Thursday, February 28, 2008


Here's a message from one of our readers, ML, who is unhappy with the writing that abounds in the media.

'I would like to appeal to you to bring examples of POOR writing to the forefront of your website.
The problem is one created by Media Houses for which they are now suffering in silence.
One of the greatest stumbling blocks has been the LOW pay, great reporters were offered, forcing them to find other occupations - some far removed from the media.
What we have now are more like c
To site examples of the incompetent stock would be too humiliating to those people.

However today, I'd just like to bring to you an example of the type of poor cliched writing that abounds, after I just pulled up the Guardian's Wednesday page, shortly after midnight -
Here we have Camille Clarke writing in her first paragraph:

"THE DREAMS of a 16-year-old student to become a professional footballer came to an abrupt end yesterday, after he was stabbed to death at the Success/Laventille Composite School."

Can we get more unoriginal than that??'

So Camille, what do you have to say for yourself? We hope you are not one of the "dregs in the older stock, and a bunch of newbies who don't know left from right."
It's true the writing leaves much to be desired, but again it's the managers to blame. Reporters need to be trained, and if they are accepted without training, then the managers need to check themselves.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Sharmilla Persad over at TV6, why was it necessary for you to have your editor put in that shot of you as you spoke with someone tonight?
We don't even know what the story was because we were too shocked that you were in the shot. You looked untidy and sloppy.
Remember tv is a visual medium and that shot added nothing to your story, but seriously detracted from it.
Can you please edit out the shot for the 10pm news?

And what's wrong with the audio on Garvin Seemungal's soundbite?


Sasha Gopeesingh, oops, that should be Mohammed, over at TV6.
Why do all your stories on the UNC have three and four clips from Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh?
Hmmmmmm. Dominic Kallipersad, we think you should take a look at the root of this developing trend, eg, a story during the 7pm newscast on Saturday 23rd.


Well CNC 3 has to get some kudos.
They were the only ones with enough sense to lead their Monday newscast with the arrival of the victorious 20/20 team at the Piarco airport.
Why? Because it was the most timely piece of news coming off the victory 24 hours earlier.

Roger Sant, why did your director leave you on the wide shot with Odeka and Shelly while you read that loooong lead in?
And Astil Renn, did you have to go with that corny Queen song "We are the Champions" for your billboard for the cricket stories? Was that your idea?
And your opening shot should have been the team captain or manager holding the trophy or the team being applauded by fans at the arrival hall, not the chronological shot of the Miss Trinidad girl pinning a corsage on anyone!

Then Charlene Ramdhanie is back reading the 7pm news on CNMG. You've been away too long Charlene; you seemed rather stiff and formal, not conversational at all.

TV6 led their newscast with the energy story. Boring. Sorry Marcia Hope, we missed the lead in because we were still soaking in Dominic.
We saw a new graphic that a story narrated by Karen Cozier Phillip had been written by Nathalie Chrysostom. Interesting. But why didn't Nathalie voice her own story?

And still with TV6, Dominic you read a story about the Morvant taxi drivers protesting, then you went to the more laid back Matelot story voiced by Karen, then you went to another road protest in Woodland. Why didn't you just keep the protest stories together, then go to the Matelot piece to end that segment?
The overall effect was very jarring.

Did any of the news producers or assignment editors know that there's an international conference on now by the UN on falling world food supplies? Well CNC 3 knew about it. They ran a 15 second voice over on that story at 7:58pm. But earlier in the newscast, they ran a story from Otto Carrington who was interviewing the Agriculture Minister about something or other. Not a single word was mentioned in the story about the international concerns about food supply, because Otto was probably not aware of it.

Marcia Braveboy of CNC, your story on the UNC began with a close up shot of white double doors and the words "Behind these doors...".
What was the point of using that shot when the very next thing we saw was Kamla Persad-Bissessar sitting at a desk in the room that was behind the doors?
That shot and phrase would have been effective if the meeting was closed-door.


Dominic Kallipersad, Head of News at TV6, you mean you make your company pay for a full page ad in the Express for a news anchor, then you turn around and fill the position yourself?
We know very well that you are a veteran in the field, but come on! Your presentation in the 7pm news on Monday was stiff and cold.

OK. Samantha John had the night off and thanks for telling us.
But just in case you didn't know, you have two people right under your nose who could have filled the spot: Diane Baldeo and Bobbi Jeffrey-Hicks.
It can't be that you are giving Diane time to get used to being on tv because she is not new to the industry, and anyway she does a better job reading the news on weekends than Sammy Jo and Cherise D'Abadie did during the week.
And while Bobbi is yet to read the 7pm news at TV6, she was a face we got used to during the elections, and she also had a short-lived stint as news anchor at WIN TV, and she read the midday news on TV6 last week.

And we realize things didn't go as planned while you were reading.
The lights went out, the people meter question came in the wrong place, you didn't have a weatherman, you didn't have any weather graphics, and you said "Let's take a look at the weather in your neighbourhood today.", but you then waved your hand and said "If we had it we would have showed you."

We never, ever thought we would have to say this, but please bring back Samantha.

Monday, February 25, 2008

WHO WROTE IT?,73858.html

The Newsday has printed a very well researched and well written article on the intrigue and lingering questions surrounding the murder of British socialite Gale Benson in Trinidad in January 1972.

But there's no byline and we suspect it's a reprint.
'“The details just don’t fit,” he tells me. He believes his sister had simply fallen in love, nothing more, nothing less.'
'“I remember,” her brother Frank told me this week, “the day he (Michael X) was executed.'

Can the good people at the Newsday kindly tell their readers who is the author and where the article was first published?


Andy Johnson of the Express gives an excellent account of the aftermath of the Bartica massacre in the Sunday Express.
Perhaps one of the most ironic statements was from businessman Gurudat Singh, whose businessplace was robbed of thousands of dollars of raw gold by the gun-toting bandits while he and his family huddled in an upstairs room. 'Despite it all, he said, he had no plans to leave the place he said was "one of the nicest places in the world".'

We also caught the interviews you did in Bartica on the Morning Edition Monday.

But how come we did not get a report with video from you out of Guyana for the 7pm news on TV6 on Friday?


Sophia Khan-Daniel of 91.1/CNMG.....who is Carlton "Bawg"?
That's how we heard you pronounce cricketer Carlton Baugh's name on your 6:30am newscast on Monday.
Get it right! Steups!


Someone in TV6's ad department needs to learn how to spell.
Where is 'Dehli' Street in St James?
And why are you telling viewers that they can "Get in shape for Carnival..." if they go to the Sure Way Clinic?
We are in the Lenten season now, in case you did not know.


Keisha David on TV6's Morning Edition, if you ask the little boy close-ended questions, you can only expect to get yes and no answers.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Sasha Mohammed of TV6, we saw the final piece of your three-part story on Friday at 7pm on the alleged rape case against St Vincent Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.
We understand you flew to St Vincent earlier in the week, and the first piece ran at 10pm on Wednesday (Did anyone see it? Why didn't your producer just hold it until 7pm Thursday?).
But we waited and waited for your sit down interview with Dr Gonsalves on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the man at the centre of the controversy, the man whom we expect you called before you even left Trinidad to set up a one on one interview.

But alas, it was not to be. There was rehashing of the dead-in-the- water rape issue, and no interview with Dr Gonsalves to spice it up.
So why did you tout the piece as having new information and a new perspective on the issue?

Friday, February 22, 2008


Aay, aay! Bobbi Jeffrey-Hicks is reading the midday news on TV6.
Did she fill the news anchor vacancy?

And she's interviewing Andy Johnson who has just arrived in Guyana.
Good that the bosses over there finally decided to send someone to Guyana, but nearly a week after the 'massacre'?
So you have three people in the newsroom from Guyana: Marcia Hope, Charlene Stuart and Mr Ramsaywack, so there was no shortage of personnel. So whose decision was it to send Andy?

But Bobbi, do you think it was appropriate to tell Andy "Enjoy your journey into the interior."?

And we are guessing it was bossman Dominic Kallipersad's decision to send Sasha Mohammed to St Vincent earlier this week to interview Dr Ralph Gonsalves when his alleged rape issue was already dead in the water, even before you decided to send someone to Guyana?


Just a correction to our post titled 'Recruiting'.
A reader has informed us that back in the day when Roger Sant was a fresh-faced sports anchor on TV6, he did in fact tell their viewers that it was Francesca Hawkins' last night on the set. The reader has given the date as June 27th, 1997.
Roger and Francesca, can you confirm this?
Interesting that they now both work for the same station.


We hope the television producers out there are watching the US networks to see how they are covering the US presidential election campaigning.
Look at the different types of stories, how the debates are conducted, the sets.
Take some good notes, because what they are doing does not only have to apply to the next general election, but to any large national event.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


At 7pm on Thursday, CNC 3's Odeka O'Neil told her viewers that "Shelly has the night off."
A little courtesy goes a long way.
Thanks Odeka.

PS Neil Beekhee, why was your lead story on the two murders in Trou Macaque so long, almost five minutes?
When US President John F. Kennedy was shot to death on November 22, 1963, the US networks all covered the story. But their stories were all a minute and a half in length.
Why? Because that was and has become the international standard length for a news story, unless one is doing a news feature.
To be interesting and cover all the bases, your story does not have to be long and drawn out.
Tight scripting and compelling images will work just as well.


Satesh Mahabir of CNC 3, Jack Warner is in Lagos, Nigeria; it's pronounced lay-ghos, NOT lar-gos.

And why at close to the end of your midday newscast on Thursday are you running a package from Hema Ramkissoon on that meeting Dr Keith Rowley held with the Ansa McAl board that took place 24 hours earlier? She even threw in soundbites from the Chief Operating Officer Jerry Brooks.
But guess what? Just because Mr Brooks is also your boss doesn't mean you have to give him so much airtime.
What was so earth-shattering about that meeting that you had to run that story a day later?
We already saw it the night before, even on C News.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The producer of the 9:30pm newscast on CNC 3 on Wednesday made a boo boo by leaving in a stand up that Neil Beekhee did for his story on the Bajan PM's arrival at Piarco.

We suspect the stand up was done to coincide with the midday newscast and ahead of talks between Mr Thompson and PM Manning, as Neil said at the end of his story that Mr Thompson is here on his first official visit and that they were sure to discuss the fishing dispute in order to come to some resolution.
All well and good for the midday news.

But at 9:30pm the lead story was a package from Sampson Nanton saying that the two men held talks, with both saying they wanted to see a speedy resolution to the matter, and Neil's story came after that.
So the producer of the 7pm newscast did not check that story before it went to air to ensure the information was still relevant? Neither did the 9:30pm producer?


OK C News, you were the only ones with video of lawyers for the TTFF and the local PFA in London, as their legal matter got underway.
Kudos to Charlene Ramdhanie for getting the shots.
But you left a lot to be desired in the editing.

Perhaps Miss Ramdhanie sent the video of the scenes outside the court back to the Port of Spain office so the story could be edited.
For the entire story she referred to the footballers' claims for monies owed during the 2006 World Cup, but did we see a single shot from any game that the Warriors played while on German soil? A resounding NO!
What we did see was "Sports Archive" video of the T&T team playing a match in a near-empty stadium in Trinidad, and the shots were repeated!

Those guys played in three games in Germany as we all know, yet you couldn't come up with one single frame of file video of the matches against Sweden, England or Paraguay, or even a photo from one of the games? Steups!

PS. Ean Wallace, at 9:07 pm, why were you telling your viewers that they could begin to see the lunar eclipse at 8:30pm?


Richard Charan of the Express says 60 year old Deoraj Narine "was driving along the Mayaro/Manzanilla Road (Tuesday afternoon), when he lost control of his Mazda 323 and crashed.
Two other people in the car, Sharmilla Ramlogan and Bobby Narine, were also seriously injured.", along with a one year old baby.
There's no mention that Sharmilla is 11 years old, or that Mr Narine's daughter also died, or that her 7 year old son Anthony was also in the car.

The Newsday's Rhondor Dowlat and Ralph Banwarie meanwhile say "THREE MEMBERS of a Mayaro family, including an 11-year-old girl, were killed yesterday evening when the vehicle they were in crashed into a coconut tree...".
The writers go on to say that four other family members were injured as they were "returning to their Mayaro home after selling cascadura in Sangre Grande.", and that 37 year old Neisha Bissoon was driving her car when she lost control; she was killed instantly and her father and 11 year old Shamilla died while on the way to hospital, and Miss Bissoon's 13 month old son is in critical condition.

But the Guardian's Sascha Wilson says 37 year old Demawatie Buchoon was driving the car, and she and the little girl died on the way to hospital while Mr Narine died on the spot.
The writer adds that "Anthony and two other persons—Buchoon’s 13-month-old baby Devantie and Ishmael Salim...are in hospital.
"Family friend Videsh Ramadar...said they had hired Buchoon to take them to Arima to purchase auto parts and picked up Salim...".

TV6's Samantha John says "The family were returning home from Arima..." and that the "...13 year month old baby..." is in hospital.

And Golda Lee of C News meanwhile says the family hired a taxi driven by Miss Bissoon after going to Arima to buy car parts.

Are you as confused as we are?
The one thing all these stories have in common is that none of them have a single picture of any of the persons who died, or of the survivors.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


PS TV6, you've been advertising that you will be showing the annual Academy Awards at 8pm on Monday January 25th.
But we don't think you'll have many viewers as the Oscars will actually be televised live around the world at 8pm on Sunday January 24th.
Perhaps you are planning for a delayed broadcast?


New information on the Guyana issue: there's a partial lockdown in Bartica where gunmen killed several people on Sunday night.
CNC 3 and CNMG naturally led with that at midday.
But once again, TV6 goes against the tide.

They begin their newscast with a package from the BBC about Fidel Castro's announcement that he is stepping down.
That would have been a great lead story if nothing else important was happening in the region!
For your information, that story has been on the international stations since 3am, so it's not new.
Why didn't you lead your 6, 7 or 8am newscasts with the Fidel Castro story, because it was not widely known at those times that there was a limited lockdown in Bartica?

Anyway, at the top of their newscast, Fabian Pierre interviewed Vic Fernandes who is in Cuba. He asked Mr Fernandes (in a rather confused way) if there have been any signs of Cubans protesting for democracy. Well Mr Fernandes rightly told him that Cubans are not yet widely aware that Mr Castro has announced he's no longer going to be Head of State.
Then Fabian goes on to ask Mr Fernandes to, in essence, analyze the situation, and he points to what the European Union has been saying about Cuba. But once again Mr Fernandes puts a spoke in his wheel by telling him that he is by no means an expert on the international relations surrounding the issue, and he is just speaking as someone who is on the ground in Cuba, and from what residents who have heard Castro's announcement have said.
Whose decision was it to call Mr Fernandes, and who came up with the questions?

They came to Guyana as their second story with a package from Charlene Stuart, who said there was a partial lockdown following the massa-car. Miss Stuart, get it right. It's pronounced

Well TV6 at least the consolation is that you did not lead your midday newscast with the usual murder.


Here's a letter sent to us by a young reporter.
The person has asked to remain anonymous.

"Question: What does a reporter do when a decision to disagree to voice a piece of writing, which was edited by the Head of News, has been labeled as “tantamount to gross insubordination.”
What should a reporter do when the editorial actions of the Head of News for the above indicated article, which were described as “legitimate,” need to be met with opposition because these actions do not appear to be in the best interest of the organization and the news article does not reflect well on the credibility of the organization to produce a fair and comprehensive account of a particular event.
How do you protect the cornerstone of the credibility of the organization, as well as that of the journalist, without facing victimization?
Please provide insight for (future) reporters who may encounter such a challenge."

And here's our response:
Well it seems that this situation is not as cut and dried as you believe.
You did not indicate that you were at the centre of this situation, but if you were, here's something that you should always remember: pick your battles wisely.
While we applaud you taking the high road and wanting to "protect the cornerstone of the credibility of the organization", you may not agree with us, but protecting the company's integrity is not your role. That's for the company's board of directors and lawyers, and your manager has to answer to them.
Your manager was given the mandate to run the newsroom in a particular way and if you are asked to do something then you should try to come to some sort of compromise if you feel so strongly about the situation.

Could you have asked for a compromise by requesting that someone else voice the story, or whether the script could have been changed to a voice over? We are asking these questions because of course we have not seen the script or the story on the air, so we are going with the information you have provided.
We are also unable to say whether indeed voicing the script would have damaged your reputation.
If your manager felt so strongly about the story, then it would have gone to air with or without you, so if you did the story, then you could have made a note and gone on record as objecting to the way the story was written, and perhaps taken it higher than your manager.

But you also have to be aware that as a junior reporter, you run the risk of being victimised for the slightest perceived slight against your manager, and you also run the risk of having your manager and in turn his or her manager close ranks against you.

In the end, do you think the strong stance was worth it?


Ko-sovo, Pristina (as in Christina) and dass-tardly.
Steups! Get it right.
The country that has declared independence from Serbia is pronounced Kos-sovo, while the city is pronounced Prish-tina (that's for TV6's Natoya Johnson).

And for Sampson Nanton and Neil Beekhee of CNC 3, dass-tardly is not how you pronounce that word. The emphasis is supposed to be on the first syllable, as in das-tadly.
And anyway, why use that word on tv? Why not use cowardly or malicious, according to the context of the sentence?

And TV6 Morning Edition, the Labour Minister's name is spelt Rennie Dumas, not Rene Dumas.

Monday, February 18, 2008


TV6 has a full page ad in today's Express for 'an' anchor.
Well the only position we can think of that would be vacant at this time is that of Cherise D'Abadie who usually reads the 7pm news with Samantha John.
So has she left the company? Is that why Samantha has been resisting our calls to say that Cherise is on vacation?

Well Samantha we still can't cut you any slack because you are the visual embodiment and voice of your company.
All it takes is some courtesy, as we've said before.
If Cherise has indeed left TV6, what is the difficulty in saying so at the top of the newscast or for the company to print an ad informing their loyal viewers that someone they've seen night after night in their living rooms and bedrooms is no longer with the company? This should be done whether they've parted company on good terms or not.

But this is not the first time viewers have been treated so shabbily by the various stations.
When Francesca Hawkins and Che Rodriguez left TV6 several years ago, there was no announcement. When Odeka O'Neil left TV6 there was no announcement. When Shelly Dass and Roger Sant left TV6 there was no announcement. When Carla Foderingham left TV6 and then CNC 3, there was no announcement from either company. When Colleen Holder left TV6 there was no announcement. When Hema Ramkissoon left CNMG there was no announcement.
(BTW, we have had no explanation for Dr Morgan Job's sudden absence from TV6's Morning Edition. Are we also to be left to assume that he is no longer with the company?)

When Dan Rather was leaving CBS, everyone knew about it.
Yes there had been some wrangling over a story he did, but the company was also aware that this man had been at the forefront of their nightly newscast for many years, and they appreciated that their viewers would want to know that the relationship had ended.

"On June 20, 2006, CBS News president Sean McManus announced that Rather would be leaving the network after 44 years. Rather issued a separate statement which accompanied the news of the departure."
Yes the stations here can say that none of their anchors have been around as long as Dan Rather, but then there is the subtle suggestion that the contribution of the anchors to your programmes was incidental.

We can just imagine what excuse was given to callers who wanted to know what happened to those anchors over the years.
Courtesy, courtesy, courtesy.

Friday, February 15, 2008


They did it again.
TV6, why is the producer of your 12pm newscast Keisha David running that packaged story from Sasha Mohammed that was run at 10pm last night with Sasha referring to the TTUTA president as Job Pierre?
So once again, no one checks and rechecks things over there?
That story was run more than 14 hours ago!
You had to embarrass yourselves once again and leave it to Fabian Pierre to make the correction about Mr Job's name.

This is exactly what we are talking about.
So would we be asking too much to hope that Dominic Kallipersad calls someone into his office to demand an explanation for this crap??


We got this message from someone whom we won't name.

"This is a most useful contribution to the scrutiny of local media.
Though at times we may not all agree with your reviews the comments do help to identify some critical areas requiring improvements.
It is also important to point up more of the good elements as well."

We give praise where praise is due.
But part of the reason we scrutinize is that it's clear that some of what gets on the air does so without proper scrutiny from the higher-ups, so there are a lot of people walking around out there in the media industry who think they are doing so well, when in fact they aren't and no one has the cahones to tell them that to their faces and make them do things the right way.
How else can we expect change and improvement to come?


"No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a change in priorities, we can make sure that every child ...has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice."

Can anyone tell us who this quote is from?

Email us at


C News caught the bug and ran a story with Ramesh L. Maharaj giving his take on the career of Keith Sobion via telephone.
Then they did a similar interview with Reginald Armour, but alas the graphic with Mr Maharaj's smiling face stayed up on the screen for Mr Armour's entire soundbite.
Who is watching C? Who is checking the editors?


Shaliza Hassanali of the Guardian has an interesting piece on Ramesh L. Maharaj saying the government wants Laventille lands.

But Shaliza if you really wanted people to take you seriously why didn't you add to your story that the government is on the record as saying they are going to break down the community?
PM Patrick Manning had gone on a walkabout in Laventille prior to the general election and promised to break down the houses from the top to the bottom, and when there was an outcry he said the residents misunderstood him.
Then to get some more context, you could have spoken with a real estate expert who would have been able to tell you if those lands are really worth the fuss.

Lazy journalism Shaliza. We know you can do much better.


Did anyone else suspect that Samantha John at TV6 was referring to businessman Bernard Dulal-Whiteway as Mr Dulal Whiteway?
She did a telephone interview with the gentleman on the Ansa McAl BS&T issue and she said "We have Mr Dulal Whiteway on the phone. Good evening Mr Whiteway...".
First question....."Mr Whiteway, can you tell us...".
Second question...."And Mr Whiteway....".
Wind up....."Thank you very much Mr Whiteway for your time....".

Sammy Jo, he is one of the premier businessmen in the country and probably the region.
Even if his first name did not appear in your teleprompter, there's no excuse for dropping part of his surname, unless you were not aware that Dulal was part of the surname.
So during that entire interview, not one single person told you that his name was Bernard Dulal-Whiteway?
It's even worse that you did not know.

You and your manager need to have a talk about current affairs. This issue with BS&T did not just crop up, nor has Mr Dulal-Whiteway suddenly appeared on the business scene.


Former Attorney General Keith Sobion has died.
Jessie May at CNMG don't you think this sounds better than "Former Attorney General Keith Sobion is dead."?
As a viewer/listener, if we did not hear the earlier newscast and already knew that he had passed away, that statement would have been very jarring.

Anyway, the news broke on Thursday that he had passed away in Jamaica.
CNC 3 naturally led with the story, as well as CNMG.
But not TV6. Not sure if they are just going for the element of swimming against the tide, but this would be two nights in a row.
TV6 led their newscast with word that one of the accused in the kidnapping of the teenaged girl had been held. Okay.
Then they went to the story with the National Security minister saying there would be no state of emergency.
Then they got around to doing about 4 stories in a row on Keith Sobion's passing. First a package from Marcia Hope.

Kudos to Marcia who was the only one with a telephone interview with Caricom Secretary General Edwin Carrington talking about Mr Sobion's career and his efforts to enlighten the region about the Caribbean Court of Justice. The graphic at the bottom of the screen was entitled "Carrington: Caribbean has lost an icon."
That is not lead story material??

And at 10pm that story contained several glitches.
We saw a graphic with the very fine print come up on the right side of the screen covering half the graphic of Mr Carrington's face.
Then something was wrong with the super on the screen - it looked hastily put together like a child's art project pasted on the screen.
Then Marcia also spoke with a Mr McDonald by telephone, but alas while his soundbite was running, the graphic with Edwin Carrington's face stayed up on the screen for the entire time.
So no one caught those mistakes at 7pm and ordered that they be corrected for the later newscast??
A case of bad habits rubbing off on rivals.

And later in their newscast, Sasha Mohammed referred to the TTUTA president as Job Pierre, when we all know his name is Roustan Job, with the incorrect name appearing on the screen at 7pm and 10pm.
Why should your loyal and we suspect dwindling pool of viewers bother to look at your newscasts when clearly no one at TV6 is looking at their own products to ensure they meet the highest industry standards??


CNC 3's cameraman caught the most compelling video we've seen in a very long time of Dr Peter Vine's confrontation with surveyors from French-based company Saipen.
They were doing a survey and soil-testing operations near the Claxton Bay jetty when Dr Vine decided to take a boat out to their barge and attempted to climb aboard.
Well he did get on board but was unceremoniously dumped overboard after a heated argument with the men.
Vey compelling.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


We caught Julian Rogers' interview with Hazel Brown of the Network of NGOs on Prime Time T&T.
Julian you handled her well. Kudos.
Hazel has been known to run rough shod over her interviewers.
But at the end when you were giving your wrap up, Hazel interrupted you and said something about if she had a minute.
Well you tried to rein her in by saying emphatically "We don't have one minute", but then you acquiesced and allowed her one more minute to say her piece.
Very smooth.


Nice to see Jessie May Ventour and Fazeer Mohammed back in the hot seat on First Up on CNMG/91.1FM.
You both look refreshed after Justin and Raymond held the fort for Carnival.
Can't say the same for Dr Keith Clifford at CNC 3.
Dr Clifford, what was wrong with your hands that you kept rubbing them so vigorously and shifting around in your seat while you were telling us that Trinidad and Tobago has made it to the semi finals of the 20/20 tournament?
Very distracting.

And where is your newest sidekick Hema Ramkissoon?
What happened to Josanne Leonard?


Keisha David at TV6, for your Good Morning Port of Spain segment, you chose the question of whether people agreed with the proposed 100% water rate increase.
Before the first respondent came on, you seemed shocked at the figure saying "That's a lot!" while frowning.
Yet you chose to use that very story as the third item in your 6am newscast, behind the two-day old kidnapping and the story about security cameras?!
But at 7am, you led with the WASA story and used the kidnapping as your second item.
Clearly you suffered from the same lapse in judgement as the 7pm news producer.


Finally the Express rectifies an issue we have long pointed to. Omatie Lyder is now listed on their website as the Managing Editor of the Express, and Dominic Kallipersad is listed as the Head of TV News.


Jameela Constance of CNC 3, oh gosh who edited your story on the Energy minister?
We heard you begin a sentence, then mid-sentence you stopped and began the sentence again.
Then at the end of the story we heard "For CNC 3 news, I am Jameela Constance. For CNC 3 news, I am Jameela Constance."
So no one heard those glaring errors at 7pm?

Well there seems to be a lack of communication between the evening and morning crews in your newsroom and you would do well to take up this matter with your Head of News, Rosemarie Sant, so that you don't end up with egg on your face again.
What is so difficult in someone from the evening crew leaving a note for the morning producer/editor saying such and such story needs to be re-edited, or better yet, have one of the editors make the change as soon as the error is discovered?

And your pronunciation on certain words is off. We heard you say "twenty turd". What is that?


Here's a new one: TV6 has been selling card ads of Valentine's wishes.
Here's a selection of heartfelt sentiments posted on a bright red background with an image of Cupid at the bottom of the page:
"Piglet Skeete be my one true love. From your Valentine Mushy."

"Happy Valentine's Day Stephanie. Sorry I couldn't sing for you today."

So Marketing or Sales Manager, what's the reasoning behind this? Need to raise some quick cash?


So Fabian Pierre of TV6, there was some reason that you had to tell all and sundry exactly where the CCTV security cameras are placed in Port of Spain and along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway?
We are almost sure the police did not place any ads in the media alerting motorists and pedestrians of the location of these cameras, so why did you decide to be so generous?

You had a soundbite with Gregory Aboud saying that the National Security Minister had sent officials to London to observe the operation of the said cameras, and we can almost guarantee they were told one thing: don't tell anyone where the cameras are located!

There was a story recently on the BBC about the use of the CCTV technology in London. The reporter gave us close up shots of the installed cameras as well as shots from the CCTV office of the images the cameras were picking up. But not once did the reporter say exactly where the cameras were placed.

And anyway, what was the point of your story? Maybe that's why the Ministry refused to answer your two questions.


Gail Alexander of the Guardian, you wrote a story about Ramesh L. Maharaj wanting the PM to "name ‘US$8m minister’", but you quoted him as saying "“I intend going about this matter properly, writing to the Prime Minister first.”".
Did it occur to you that the PM wouldn't be the first one getting the information and that Mr Maharaj had breached his own policy?


Carol Matroo of the Guardian has a very interesting story on the upheaval in Picton and Laventille. Good opening paragraphs.
And Carol, thanks for qualifying the statement: "Laventille residents cry Strong-arm tactics!". We know you didn't say it.


Miss Persad, your sister newspaper the Trinidad Express has a picture of the kidnapped girl on their front page.


Has anyone else noticed the merry-go-round of borrowed outfits on the news anchors?
What, no stylists or dedicated wardrobe budgets?


And about that kidnapped girl story on TV6.
Sharmilla Persad, after writing that lead in about the latest kidnap victim and giving details about how the girl was 'snatched' (like a purse?), why at the end of the story did you say the police are treating the incident as a kidnapping?
Wasn't that the point of the story?
It's either your producer is working overtime with you or not doing enough work with your scripts.


The Water and Sewerage Authority is proposing a 100% rate increase. The Regulated Industries Commission holds a press conference to throw some light on the matter.
Is that a natural lead story at 7pm Wednesday?
Yes it is, for CNC 3 and CNMG.
But what about TV6?
Well they decided to go instead with the story (which was an overnight piece) about the teenaged girl who was kidnapped. They didn't even show us a picture of the girl, like CNC did later in their newscast.

TV6 ran the WASA story after their first break, and after a story on an earthquake that 'spared' Tobago. Was Trinidad destroyed?
Does the TV6 producer understand that the WASA rate increase will affect 1.3 million people, or at the very least every home and business with pipe-borne water?

Well the WASA story was suddenly good enough to lead TV6's 10pm newscast. Can someone tell us what changed between 7pm and 10pm that made the story lead material that was not apparent to all and sundry in that newsroom at 7pm?

And even though they did not use the WASA story as the lead at 7pm, guess what the People Meter question was based on?
You guessed right: the proposed WASA rate increase!

And, TV6 even though Picton was your lead story on Tuesday replete with an on-the-scene anchor, there was not even a copy story follow up in the 7pm news Wednesday.


Neil Beekhee of CNC 3 also took a stab at the Picton story.
He had one looong soundbite from a man saying he had been shot once before and he was calling on the government to provide him with housing outside the area.
If you had chopped about 30 seconds off that soundbite, it would have been perfect.

Then you said the residents complained about the 'disrespect of officers'. Well Neil if you saw or heard the disrespect first hand then it's fine to say I saw or heard it myself.
But if you are getting hearsay information, you MUST say 'According to the residents...' or 'The residents say...', otherwise it looks like you as the reporter are also pointing the accusing finger and owning that statement.
At least you got a response from the Police Commissioner.

And your colleague Samuel McKnight also got in on the act, following the area representative NiLeung Hypolite as he visited the burnt out ruins of the homes.
Throughout the story there were no supers, so for the hearing impaired you could have been speaking to any old Joe.
Then the very last shot of your story with Mr Hypolite standing looking at the smoking ruins should have been your opening shot. Write to your pictures and use your most compelling images first.

And was it in your story that Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj made some statements to the effect that if the gang situation is not dealt with then down the road judges will have to pay protection money to these criminals?
Why let him make those baseless statements without asking him to provide some empirical evidence to support, just like he would have to do in a court of law?


Desha Rambhajan of C News, in your story of the UNC-A's tour of crime-affected areas in Laventille on Tuesday evening, you pointed to a picture in the Express on Monday where the Prime Minister was shaking hands with a known gang member.
We know you are new to this business and your institutional memory may not have much depth, but a simple search of your company's archives or even a question to your seniors in the newsroom would have told you that Sadiq Baksh was also courting gangs some years ago for the UNC.

BTW, why did you end your story with that shot of an abandoned building when you said the opposition is trying to offer people hope? Wouldn't it have been better to show the UNC-A reps talking to the people they want to offer this hope to?

And your on-camera appearance needs some work. Why stand with your left hand behind your back? Were you trying to hide something? Well you looked like a schoolgirl on punishment.


It seems that the bad manners has filtered over to CNC 3 as well.
Shelly Dass has been the main anchor in the 7pm news for some time along with Roger Sant, and now Odeka O'Neil has joined them.
But on Tuesday evening Shelly was nowhere to be found and neither Odeka nor Roger had the courtesy to say that she had the night off.
Why is it so difficult to say those few small words to your loyal viewers?

And at their rival station TV6, Samantha John continues to keep us in suspense about the whereabouts of her co-anchor Cherise D'Abadie.


Still on the subject of Picton, Natalie Briggs of C News also did a story on that subject. But unlike Miss Persad's cameraman who got some really interesting, steady shots, Miss Briggs' cameraman got only shaky shots of the area.
At first we thought he forgot his tripod at the office, or even that he was afraid to put the camera on the tripod too long lest he also become a victim of the gangs.
But alas, while he was taking a shot of some policemen, what did we see in the shot but the solitary tripod.

Miss Briggs, we've said it before and we'll say it again.
It's your story and you need to demand that the cameraman use the resources he has been provided with in order to provide you with the best possible pictures for your story. We can address you, but obviously he will remain nameless since you did not provide us with a super for your cameraman.
Get it right man!
We have no idea what you said in your story because we were distracted by what we thought was your cameraman trying to get some shots while an earthquake was in progress. So in our estimation, and you should consider this as well, you wasted your time going on that assignment.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


TV6 broke from its traditional format on Tuesday to have Sharmilla Persad anchor the newscast from Picton, the area that has been under siege by gangs.
Interesting idea, but.
For those who missed the top of your newscast, and were not aware that the young lady was anchoring, there was a bit of confusion because there was no 'Live' super at the top of the screen. So when she read the lead in to a story and Fabian Pierre's voice came up, it was a bit jarring.

Then for her own story she began the script by saying "When TV6 visited the scene...". This was the best way you could have started your story? Your cameraman provided you with shots of two men lifting a stove out of someone's house, a door with a padlock, very quiet streets. These images were moving, but you did not write to your pictures.
And where were the interviews? You couldn't find one person to say to you that they were too afraid to stay, or they just had to get out or even that they were too afraid to speak on camera? Even that last bit would have added some depth to the story. Instead it seemed like you and the cameraman went in, got some quick shots and quickly exited the area, so we are left to assume you did not attempt to speak with any of the residents.


In Monday's edition of the Express, Peter Christopher told us that 20,000 people "commuted to and from the country on (Caribbean Airlines) every day from January 28 to Ash Wednesday...".
Well Christopher, that piece seemed like a PR article for CA.
Wouldn't it have been better to give an overall picture, even at the end of your article, of how many visitors came into the country?
That information could have been requested from the tourism ministry or the Airports Authority.
We have several other airlines servicing Trinidad and Tobago and the outside world, including airlines in the Caribbean, so we did not get a true picture from your article of the actual number of people who came into the country via the various airlines.

You also could have given some comparison on last year's arrivals via Caribbean Airlines (and tourism figures) to let your readers know whether there was an increase or decrease of visitors for the festival.

Monday, February 11, 2008


CNC 3, we're still trying to figure out why you led your 7pm newscast with that press release from the Prime Minister's office denying that PM Manning had any knowledge of a government minister being under the microscope of the Integrity Commission.
If he said he knew about it, then that would have been an easy lead story.
TV6's producer used good judgement and used that story after their first break. They also had a much better lead story with the exodus of Picton residents.

But once again, Samantha John fails to tell us that her co-anchor Cherise D'Abadie is not going to be joining her.
Look, if the woman is on vacation, then just say so. But how can your managers just abandon the format of the show by going from two anchors to one without batting an eye?
As far as we see, they can draft in Bobbi Jeffrey-Hicks or newcomer Diane Baldeo to fill Cherise's place until she returns.
But oh gosh, say something nah?!


Michelle Burrell of 107.7, what is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives?
You said Barry Si-nah-nan administered the oath of office to President George Maxwell Richards, when we all know his name is pronounced Sin-na-nan.
And the country where the President was shot is pronounced East Tee-mor. Yes it's spelt Timor, but is not pronounced Tim-mor as you said.
Steups! A casual look at the local and international news as well will help you correct these mispronunciations.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


TV6 has a new presenter, Diane Baldeo. She used to work with the TBC network and we can vaguely remember her doing a short stint at TV6 several years ago.
Her presentation style is very clean, along with her clothes, hair and makeup.
But Diane you frown a tad too much. A few more smiles and you will do fine.


Janelle over at I95, that bedroom voice you used when you were reading the 6pm newscast on Friday was not appropriate.
Yes the training says you should imagine you are telling your story to one person in order to sound more conversational, but you should probably imagine that person fully dressed.

And the person who wrote that story out of Parliament with the National Security Minister clearly left their hearing aid at home! The audio quality on Martin Joseph's soundbites was awful. It sounded like someone was crumpling a piece of paper next to his mic during his speech. They didn't hear that during the editing process?
When your listener is distracted, they can't hear the rest of what you have to say.


Once again we appreciate the feedback, and your own comments on what you see and hear in the local media.
Here's a note from a reader N.N., titled 'Lewwe See Nah!'

"Watching Julien Rogers tonight (Thursday) on Prime Time, and in previewing the major interview with Fay Ann and Bunji, Julien speaks, for about 5 minutes, to a local photographer who shot Fay Ann for the cover of Ocean Style magazine.

For most of us who will never see the cover of the magazine, the least C could have done was to give us a nice detailed shot of the cover (omitting the masthead, if necessary) so the viewing audience could relate to what was being spoken about.
All we saw was a brief and long shot of Julien holding the magazine in his left hand. Why are you doing the interview then??
It could have been an excellent lead-in to the interview with the soca couple.


TV6 was the only station to go live to the mas camp of Band of the Year winner Brian McFarlane on Wednesday.
Charlene Stuart's interview with Mr McFarlane was almost perfect. She gave an intro and some perspective on the band's presentation before she got into the interview.
But her director punched her up while she was giving some last minute instructions on when to pop the champagne.
So where was her producer to give her a proper cue??

And who directed the cameraman to pan to the spectators and move away from the action that was centred on Mr McFarlane popping the cork at the end of the interview??
The better thing to do would have been to zoom out as wide as possible and include everyone in the shot.

Friday, February 8, 2008


TV6's Carnival Tuesday night news coverage was a big improvement over Monday night. (However once again Samantha failed to tell her viewers where her co-anchor Cherise was).

Charlene Stuart had a live interview with Brian McFarlane on his 'Earth' presentation. She gave some background to the presentation then she launched into her questions. Then after the interview, she also gave a synopsis of some of the bands that had passed by the Queen's Park Savannah.

Then they went to Sasha Mohammed at Adam Smith Square, who was happy to jump up and down with the masqueraders. Sasha, you have to keep it professional. Do your job, report objectively on what's happening and let the masqueraders do their job.

Next up was Fabian Pierre at South Quay. He looked confused and scared especially when a very tall man jumped into his personal space, but he kept going.
Neither he nor Sasha gave a synopsis of the day's events or even of some of the bands that had passed by where they were stationed. So it seemed that they were reporting in a vacuum.

Then we had Keisha David's story on the parade of bands and the minute of silence for DJ Lalo. Well it looked like Keisha took that literally to mean that she should include the minute of silence in her story as well, because we did not hear any audio for about 20 seconds, then the director cut back to Samantha who said "We do apologize about that." What does that mean?

Golda Lee at C News looked very gloomy and matronly in that black suit, black inner piece and the spectacles with her hair pulled back in a stiff schoolmarm bun. Samantha John also chose to wear black, but strangely enough she punctuated it with a blue necklace.

Well C News thanks for showing us video of the Carnival celebrations as you went to each break during the newscast. But.
There was no editing, so the video just went on and on, with the recorded audio of the live presenter over it. Very distracting and confusing.

Sandra Maharaj that was a nice story about the brothers who create body art. but at some points there was duplication of the intro to the soundbites and what was actually said by the interviewees.

At the end of the newscasts, both C News and TV6 gave us unedited video of the day's events. TV6 had a piece from McFarlane's award-winning band, it went on and on, and C News picked a piece with the cameraman trying to fix his focus. Unfortunate.

Overall mixed review of the Carnival 2K8 coverage.
Some creative ideas, but there is always room for improvement.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


CNC 3 seemed to have the most varied and interesting coverage of Carnival news, for the first 20 minutes of their programme.
Rosemarie had a package dealing with what we'll call celebrities celebrating Carnival, then they had Neil Beekhee live, as well as Roger live, then Sampson Nanton had stories on Carnival celebrations in San Fernando and Tobago. They also had stories from Otto Carrington dealing with J'Ouvert and Samuel McKnight with Carnival in east Trinidad.
But Sampson why did you voice both those stories (and they were run back to back).
Did your other reporters (Hema, Kimberly, Marcia, Satesh) have the day off?

But Rosemarie, at some point your reporter Janelle took off her reporter cloak and put on the cloak of enamoured, star struck masquerader when she started wining on Brian Lara while she was interviewing him! Tell her to keep it professional.
Yes this may be the one and only time she gets to interview the Prince of Port of Spain, but she still has to go back to work.

Odeka and Shelly looked decent. And thanks Shelly for telling us just as your newscast began that Eric Mackie had the night off.
That was too much to ask of Samantha John at TV6. Not only did she not tell us that the weatherman would not be around, she also conveniently forgot to mention that her regular co-anchor Cherise D'Abadie had the night off on Friday and Monday. It was as if the woman did not exist. Samantha we've said it before and we'll say it again: mind your manners.
It's just a courtesy to your viewers to let them know what happened to the person they see every night. Common sense will tell them she's not there, but you need to be courteous.

Well the TV6 newscast began with 5 minutes of murders, shootings, stabbings, and a body that was found. There was really no indication that it was Carnival Monday, only through the headline about the reign of the merry monarch.
Then they took a break.
Right after the break, they came back with a story about Brian Keui Tung being injured while playing mas, so Samantha tossed to Karen Cozier-Phillip outside a mas camp. She said he was "bounced down" by a music truck and suffered several fractures, and that he was "being held" at a medical institution for treatment.

Finally we saw video from the Dimanche Gras show, but only of Sugar Aloes, the eventual winner. Not a shot of the King and Queen of Carnival. But Samantha cued a story by saying they caught up with the queen, but the video stopped abruptly and she moved on to another story, but when that also didn't come up, she again moved on to other news.
They ran the same story with the Commissioner of Police saying Carnival was crime free, even though they led with 5 minutes of crime. Then Samantha came back to camera to say that despite the commissioner's statement, there were several incidents of crime. So why use the Commissioner's soundbite without saying the interview had been done since 7am when there really were no recorded crimes??

Then Sasha Mohammed threw in about 4 stand ups for her story on the Parade of the Bands in Port of Spain. Why? You recorded those stand ups as if you were live, so when we saw the story at 7:15, the information seemed stale. Why didn't you just script those bits?

Did Shabaka Kambon get the day off as well? The reporter with the Spanish accent did Latin America Today. Her pronunciation is a little bit better, but her reading is stilted.

And once again some planning ahead would have told you that if you have that technical segment every week, why not try to do something different for Carnival?
Instead of just using a BBC story on HDTV, why not try to look at some technical innovation in pan or mas?

And that story from Elizabeth Williams-Allard on J'Ouvert had repeated shots.
She didn't have two fresh minutes of video from Tobago for that? And what about the story on the Parade in the afternoon? She didn't say where the parade took place. All we know is that the Roxborough Police Band crossed the judging point first. Where was this??

And finally there was not a single frame of Carnival video to end the newscast. Just an overhead shot of Samantha on the news set.
Your camera crews were out all day long shooting video of masqueraders, people fully costumed since early in the morning, and you couldn't edit just two minutes of that to end your newscast?
Hope we see some improvements on Tuesday.


And what happened to the Carnival coverage after 1pm Monday??
CNMG had been running a ticker tape over the re-run of the Dimanche Gras show saying they would have live coverage from 1pm, but they never did go live until close to 2 o'clock.
TV6 went to live coverage of the African Cup of Nations.

Finally when we saw video on CNMG, there were two cameras pointing in the same direction, and we never saw the person talking over the video. She probably introduced herself at the beginning of the broadcast, but for those who joined you late, we had no clue who she was. Worse when she was interviewing representatives of the various bands, we never once saw her or the interviewees on camera.
This went on for hours. You could have at least sent a reporter into the crowd to do some interviews to break up the monotony of us staring at the bands all day long.
Who was your producer?

And C, what about Carnival coverage out of Tobago? We can't recall seeing any live or recorded shots from Scarborough or Roxborough. What's up with that?

Well we did catch a glimpse of Sasha Mohammed (with what looked like maroon hair) around 5:15. We are not sure if it was a live shot, because as soon as her interview finished, we saw shots of Karen Cozier-Phillip interviewing several different people, one after the other. That had to have been recorded, but we did see the TV6 live super at the bottom of the screen.
You need to let your viewers know if an interview was recorded earlier. Don't mislead them.
Then again, if Fabian Pierre and his producer knew that there would be live inserts during the day, then they should have scripted that at the end of the 12pm newscast so that when your viewers saw the football they would not have switched permanently to CNMG.
But then again, why watch pre-recorded or even live inserts for a few seconds when they can get live coverage all day long?


We'll ask again because it seems this question is lost on the powers that be.
Why does the TV6 lunchtime news ALWAYS begin with a murder?
It's Carnival Monday, there's Dimanche Gras results, J'Ouvert results, bands about to cross judging points, and your producer decides to start with two women fighting on the promenade and several murders?
Then they went to a story about Jack Warner scolding the National Security Minister for something or other.

Finally there was a story about J'Ouvert results and happenings, with a soundbite from the Police Commissioner earlier in the day saying that Carnival had been crime-free, and that there had been no incidents of violence.
So the producer of the show did not check that script against the lead story or the stories after that??
There was no video from Dimanche Gras - which was more than 12 hours prior to the newscast - just a copy story relaying who won. Steups!

There was video out of Tobago with J'Ouvert celebrations, but come on, Elizabeth Williams-Allard needs some pointers on how to write to pictures! She spoke about the tourists, we never saw them, she spoke about the Nema emergency station, we saw it at the end of the script, she spoke about police searching vehicles along the Claude Noel Highway, we never saw that. Then we could not see the faces of the two men she interviewed because they were not facing the sun, and their eyes were covered.

Finally at the end of the newscast, Fabian Pierre cued some video of the J'Ouvert celebrations, but we saw people just walking through the streets of Port of Spain with no music in the background and we heard Charlene Stuart off camera asking "They can hear me? Is it ok? Deborah check your mic."
Seems like someone jumped up at 12:28 with the brilliant idea to show some video at the end of the newscast and pushed in any tape they could get their hands on!
Well that's what you get when you don't plan!

And BTW, by our calculation, your Carnival coverage in the lunchtime news was just about 9 minutes out of an entire 30 minutes.
You think that's good enough for the station that is also touting itself as the Carnival station?

Your newscast could have started with a live shot of one of your more experienced reporters standing at one of the judging points giving us a tease of what was to come, name some of the bands that would cross that point, you could have given us a wide shot of the crowd gathering, anything to show that Port of Spain was alive with Carnival.
Then the reporter should have tossed back to Fabian who could have either gone on with the Dimanche Gras and J'Ouvert results, then he could have said 'We'll come back to more Carnival news in a moment..." and move on to the killings, or after the toss to him, he could have said "We'll get back to more Carnival news in a moment, but first we want to tell you about several shootings in the last few hours....".
It just takes some creativity and planning.


CNMG thanks for giving us live pictures of the Dimanche Gras show, but your director and producer seemed not to have been working in tandem.
During Sekon Alves' performance, there was one point when his back up dancers were performing, but the director chose instead to show us the band for a very long time. Why?

Then during Leslie Ann Ellis' performance, she was pointing out several icons of Trinidad and Tobago and her performers all sat behind her. When she spoke about each one individually and they stood up, instead of calling for the cameramen on the left or the right of the stage to pick them up, all we saw was Leslie Ann standing at the front of the stage. Do you know when we finally saw them? When they were walking off the stage, with their backs to the camera.

There was also some drama to stage left at the start of Cro Cro's performance, but the director kept us on a wide shot of the stage for the entire time, so whatever was taking place was lost on the tv audience. We only got a close up shot when Cro Cro took to the stage more than a minute later.


So what was up with CNMG and CNC 3? Why no live shots of J'Ouvert? CNMG has been touting itself as the station for Carnival 2k8, but we'll get to that.

TV6 had several lulls in the J'Ouvert celebrations; they lost the signal at least twice, then sometime between 7 and 8 there were long periods when we saw music videos and lots of commercials and promos. So where was the plan B for those eventualities? So no one sat down and thought of what should come on the screen if there was a lull in J'Ouvert activities? No pre-recorded pieces on how the J'Ouvert bands are put together? What about a background piece on some of the kings and queens? What about a pre-recorded piece on the history of J'Ouvert?
This is what the producer of the show should have been planning all along.

And by the way TV6, even during your early news updates, we did not get any word on who won the Calypso Monarch title, or who won the title of King and Queen of Carnival. It seemed as if Dimanche Gras had never taken place. We only got that information hours later in the newscast at noon, and then it was still just a copy story, not a single frame of video from the Savannah 12 hours before.


J'ouvert began at 4am Monday, but we would never have known that because CNMG was showing pan and we can't remember what TV6 was showing.
Then around 4:35 TV6 began with the parade of the Kings and Queens of J'Ouvert in progress, with Charlene Stuart hosting and Deborah John of the Express as her co-host/guest.
Miss Stuart seemed a bit nervous and confused in the beginning, but she soon settled down (where was Andy Johnson?).

Well Dr Morgan Job was in studio with someone he described as "some cultural activist" sitting next to him. The gentleman looked taken aback and proceeded to introduce himself and say what organization he was from. Then Dr Job asked him "So what are you here to tell the people?". Well the man literally jumped back in his seat with an expression on his face that said "I did not invite myself here!".
Poor, poor, poor. TV6 please give that man some training.

Miss John was very knowledgeable about J'Ouvert, but what was she staring at? Miss Stuart tried to interact with her, but Miss John probably made eye contact with her once during the four-hour broadcast.

And TV6, when you want to introduce us to a new reporter, it's best not to do so during a live show. The young lady Achsah Gulston who was interviewing the King and Queen contestants. At one point she said to one of the male contestants "Thank you very much and I hope you win." Oh gosh man! So no one told her what to ask and what to say when she was finished? And she had this weird habit of holding on to whichever hand was holding the microphone as if the mic was too heavy and she needed to prop it up.

Then at another point we heard Miss Stuart saying very clearly while she was not on camera, "I am not hearing Deborah." So no one thought it fit to tell Miss Stuart that her mic was live?

At some points it seemed that TV6 was going through a dry run for the real thing, but alas the show was live on the air.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


TV6, we certainly hope your Friday morning broadcast of the Camboulay celebrations in downtown Port of Spain was not the dry run for your actual Carnival broadcasts, because it left much to be desired.

Andy Johnson seemed to be a one-man show of host, producer and director out in the field. We clearly heard Keisha David asking him what is coming next, then we heard him giving directions to the cameraman, then we heard him having conversations with someone in the background when he was not on camera.
Poor Andy! Clearly not his fault that the entire "team" did not get their act together in time to go on the air.
Then at another point, we heard Andy clearly doing a piece to camera, but the director cut back to Dr Job in studio to cue a break, but all this time we were hearing Andy, who clearly did not know that there was a "technical problem" as explained by Dr Job.

Then the cameraman who was shooting the blue devils needed some direction. He must have been shooting Carnival for the first time, because he kept his shot very tight on the devils, even though they were performing the fire-breathing we saw the flame leaving the devils' mouth, but we never did get a shot of the full effect of the flame as it hit the bottle.

So you need to get your team together, discuss the virtues and demerits of that broadcast, and get your act together for J'ouvert.