Soca 91.9FM. What was the lead story? The lists of finalists for the Groovy Soca Monarch and International Soca Monarch have been released!
And prior to the news, there was a loooong ad/promo for T&TEC's upgrade of meters.
And Miss Patterson, who is "Mawai" Kibaki? As far as Media Watch is aware, the gentleman's name is "Mwai" Kibaki.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Fabian Pierre, the jacket you were wearing for the noon news is still too big. And you sat hunched down in the seat so there were folds of material around your mid-section, as well as at the collar of the jacket.

And get your pronunciation right. Who is "Alll-bert" Ramdin? Media Watch is sure you meant "Al-bert" Ramdin of the OAS.

And the Italian Prime Minister's name is pronounced "Ro-ma-no" Prodi, NOT "Roman-o" Prodi.


TV6, your sister newspaper the Express has a shot outside the building burnt down in Pembroke, Tobago along with a story from Earl Manmohan. Why didn't your 7pm producer get a hold of the shot/s if they knew they were not going to get video?


The Express had, in the opinion of Media Watch, the best front page photo for Tuesday, taken by Dexter Phillip. A shot of Martin Joseph looking as if he is trying to explain his actions to Prime Minister Patrick Manning, who is looking at the floor.


Shabaka Kambon of TV6 you finally sounded more like a reporter and less like a drama queen in Tuesday's Latin America Today segment.
Your tone was even almost throughout the story, but we guess you couldn't help but slip up a bit with the word "rightist".

But how many of your viewers do you think understand what the word "prolongation" means?
It sounds like "prolong" so we would all take a guess that's what you mean (prolongation: the act of prolonging something; e.g. "there was an indefinite prolongation of the peace talks").
But you should strive to break down your language so as not to confuse the viewer. They will lose the rest of your piece if they have to stop and think about what you just said.


Odeka we did see some improvement in your attire for the Tuesday evening newscast. The jacket was still a bit big, but not as over-sized as the previous evening.
But did Shelly take some tips from your dressmaker? Her pink jacket looked huge as well.


TV6, what are the requirements for hiring a graphics operator for your newscasts? Is basic English a requirement? What about basic current affairs, like what is a proper noun?

In your Viewers Comments, we saw written the " says spear the rod and spoil the child."
Then the question for the Q&A was "Which caribbean island is the smallest?". (At least this one was promptly updated to a capital C for Caribbean when the answer was revealed).
Tut tut.


And Cherise read a story about what she said was "Glaaa-morgan" in Tobago (pronounced as the first syllable of the word "glamour").
Cherise it's pronounced "gluh-morgan".


TV6, at 7pm Tuesday you reported via a copy story that there was a massive fire in Pembroke, Tobago which left more than 30 people homeless.
But where was the video? You have a reporter and a cameraman in Tobago, which is not a very large island. What was the problem?
If you did not have video on day one, will you then send your reporter to give an update on salvage efforts?

Sampson Nanton of CNC 3 had a package on the fire with video of the structure still smoking.
But Miss Thompson who reports for I95 out of Tobago had a very similarly written story to Sampson's. They actually sounded like the same script. Not sure whose was written first.


Francis Joseph has an even more interesting piece on the integrity legislation story in Tuesday's Newsday titled "Govt to amend integrity laws" (,71045.html).
His opening paragraph is to the point and easily understandable.
"GOVERNMENT intends to amend the Integrity in Public Life Act 1987 to avoid any uncertainty as to who really must declare their assets to the Integrity Commission."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Here's how the Guardian's Corey Connelly began his version of the AG's statement, titled "AG signals intention to alter Integrity Act" (

"Directors of sporting and cultural organisations may be exempt from filing their declarations if the Government secures passage of amendments to the Integrity in Public Life Act.
In signalling the Government’s intention to amend the legislation yesterday, Attorney General Brigid Annisette-George deemed the inclusion of such individuals in the existing act as “an unnecessary and untenable encroachment on the lives and privacy of citizens.”

Now we would agree if Corey's editor had titled his story "AG: Wrong people in Integrity net". We see evidence in this story where the AG actually says the legislation needs to be amended to protect certain citizens.
This point was not made clear in Juhel Browne's piece.


The Newsday is reporting 15 murders.


Juhel Browne of the Express, we've read your story titled "AG: Wrong people in Integrity net" (,
but the headline is confusing, and a bit misleading.

Nowhere in your story does the AG say that the 'wrong' people are being investigated or have to submit reports to the Commission, but you quote her as saying "...directors and managers of organisations such as the Maha Sabha and Pan Trinbago now fall under the category of persons in public life as defined by the Integrity in Public Life Act, 2000."
She also says the High Court decision was far-reaching " a multitude of ordinary citizens are now recognised as falling under the ambit of the act,...".

Maybe your headline should have read "AG: More people in Integrity net".


The Express is also reporting that the year's murder figure is 14.

Monday, January 7, 2008


PS Why are you shouting at your guests who are sitting an arm's length away from you?


Drama queen Shelly, we are seeing glimpses of Nancy Grace in your long and fast-paced diatribe on the crime issue in the parliament at the start of The Big Story on CNC.
You went on for a good two minutes with your monologue, which you read as if you were holding your breath.
Then your first guest was anti-climactic because his speech was much slower and seemed laboured.


At 7pm, CNMG is reporting 14 murders for the year, but CNC 3 is reporting 15.
Who is right?


Nice to see Cherise D'Abadie back at TV6.
We kept asking for her hoping that someone would get the point and tell Samantha John that when her regular co-anchor is not there, she needs to say something to her audience every night out of courtesy.
Suppose someone missed three nights of the newscast and didn't know Cherise was on vacation?
It's done on morning shows and newscasts on all the networks in the U.S. When Brian Williams of NBC's Nightly News is off and Ann Curry fills in for him... the viewers are not left to guess what happened with Brian, she says he's off before going to the headlines.

The BBC does not do it because they usually have one anchor per newscast, and there is no face of the newscast per se...the same goes for CNN because of the same rotation.


Vinood Narwani of CNC 3, that interview with Clyde Cumberbatch in the sportscast was missing a lapel mic (unless the hand we saw holding the mic was some new high-tech mic stand).
What was the problem?


Otto Carrington over at CNMG, can you please pronounce your words properly?
Who is "Mark Nicolls" and who was in "costody"?


Everyone led with the government's motion on crime, starring Martin Joseph.
CNMG's Hema Ramkissoon reported live from outside the Red House. But the second story with the soundbites from Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj was very long and she read the script, then the soundbites were played. Very distracting to have her looking down at her script every two seconds.

Sasha Mohammed at TV6 also decided to start her story with a stand up, but she was standing in front of a green screen which was very bright. She did her entire to-camera piece with a smirk on her face and read very quickly from the teleprompter.
What were you smiling at Sasha?


Odeka Oneil is back on television, but this time at CNC 3.
(She left TV6 as a presenter several years ago).
CNC has reverted to the triple anchor newscast - Shelly Dass, Odeka and Roger Sant (Odeka is filling Carla Foderingham's shoes).
Nice to have you back, Odeka, after a long absence (and a with a new hyphenated name), but please ask your boss to provide you with a jacket that fits. You looked like you were wearing a green bolt of cloth with buttons down the front, next to Shelly's well-dressed frame.


TV6 ran the story on the airport trial as their second story, while CNMG ran it just before the weather update at 12:10pm.
Do your producers understand what constitutes fresh news, and what should go first?


Desha Rambhajan, your pronunciation is still off. Sometimes you don't pronounce your vowels properly.
Today at "high noon" you said someone had been "shut" when we know you should have said "shot".


TV6, why do you insist on starting your noon newscast with a murder????
CNMG also began with the country's latest murder.
CNC 3 correctly began with the biggest news of the day so far, that the accused businessmen in the airport corruption scandal have been committed to stand trial.

Friday, January 4, 2008


C News, was your mic flag upside down for that interview with the Prime Minister?
Tut tut.


Please someone tell Damian Salandy NOT to wear a cream jacket when he presents the weather on TV6.
The tv camera adds pounds so of course this evening he looked like he weighed 500 pounds.


Sasha Mohammed of TV6 made an attempt to actually go live on location (instead of up against a green screen).
Interesting idea to have her outside the UNC headquarters at Rienzi Complex, as she was speaking about Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj's press conference on the government's call for consensus to fight crime.
But when she was waiting for Samantha to cue her on the split screen, we saw her antics on camera, then heard either the director or producer say "on you!".
Then after the two soundbites, we heard the same voice say "go!"
Tut tut.


TV6, is Cherise D'Abadie on vacation? We see that Sammy Jo is reading the news alone for the entire week.

And what's up with the distracting red, white and blue graphics on some stories? Whose idea was that and where is the uniformity? Is that one of the changes suggested by new Head of News Dominic Kallipersad?

PS Natalie Williams' name is still listed as Head of TV News on the Express website.


OK IETV, a few things.
First, your producer needs to pay attention to the shot that is in the video screen over your shoulder. Your lead story was something about Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, yet the shot we saw was that of Colm Imbert.
The lead-in to the package was rather long, so only when the story began did we realise that Mr Maharaj was responding to something that Mr Imbert said.
Do you see how you confused the viewer?

Then that telephone interview with Stephen Cadiz had really bad audio. NASA's audio connection to astronauts aboard the space shuttles is much, much better than that.

And Giselle McIntyre, why are you voicing the promo for "Dallas"? Not enough staff so you have to multi-task? Well stick to reporting and reading the news, and ask your bosses to hire someone to voice promos. It's just not done at top notch media houses.
Have you ever heard Katie Couric or Diane Sawyer voicing a promo for "Lost" or "American Idol"?

On the other hand, thanks for that story on the oil slick in La Brea. You mentioned that you were unsuccessful in getting the EMA's Communications Dept. to respond to queries. But did you try the Maritime Division in the Ministry of Works? What about the Ministry of Energy?
Keep on top of this story.


Shaliza Hassanali of the Guardian, do you realize that unlike the Mariano Browne issue, no other media house, including your sister station CNC 3, has picked up on your "scoop" on Glenda Morean-Phillip?


The unfortunate death of another child, 15 year old Brian Calica.
Is any enterprising young reporter going to follow this through, not just to see if or when the perpetrator is caught, but to ask hard questions of the lack of police action that could have prevented this tragedy?


CNC 3, who is Zoran Varnes? At noon, the gentleman whom we believe is Zoran Vranes was supered as a Youth Director.
Check your spelling.


Marcia Braveboy at CNC 3, what was the rationale in doing a package for the 12pm news on Friday from Martin Joseph's press conference held on Thursday?

Granted newspaper reports said the "news briefing" lasted no more than seven minutes, but does that mean you did a story on the first three and a half minutes for the 7pm news Thursday and left the other half for midday Friday??

And why did your midday news producer re-use the exact same package that Rosemarie Sant did on the CJ's meeting with the Attorney General which was run in the 7pm news Thursday?
What? Is there a shortage of creative ideas for news stories?


Is that TV6 news presenter Samantha John's voice on an ad/promo for the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education (STTE)?

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Once again Asha Javeed of the Guardian is on the ball with her interview with the Central Bank governor on Keeping inflation in check (


Shaliza Hassanali of the Guardian has what looks like a great scoop on Thursday's front page: "High Commissioner to London living in fear; Plot to ‘destroy’ Glenda revealed".

In the first three quarters of the story she gives juicy details of the alleged plot, including an interview with Ashton Forde of the High Commission in London.

But close to the end of the story, she writes "Forde said the letter was dispatched to media houses and embassies in the Caribbean and Minister Gopee-Scoon in a bid to “tarnish and destroy Morean-Philllip’s (sic) good name.”
A copy of the letter was faxed to the Guardian’s office at 2.41 am yesterday."

So Shaliza, you and your editor are happy to give your readers the impression this was a scoop which you uncovered through some diligent investigative reporting when it was in fact a "press release" which you just happened to print first?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


"AARON FORDE, 12, had just finished bringing in the new year...".
Darryl Heeralal of the Express, as far as Media Watch is aware, people "ring" in the new year.
And something is wrong with this sentence: "And in 2005, Aquille Jeffrey, 8, was shot in his left side ribs...".
Reader's editor sleepy?


Here's the explanation in the Newsday of how the 12 year old boy was shot.
"A 12-YEAR-OLD boy had his New Year’s eve celebration cut short, almost permanently, after he was hit by a stray bullet which still remains lodged in the right side of his chest.
Aaron Ford was ringing in the New Year by lighting fire crackers a short distance from ...home on Old Year’s Night, when the incident occurred."


CNC 3 please bring back Josanne in the morning. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


TV6, how is it possible that a 12 year old boy is "shot" in the shoulder by a firecracker?
At 7pm Samantha John read that "A 12 year old boy has been shot in the shoulder." The first thing that comes to your viewers' minds is 'Who was the fool playing with a gun near a 12 year old boy?'.
Then she told us that he "was playing with a firecracker when it exploded and he was rushed to hospital."
So then your viewers think "Steups! But he wasn't shot!"

Who wrote the script? Who checked and double checked it??


TV6 the story out of the Bahamas with the policeman's killers in court was anticlimactic.
The reporter gave details of what the men were wearing when they went to court, but we got no details of the actual murder.
When and where did it take place? When were the men held?

And the story on New Year's celebrations from the BBC. You mentioned in the lead in that there was an historic dropping of the ball in Times Square, but we never saw the ball. The story ended with shots of some guy proposing to his girlfriend.
Will your 7pm producer fix these two stories?


Midday.....TV6 has News at Noon, while CNC 3 is airing its Year in Review, and CNMG is showing an animated movie.

Fabian can you please sit up? Your over-sized jacket is buckling under your poor posture.


The Newsday has a story titled "PNM silent on Eric", with this sentence: 'Health Minister Jerry Narace, who is also PNM public relations officer, said the party does not comment on matters which are before the court or decisions of the court.'

But Ria Taitt of the Express has a story titled "...Happiness in PNM camp at decision". She has lengthy interviews with Dr Keith Rowley, party vice-chairman John Donaldson, and former MP Larry Achong.
'"He (Williams) has taught us how to deal with adversity, which is to stand up for what you think is right and if someone wants to hurt you, fight them," Donaldson said.'

Guess she showed them.

But Ria you also have a comment from UNC Minority Leader Wade Mark, and you did not challenge him on this racist and colonial statement: 'Mark added: "It is only the white people in London, via the Privy Council, who would be able to provide justice."'
Then again we can notch it up to free speech, right?


OK, we are now seeing a very tiny "ME REVIEW" at the top left hand corner of the screen, but again, your viewers will still have no clue what the pre-recorded interview is about if you don't put up a bar at the bottom of the screen.


The main stations have given their stars some time off on New Year's morning.

CNMG is showing "Casper the friendly ghost" (Christmas cartoon edition), CNC 3 is showing Larry King interviewing illusionist Criss Angel, Dr Job is going it alone on TV6 (also recapping the year's best?).
Producer, you need to leave the bar at the bottom of the screen to let the viewers know exactly what they are looking at, and put pre-recorded at the top, as well as perhaps the date of the interview.
If anyone turns on their tv about now, they will think William Lucie-Smith is actually in the studio.