Monday, June 30, 2008


Gyasi Gonzales of the Express has an interesting article on the young woman who was charged with the kidnapping of Avita Bissoondath.
He delves into the question of bail which arose during her court appearance, but his math is a bit off. We read this part over and over, and couldn't come up with the calculation he made.

"In fact, back in September 2007, the Bail (Amendment) Act was given a 12-month lease on life after being debated in Parliament. Back then, the act was passed with 23 votes - 13 from the People's National Movement (PNM) MPs and five from the Congress of the People (COP). The five Opposition members of the United National Congress (UNC) present voted against the bill."

As far as we can figure out, the act was passed by a margin of 18 to 5, not 23 as Mr Gonzales counted.
So where was his reader's editor or his sub-editor to point out this discrepancy before the article went to print, more than 6 hours after the court appearance?


Otto Carrington of CNC 3, in your report on the court appearance of the young woman who was the alleged mastermind behind the kidnapping of Avita Bissoondath, you said the incident took place at Stream Lodge Road in Tunapuna.
Did you mean Streatham Lodge, as correctly pronounced by Charlene Ramdhanie of C News?

And by the way, since last week TV6 has been spelling the young woman's last name as Bissondath. Please spell it correctly.


Sometimes we wonder why we continue to point out some of these things that we see everyday in the newspapers.
Differing information on the same story is a recurring theme which continues to astound us. How could journalists covering the same story come up with different information? Down to the different spelling of a person's name?

The Guardian's Anika Gumbs-Sandiford in her story of the young mother who was stabbed to death on Friday night, titled 'Mom: I begged her to come home' tells us that "SEVENTEEN-year-old Crystal Bedaysee threatened to report to the police sexual advances being made to her by a man."
But the Express' South Bureau (no other byline) tells us that "A 21-year-old mother of one has died after receiving multiple stab wounds across her body.
Dead is Navisha Krystal Bedessie,...".
Their story is titled 'Mom of 1 dies after stabbing'.

Then Miss Gumbs-Sandiford tells us "Her relatives believe that threat led to her death when she and her 15-month-old baby daughter Jaya M’sha Newton were thrown out of a Vistabella apartment on Thursday night. Bedaysee and her baby sought refuge at a neighbour’s home a few houses away."
But the Expresses tells us "The incident occurred around 9.30 p.m. on Friday at Montique Street, Marabella."


It seems the Guardian's Cherisse Moe wrote her piece on the Chris Brown concert more from the standpoint of a fan than an objective journalist covering an entertainment event.
"Fantastic! That’s the only word to describe Saturday evening’s much-anticipated Chris Brown concert."

Well Cherisse, your enthusiasm should have dampened enough for you to give your readers correct information about your idol. You wrote "Thousands of enthusiastic young fans braved the inclement weather to take in the many moves and sounds of the dynamic Grammy-award-winning artiste."
Sorry to break it to you, but Mr Brown has not won any Grammy awards, but has been nominated three times (see the bottom of the page under 'Awards and nominations').
Clearly you didn't pay attention to the ads for the concert. The announcer said over and over again that he had won many BET and MTV Video Music Awards, but no mention was made of Grammy Awards.
Hmmmm. Maybe your editor is a Chris Brown fan as well.

PS Check out Wayne Bowman's piece in the Express, titled 'Chris keeps it clean'.
Also take a look at Verdel Bishop's piece in the Newsday titled 'Talented Chris Brown'.
Your job as the reporter is to objectively tell your reader about an event.


AHHHH. Finally Mr Fraser points to the standards in journalism, or the lack thereof.
He says the proliferation of media houses has in no way positively impacted on the development of journalists.

Miss Ramkissoon asked "What makes a good journalist?"

Tony Fraser said hard work, listening, understanding society, having a commitment not to take sides (when reporting). He said young journalists do not have the experience that is required to do all of the above.
Of course one of the problems we face in this society is that media managers are not willing to really invest in human resource training, so we the viewers and readers are often stuck with the mediocre level of journalism that is palmed off on us, unless we switch to the foreign stations. Not all local journalists are mediocre, of course.
Mr Madeira said he does not think journalists are listening to their audiences in order to analyze the impact on them.

Miss Ramkissoon's final interviewee was Ajay Rameshwarsingh, the bright star who topped this year's SEA exam.
She said Mr Madeira commended the young man on his diction. Maybe he should think about a career in broadcasting instead of Civil Engineering. And can we suggest that one of the stations offer him an internship before he begins high school?
At 12 years old, he actually speaks much better than some people who are already on the airwaves.


Interesting discussion on CNC 3's Early Morning Show with veteran journalists Jones P. Madeira and Tony Fraser. Mr Fraser made the point that once journalists make everyone uncomfortable with their writing then they cannot be accused of bias.
But we all know there are some journalists who only make certain people uncomfortable while giving endless ear to others.
You know yourselves, and your viewers know you as well.

And good point from Mr Madeira that not every murder should make the front page, and the insensitivity that goes along with covering grief. We've made that point as well.
That people with money are allowed to grieve in private, but people who are not well to do are not allowed the same privilege, and are exploited by the media for the sake of a headline.
Remember the grief of the brother and sister who were poisoned by their father, and who went to his funeral? Absolutely no privacy for those children to grieve the loss of their father.

Both men agree that media managers must be held to account for the quality of their product. But Mr Madeira says the (lowest) common denominator does not inspire media owners to invest in quality products. They just cost too much.
Where are the documentaries? Where are the features on nation building?

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Here's a comment about the SEA stories.

"Actually Robert Clarke over at Gayelle did a great story with Peaches (on Friday night), whose parents were murdered...without using the gory details. We have to remember children are watching and don't need to be reminded about the tragedy. Interesting angle with Peaches excited about passing for a school with a history of violence, but feels safe because her elder sisters are there. Thought provoking.

"But Gayelle, is Paolo mixing up news with skews? And over at CNC3 either get a new set, or figure out a new plan please! On some nights you have Odeka, who is a beautiful dark skinned woman, looking almost white, and Shelly looking grey. While tv6 midday news...turn on the lights!!!!!"

We did not see the Gayelle story on Peaches, but we are not surprised that Robert Clarke did a good job.

Friday, June 27, 2008

$60M LOAN?

Does anyone else find that this story in the Express is a bit strange?
'T&T gets $60m no-interest loan from China', written by Juhel Browne.
Is that TT dollars or US dollars?


Kudos to the Guardian, Newsday and CNC 3 for highlighting the SEA success of those two girls whose lives have been hit by tragedy at such a young age.
All three visited Sarah Sieuchan, who will attend the Saraswati Girls' High School, while the Guardian also highlighted Peaches Charles who will attend the Cunupia Government High School.

But Anika Gumbs-Sandiford, you could have left out the melodrama.
"...the two (parents) were chopped to death last month while asleep at their home on Warden Street, Enterprise, Chaguanas. As parents gathered at the Longdenville Government Primary School with their children, Charles stood alone.
Neither mother nor father was there to share this proud moment."


One of the tenets of journalism is getting the facts straight, but that seems to be getting more and more difficult to accomplish on a day to day basis at the nation's newspapers.
You journalists are making it really difficult for your readers to believe anything you write, when you are constantly printing differing information on the same story.

Joel Julien of the Express tells us that the rescued Avita Bissoondatt is the "...niece of attorney Darin Bissoondatt,", but his colleague over at the Guardian, Geisha Kowlessar tells us instead that the young woman is the "...daughter of attorney Darin Bissoondatt,...".
So which is it?

Miss Kowlessar also tells us "Investigators have identified the dead man only as “Sadman,” of Tunapuna.", but Mr Julien tells us "Dead is a 25-year-old career criminal with the alias "Sandman" known to police for previous crimes...".
And which one of you had the typo?

Again, Mr Julien's version of the story is that "The Bissoondatt's (sic) four captors greeted the police with automatic gunfire. The police returned fire and "Sandman" was killed.". But according to Miss Kowlessar, "During the operation, one man was killed in a reported shoot-out with police....Another man, who ran out of the house after spotting the lawmen, managed to elude the police...".
And the Newsday's Nalinee Seelal tells us when the officers got to the camp, "...they saw four men running away. The kidnappers who were armed with machine guns fired at the police who returned fire, hitting all three, with one dying on the spot while the others escaped in the forest."
So, how many men were there really?

And the time of the actual rescue differs as well, according to which version you read. Mr Julien tells us "The drama surrounding Bissoondatt's rescue mission unfolded around 1.30 yesterday afternoon."
But Miss Seelal tells us the police responded to a tip-off " about 10.30 am...".

Then Miss Seelal tells us "Police officers took the injured kidnapper to the roadway at North Coast Road, but he was already dead by the time he was placed in an ambulance.". But Mr Julien tells us "At exactly 5.03 p.m. the first body came out, it was Bissondatt's captor...He was carried away in a tray of an unmarked police van.". (Maybe he was later transferred to the ambulance.)

But kudos to CNMG and TV6 for getting the dramatic video of the police carrying Avita out of the forest on a stretcher.
Where was CNC's cameraman?


We have to give it to people like dw and others who hit the nail on the head time and time again (without eliciting death threats) when it comes to calling out journalists and their subs/editors/heads of department when nonsense appears on the pages of the country's newspapers.

Case in point: we never thought we would have to pick up Richard Charan of the Express for something like this, but Richard, seriously.
Your story in the Friday edition is titled 'Girl gang-raped by seven men'. OK. So we read the first paragraph.
"Seven men are suspects in the wedding night rape of a 13-year-old girl, who said she was drugged and assaulted in a bedroom of the newlyweds' home during the after ceremony party. The girl said she awoke to find a man raping her and six men watching."
OK. Sounds reasonable.

Then there's this questionable paragraph: "The girl said she was drugged and unconscious when taken to a room, and sometime around 10.30 a.m. came out of her daze." So no one in the house knew this girl was in a room with 7 men until 10:30am?

But then we read your penultimate sentence.
"How many men were involved in the assault is unknown."
So why you and your sub/editor/head of department/whoever decide to put that headline to your story???

Richard, you are one of the better writers at that newspaper. Please don't start falling into the category of bad writing like some of your colleagues.

And Geisha Kowlessar over at the Guardian told us in her story on the rescue of Avita Bissoondatt that the 'Hunt on for three soldiers', and the paper's bold front page headline is 'Manhunt for soldiers'.
However, nowhere in her story is reference made to soldiers, except again in her penultimate paragraph where she tells us "Investigators said they got information that men dressed in camouflage uniforms were spotted going in and out of the shack for the past four days."
So Geisha, who told you those men were soldiers? Did any law enforcement officer actually say to you that the police were looking for three soldiers?
It's illegal but not impossible for people who are not members of the army/regiment to buy/get access to and wear camouflage outfits.

So on top of the Richplain brouhaha you want to go and put the army in more trouble?
If we are wrong and it turns out that army officers were really involved in this kidnapping, we will humbly apologize to you. But if you are wrong, what will you do?

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Here are some good vibes for Samantha John.

"Kudos to Samantha John on her refreshed look on Tuesday night.

"She was sporting a new hair-do and apparent make-over.

"You looked lovely Samantha.

"Well bloggers as for your question on the presentation of News by CVM in dialect form in Jamaica, I see that working easily on Gayelle, and maybe later at TV6, but never at CNC3."


But Samantha, can we ask you a question? How do you feel when Joel Villafana refers to you as Sammy or Sammy Jo when he is going back to you after reading the sportscast?
To us it seems that he is cutting you down to that teeny-bopper radio dj you used to be, instead of keeping the viewers focussed on the fact that you are the face and voice of your station's main newscast.


Well dw is not finished when it comes to you journalists who need to get your acts together.

"Right, which brings me to my next question. Why are you all wasting your time trying to correct 'journalists' who seem to have no desire to improve? I know I'm sounding cynical here, but really, after all these years of doing journalism, you're telling me that our reporters still can't get the basics right? What's wrong with this picture?

"Three things: i) media owners who care only about the bottom line; that is, hire the most starry-eyed and/or desperate young journalists and pay them next-to-nothing to fill pages ii) a public that doesn't care about quality journalism and has no real understanding of the crucial role media and journalism play in a society iii) 'journalists' who have no respect for the profession and by extension little respect for themselves If journalists don't respect their own profession, why should anybody take them seriously? If media owners only want to pay pennies, how can they attract and keep the best talent? If the public cared more about the quality of information they receive the media houses would have to improve.

"It's a complicated thing, our local media industry, and I wish among you you could find the answers to all the ills facing the industry. But at the rate we're going 2020 might come and go and you all will still be highlighting elementary journalism mistakes on your blog. I wish you all well."

Well dw, we couldn't have put it better ourselves.


CNMG's First Up is being held live at Woodford Square in Port of Spain to coincide with City Week, hosted by Fazeer Mohammed and Jessie May Ventour.
Very interesting, and nice mix of guests.
Also good idea to keep the simulcast going until 9am.


Here's an interesting article in the Jamaica Observer that CVM Television will soon broadcast part of its newscast in Jamaican patois dialect.
There are mixed reactions, naturally.

Do you think this would work in Trinidad?


It seems it's profitable to lead a union these days, or at least one union.
The Newsday's Cecily Asson has the goods on the separation package for outgoing OWTU President General Errol Mcleod, which includes a brand new BMW X5 SUV and guaranteed insurance for the next five years.
Wonder what his union members who are struggling to get a raise of pay at T&TEC think about that?

Here's an interesting piece:
"According to reports, the OWTU general council approved Mc Leod’s retirement package during a meeting at the union’s headquarters at Paramount Building, Circular Road, San Fernando. The meeting was chaired by Mc Leod.

"When contacted for comment, Mc Leod said: “I don’t know what my separation package is worth and even if I knew I wouldn’t disclose.”"

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Kudos to CNC 3 and TV6 for surprising their viewers with those soundbites from the Prime Minister at the top of their newscasts. The PM was not mentioned in the headlines, but there he was. The producers were probably trying to scoop each other by using Mr Manning so high up.

But we have to give it to CNC, which used the better soundbite. We actually understood what Mr manning was talking about and said in response to a question on the army lock down in Richplain, Diego Martin. It was a bit long, but it did the job.
Unfortunately though the soundbite TV6 used was about 7 seconds long, so by the time we started hearing what Mr Manning was saying, he was done and we were like, What? What did he say?

CNC also had a good mix of stories....the terror suspects being extradited, a recap of the entire issue from the day the story broke last year, as well as an interview with the daughter of the lone Trini suspect. They also expanded on the Richplain lock down by getting what seemed like an exclusive interview with senior police officers on the scene who were meeting with army officials, as well as the court appearance of one of the main suspects in the murder of the army corporal.

TV6's stories were very short and did not have the depth either in the writing or the producing of the segments as CNC, at least not on this occasion.
The bright spot was Keisha David's stand up for her story on crime in central Trinidad. However she faltered in the script after the stand up when we heard her say the woman "...had her grandson snatched..." from outside their house or shop.
Well that suggested that the woman was in collusion with the kidnappers. Why not just say her grandson was kidnapped or grabbed outside the shop/house?

And one more thing. A few nights ago, Sampson Nanton was reading either the 8pm or 9pm newscast on CNC when he introduced a sport story on the world number one tennis champion Ana "Iva-no-vick" (that was his pronunciation).
Well Sampson her name is spelt Ivanovic and pronounced (correctly by Roger Sant) as "Iva-no-vitch".


This comment is for the sub editors who often do not pay close enough attention to grammatical errors in scripts presented to them by reporters.

"Hi Martine,

"You all often call out newspaper writers for grammatical errors as in your post yesterday (Different Strokes 2). I don’t think that’s fair to the writers. Under deadline pressure reporters make grammatical errors. That’s acceptable. What you don’t want are factual errors.

"A reporter’s job is to get the story, not write it up in award-winning prose. That’s the job of the subs and rewrite team. I think a lot of the errors you highlight should be caught by competent sub editors.

"I agree that the overall standard of reporting and journalism needs to improve, but let’s apportion blame where it’s deserved. Sub editors are supposed to be the grammatical gatekeepers at newspapers. Clearly, the ones at our newspapers are not doing what they’re paid to do.


Our response was you are correct, the subs need to do their jobs. Hopefully though with pressure being put on the reporters, they will in turn put pressure on the subs to do their jobs. But there are also factual errors in some of the stories we have highlighted, like the conflicting information on the same story published in different newspapers.

Reporters have to pay attention to what their sources tell them. It's probably easy to call up a source to get info, but aren't the people who have the real facts the police officers who are at the scene of a crime or accident? Wouldn't they be able to say whether the man who died was a passenger in the front seat or the back seat of the maxi? Or whether a log from a truck came loose and hit the passenger who died, instead of the truck crashing into the maxi?
Or the baby that died was a girl instead of a boy?
Or there were 3 people in the car instead of two?
So yes, the reporters are responsible for giving us the facts of the story, but sometimes it's difficult to even get those straight.
Who's at fault there?


Here's one for CNMG. It's from ML who was not too pleased with a particular newscast, but we aren't sure which one.

"Is the CNMG news producer sleeping on the job?

"And the presenter who's only claim to fame was that he hosted an episode of BET Jazz introduces it with: "on the lighter note.."

"This story if used at all, would have had to be placed last on the international package, CERTAINLY not end up in sports."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The Newsday's version of the story of the two women sentenced to 20 years for killing the teacher does not have a byline, and probably quite rightly.

The unnamed writer tells us the judge said "...This sought of crime leaves little room to extend the hand of mercy.”"
(Although we are told the judge made this statement in the preamble before the sentencing, we can assume that the judge presented a written statement with the incorrect spelling. If that is the case, then the writer should have put in the word 'sic' after the incorrect spelling to show that he/she was not the author, but was just reporting what was said word for word. Since the word 'sic' was not used, we are also left to assume that in transcribing the judge's statement, the writer was at fault in the spelling.)

Then later we are told "In a plea for leniency, lawyers for the two Israel Khan, SC, Daniel Khan and Hayden St Clair Douglas said the two women lived hard live but sought to educate themselves while incacerated."

And the writer tells us "Daniel Khan, in his plea for leniency for Anganoo, said she was only 16 years at the time of the incident and was easily influenced by her peers.
He said Anganoo was mislead by her cousin (Pooran)...".


Interesting comments from Fazeer Mohammed and Earl Jean during the First Up segment on CNMG on the Soca Warriors' victory.
Fazeer we agree 150% with everything you said. The 'rum and roti political football' that is the national football team is a real joke.
Jack Warner and Gary Hunt need to get their acts together.

And yes, we also agree with the last caller on the simulcast that dem fellas need to learn to talk before dey go on de mic! Steups!
That is what Jack Warner as well as the West Indies Cricket Board need to invest in - speech coaches/therapists who can teach these guys that they need to be able to represent themselves and their organizations by speaking properly when they conduct interviews not just here at home, but with the international media as well.
Despite how good they are on the field, Aurtis Whitley, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo are at the top of the list for this training.


We haven't had to address the issue of poor spelling on the CNC Early Morning Show in a long time, but they had quite a few today.

"'Demonic' prostitutes gets 20 years each..."; "Slain solider laid to rest..."; "Sport: Gayle returns as Windies go after Austrailia...";
Maybe the CG/CP Operator woke up a bit too early.

And Keith, why do you have to give that long boring monologue about all kinds of things such as people should take their medication, and turn up the volume on the tv before you went to the Guardian headlines? Steups. Too much talking.

And your first guest Brigadier Carl Alphonso was on the telephone, but we did not see a photo of him. Doesn't your newsroom have any video of the Brigadier? And the Guardian doesn't have any pictures of him either?

Monday, June 23, 2008


It's interesting that two reporters (supposedly) went to the same court to cover the same story and came out with differing information on which lawyers were representing which accused.
In the Guardian's version, Francis Joseph tells us that Israel Khan represented murder-accused Shelly-Ann Anganoo: "Senior State attorney Kathy-Ann Waterman-Latchoo appeared for the State; Hayden St Clair Douglas for Pooran, and Israel Khan and Daniel Khan represented Anganoo."

But Express reporter Joel Julien tells us that "Attorneys Israel Khan SC, St Clair Douglas, Dawn Mohan and Daniel Khan appeared for Pooran while Osbourne Charles SC, Keith Scotland and Anil Maharaj appeared for Anganoo."
Hmmmmm. Who is correct?
At least they both have the state attorney's name correct, as well as the presiding judge.


Here's another example of the Newsday copying an article wholesale from a foreign newspaper/site and printing it without attribution. It's about a Trini living in Baltimore who has become the first woman to lead the Maryland Air National Guard.
Why does the Newsday do this?

Well here is the story from the Chicago Tribune website,
and in fact the Tribune attributed the original source of the story.


Well clearly there are divergent views on the new face of the Trinidad Guardian.

"This is in response to PH's comments on my earlier post"

"Hi PH,

"Did you read all the posts? See the initial post "New Look Guardian" (Thursday June 12) in which the T&T Guardian print edition and the U.K. Guardian are compared. So I think you need to get your facts straight.

"As for the comparison between the guardian online and, again there is no comparison. I saw the T&T guardian testing site when it was up briefly a couple weeks ago. It's an off-the-shelf product from PHP Cow. They're basically using a Washington Post template and customising it a bit. It looked sloppy.

"You assert that "the new online design for the Guardian Newspaper looks like a Guardian UK finish." Do you know anything about web site design?

"You cannot compare a bespoke, brilliantly designed site like -- one of the best designed news web sites around -- to the T&T Guardian's new site. It's simple flattery to suggest that these two sites are in the same league.



Here's one for Lyndy-Anne Parks at TV6, from Ria John.

I am a avid reader of your blog, however after reading your comments on the new face at tv 6, i felt you went easy on Ms. Parks.
Although she looks well put together, she sounds horrible, while i could understand her nerves, her pronounciation was all wrong. why is Mr. Kallipersad misjudging himself and allowing this young lady who needs serious voice training to deliver the news. She needs to be trained."


Lyndy-Anne, take it constructively.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Here's a comment on the last post on this issue.

"Mike what was noted is that the new online design for the Guardian Newspaper looks like a Guardian UK your response was based on what again?

"The two websites were even posted side by side for comparison...where were you? You must get the facts before responding.

"However the testing design has since been removed from the site, so you won't know why the comparisons were made.

"Of Course the Guardian hard copy looks nothing like the Guardian London Newspaper. Obviously not."



TV6 has a new presenter in Lyndy Anne Parks. She is doing a commendable job so far.
We heard the nervousness in her voice at the beginning of the newscast and we got only a hint of a smile just before and after the commercial break, but Lyndy Anne, not bad for your first try.
Smile a little more, work on the endings of your words which you tended to leave out, and you will be fine.


At 9pm Friday, Desha Rambhajan looked like a news presenter and not a wannabe fashionista.
It was the combination of things - the hair (much better), the toned down makeup, the shape and colour of the jacket.
Very professional.
Desha you are still pronouncing the words that should have the 'u' sound as 'o', e.g. you are saying 'elec-shon' instead of 'elec-shun'. Please pay attention to this.

Now onto news. Charlene Ramdhanie gave us a story on the judgement in favour of the maxi taxi drivers. It was long and at times spiced with legal jargon like "coercive authority". Then Joanne Briggs took the other side of that story from the maxi taxi drivers' perspective. She spoke with both the Route 2 president, Victor George and some drivers, then at the very end of the story she threw in a sentence referring to the commuters. Clearly they were an afterthought, but how will the ruling affect them?
And Joanne, that pose with your left hand in your pants pocket while doing your stand up just didn't work for us. You looked a tad bit too casual, like you were telling people to go have a good time for the weekend rather than that maxi taxi operators may be collecting millions of dollars.

Then for the story on the flooding and the low reservoir levels, your colleague Sherwin Long told us "...the rainy season is only three weeks old...". Sherwin, wouldn't it have been better to say "We are just three weeks into the rainy season..."?

CNC 3's 9.30pm newscast began four minutes late, because some government programme was running. That is not acceptable.
Sampson's story on inflation began with this lead in: "The Central Bank says the country's inflation rate has risen from what it was last month...".
That is what you call a laugh out loud moment. Well if it rose, then clearly it wasn't where it was last month.

And speaking of Sampson, he also reported on the low levels in the reservoirs. The camera work was excellent. We saw the close ups of the meter in the reservoir. That shot stood out because no one else used it.
But Sampson at one point you used a soundbite from someone who said "If no rain falls within two weeks...". But the rain was falling while that tour to the North Oropouche water treatment plant was taking place, and rain fell so much in Port of Spain that the streets flooded, so why did you use that soundbite? Why didn't you just chop it out?

And during Leeron Brummel's story on the army presence in Diego Martin, the bar at the bottom of the screen read that protesters were claiming "police harrassment".
PS Leeron, why did you need three stand-ups in that story? You started with one, then halfway through we saw you again in the same spot, then at the very end, you closed the story on camera just saying your name in the same spot. Why? Well it seemed as if you wrote those three pieces at the end of the interviews when you were on your way back to the office and decided to record those pieces by the way.
Then when you got back to the office you or someone else said yeah they all look good, use them.
No. The stand-ups should not be used like that. Find a reason for them, some significance, a link that is missing in the script, you don't have enough video to cover part of the script, but not just to see yourself.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Sampson Nanton, please stick to reporting. You do a much better job there than at reading the news. We caught your story on the Labour Day celebrations on Thursday night and we must say we were quite pleased.
Although we don't usually agree with stand-ups being done at the beginning of stories, yours worked because it set the stage and the tone for what was to come in the rest of the story. We got the distinct impression that you planned what you said and practiced with your cameraman in front of the statue of Buzz Butler.
And you used a lapel mic so we didn't see the distracting CNC mic flag.

But you kinda killed our enthusiasm with the second stand-up in the rain with the green raincoat, but we're willing to forgive you.
Overall good job. Keep it up.


The Editorial in the Friday Express is very interesting.
It perhaps expresses (no pun intended) the view of many Trinis that this tit for tat thing between Jack Warner and Gary Hunt is going just a bit too far, and is beginning to border on the absurd.
The latest salvo fired by Jack Warner is that T&T's remaining 'home' games will be played outside of T&T. Huh?

"But this is Trinidad and Tobago where absurdity has been known to become reality so all we can advise, for the moment, is that Mr Warner, instead of pursuing a road that is bound to make his country a laughing stock in the football world in particular, if not the sports world in general and the planet as a whole, seeks to make peace with the government as it seemingly seeks to get a reasonable cut from promoters for use of the nation's stadia which incur costs to maintain."


We see that Bobbi Jeffrey-Hicks has moved on from reading the 10pm news (and at least one 7pm weekday newscast) on TV6 to reading government news updates on Channel 4 - the government information service.
Tsk tsk.
Well Bobbi, what can we say? You have to move on to greener pastures when your natural talents are being ignored. Good on you.

And we understand other members of the media will soon be pushing on those revolving doors for greener pastures. Their identities will be revealed in due time.


Thanks Express TV for correcting the name of the presenter on the Business stories from Rowan Gould to Aretha Welch (last week her name was spelt Welsh).

PS Aretha can you mention to your colleague at TV6, Samantha John that the word 'gunned' is pronounced as one syllable and not two? As in "The suspect was gunned down on Tuesday in a hail of bullets." instead of "The suspect was gun-ned down on Tuesday in a hail of bullets."


The Guardian's Anika Gumbs-Sandiford has a story titled 'Crash claims life of comrade' in the Friday edition.
"Steve Joakhim Mitchell, 50, Labour Relations Officer I, attached to the San Fernando branch (of the NUGFW) for the past nine years, was killed instantly when a truck collided with a Princes Town maxi taxi along Manahambre Road.....Mitchell, a father of three, was a back-seat passenger in the maxi taxi."

Yet the Newsday has the same story titled 'Killed by flying wood', but the circumstances of Mr Mitchell's death are completely different (there is no byline).
"Mitchell was sitting in the front seat of a maxi taxi heading for Fyzabad when a piece of wood from a truck travelling alongside the maxi became loose, hitting Mitchell in the face. Mitchell was a NUGFW member for the past 15 years."

And Nikita Braxton of the Express has a similar version to that of the Newsday, in her story titled 'Wood from truck crushes man in maxi'.
"A plank of wood on a three-tonne truck became detached from the rope which held it to the vehicle and smashed into the windscreen of the maxi taxi in which Mitchell was a front seat passenger, police said. Mitchell's face was crushed by the wood, police added."

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Here's the latest turn in the 'debate'.

"This one is for Hillary's bad-mouthers who seem to think their private life is far less flawless than what Hillary exuded publicly.


"It is a short and sweet read, so read and enjoy.

"Hillary for President - 2012"



We weren't sure what to name this one, but it's for Desha and Joel.

"CNMG's Desha Rambajhan supposedly does have a nice face to look at, but she needs to understand that reading news is not necessarily supposed to make her glad, especially throughout an entire Newscast.
"And Desha, I think you will look nicer with short hair, or you need to get a hair dresser that understands how to style your hair appropriately for Television and what it gives. Your hair is very thick at the roots and thins out in the rest of its length, so you look rather queer in your beauty with that hair style where you let the hair down with the top puffed up.

"And Joel Villafana over at TV6 please get some formal well fitted jackets. Those casual outfits ain't cutting it. You may want to look at Roger Sant over at CNC3 for some tips. Feel free to look out for him in any Newscast over there as he reads all of them at some point, you can't miss him, nor his suits.
Please do something about those "fling on suits" Joel...Please.

"And Roger Sant when will Astil Renn start presenting the Sportscast which it seems you have a monopoly on?"



Here's the latest comment on the new face of the Trinidad Guardian.


"Sorry to bombard you with postings but I'm just finding some time to catch up on past blog posts. A few thoughts on the relaunched Guardian:

"A few people have compared the relaunched Trinidad Guardian with the U.K. Guardian, saying the T&T version looks a bit like the U.K. version. I disagree. The U.K. Guardian is an elegantly designed newspaper that's routinely cited as one of the best-designed papers in the world. See this year's winners of the Society of News Design's World's Best-Designed Newspaper award. The U.K. Guardian is also a very well-written, edited and illustrated newspaper, as anyone who has read it knows.

"It's sheer flattery to even suggest that the T&T Guardian is in the same league as the U.K. Guardian. In fact, I would say that the T&T Guardian has degenerated to a run-of-the-mill tabloid -- a far fall for a paper with the Guardian's history. Anyone remember when the Guardian used to have stories on its front page? Look at it over the past few years. It's front pages are barely distinguishable from those of its competitors: big, sensational (and often misleading) headlines, boring visuals. In fact, cover the mastheads of the three dailies and your can barely tell which is which. They're all going (gone?) down the gutter.

"Adding more colour is good - not the least for advertisers. But it won't hide sloppy reporting and uninspired visuals. Guardian of Democracy? Umm, I don't think so."



Here's a thought-provoking question put to us.

"hi Martine,

"What are your views on our national newspapers using dialect? They will argue that they're just reporting the subjects' speech faithfully. But wouldn't it be better to simply paraphrase what the speaker said? These quotes are from the Express' lead story today (Shakedown):

""They toting too much ah ghost."

"Asked what she meant., she said, "They kill too much ah people so the people (the deceased) ghost on them so its like they cannot sit still.""


Our response was that the reporter might well say they are trying to show the colourful language of the speaker, but they already paraphrased what was said, so really, what was the point of using the verbatim speech?

We aren't trying to be facetious, so if a newspaper reporter can give us a really good answer, we would appreciate it.


Here's the first comment on whether VS Naipaul is Trinidad's most famous son, according to Newsday writer Anne Hilton.

"Hi Martine,

"Naipaul, most famous son? I would dispute that. Most accomplished? Yes... Most famous? Hardly... That would be either Dwight Yorke or Brian Lara.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Sampson Nanton, what is "lym-foamia"?
That's how you pronounced the ailment which veteran businessman AA Laquis succumbed to.
As far as Media Watch is aware, it's 'lymphoma'.

And the former T&T National football coach's name is pronounced 'la fore-ray', NOT 'la forest' as it's spelt.

And Karen Cozier-Phillip of TV6 pronounced the name of one of the EMT's in that story on the launch of a new emergency hotline number as Warren "Wilt-shyer" (spelt Wiltshire).
As far as we are aware, it's pronounced "Wilt-sha".
That story was used at 7pm and 10pm. So no one picked that up at 7pm?

And where are your station's other reporters? We heard your voice on three packages at 10pm, and the newscast is only half an hour.


In her review of VS Naipaul's biography 'The World Is What It Is', Newsday writer Anne Hilton refers to the author as "Trinidad’s most famous son".

She adds: "Others have written learnedly and at length about this book in serious magazines and Sunday supplements in Europe and North America; the shocking revelations of the private life of the great writer hit headlines in the tabloids.", and "Love him or hate him, like him or loathe him, admire him or detest him, there’s no denying that A House for Mr Biswas, A Bend in the River and Among the Believers are works of genius."

What do you think? Is VS Naipaul really Trinidad's most famous son?

Send us your comments at


In a story titled 'No big spenders for election', the Newsday tells us "THE COUNTRY’s three main political parties had differing views yesterday to the Elections and Boundaries Commission’s (EBC) view that “an extravagance of financing” took place in last year’s General Election."

The writer (there is no byline) goes on to tell us that the EBC report was laid in the Parliament last Friday by Deputy Speaker Pennelope Beckles, and that the PNM's John Donaldson said he was not aware of any extravagant spending, while Wade Mark of the UNC said the issue needed to be discussed at the level of the party, and Prakash Ramadhar of the COP reiterated his call for legislation on party financing.

But the person who wrote that piece did not do it justice, since we are still waiting to hear how much spending really took place during the election by the parties.
What figures were quoted in the EBC report? Which party spent the most? And if no figures were quoted, then why didn't the writer get those same people who gave differing views to say exactly how much was spent?

There's not even a line in the story saying none of them could say exactly how much was spent, or they said no comment or something along those lines. You could have thrown in the figures which were quoted during the elections on how much the parties spent on advertising alone, just to bring some perspective to the story.
What was the point of writing that piece? Just reporting for reporting sake to fill a few extra inches in the paper?


Well C News, we see that Robert Dumas has been resurrected to read the sportscast.
He looks very spiffy in that coordinated striped outfit - shirt, tie and jacket.
Very professional.


Well Aretha Welsh of Trinidad Express TV (or is it Rowan Gould as your editor would like us to believe?) we can see that you took to heart our suggestion that the striped shirt you wore last week for the business tv segment just was not cutting it. Well sort of.
This week we see you are wearing the same striped top with the suspenders under the arms, but thankfully someone decided to give you a close up shot so we are not seeing any distracting, um, assets.

Much better. But.
The three stories you decided to do this week were still very long, at 3:48, including the headlines.
And are you writing for TV or print? Your first story began this way: "Governments must protect consumers from merchants who are price fixing if they want to help them deal with the rising cost of living said David Thompson, Prime Minister of Barbados. Speaking at the Caribbean Investment Forum at the Hyatt in Port of Spain last week,...".
And for your second story you also said "The incomes of citizens in Trinidad and Tobago need to increase if they are to continue enjoying a decent standard of living despite high food and transportation costs says senior economist Ronald Ramkissoon."

So the point is to just read the script as is from the newspaper story?
But if you are doing tv, then the script has to be adjusted for your tv audience.
For example, "Senior economist Ronald Ramkissoon says the incomes of citizens of this country need to increase if they are to continue enjoying a decent standard of living despite high food and transportation costs."
That's much easier on the ear than the newspaper version. We are not asking you to change the content, but writing for a newspaper is not the same as writing for tv or radio.

And if that piece with David Thompson was last week, why is it your top headline this week? We know the Business Express comes out weekly, but once again, tv news is supposed to be timely, so the first thing the viewer thinks is, "Why are they using that stale story?".
So back to the drawing board.


Here's a comment for Desha and Sampson.

"Monday's 9pm news on C with it me or does she have a 'smiley Khan' face? Every story she read, regardless of the content, was delivered with a smile. She's nice to look at but I don't think I want to look at a smiling face delivering serious news. And that straitjacket-looking top she was wearing...eek!

"And Sampson, why is it that when you're doing a report you sound like you need to put a towel on your head over a bowl of steaming water? You sound seriously congested.
Maybe it's below zero in the CNC newsroom?"


Monday, June 16, 2008


Very thought-provoking interview on CNMG's First Up this morning with David Abdullah and Vincent Cabrera.
We wait to see what pans out on Labour Day.

Friday, June 13, 2008


We came across this article on The New York Times website, titled "What went wrong?".

"A mere six months ago, it seemed a good bet that Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic presidential nomination. It didn’t turn out that way. The Op-Ed page asked some political experts to explain why they thought her campaign didn’t live up to expectations."

Here's a quote from Carl Bernstein on the issue:
"Barack Obama’s candidacy was the Clintons’ worst nightmare. They had dreamed of the day when an African-American could be elected president. But they never anticipated it would happen on their watch and were utterly confounded."

What do you think?


Nice move Joel of TV6 to have your director put up that bar at the bottom of the screen to try to hide the you know whats, but we still saw them.
There must be a way to fix those jackets or adjust your seat.
Try nah!


Unfortunately the producer and or director of the show made a boo boo by placing Joanne against the backdrop of the One on One sign, but it looks like the One is coming out of the sides of her head and the 1 is sitting on top of her head....a media crown of sorts.


MATT President Joanne Briggs is discussing the ins and outs of media work on IETV right now with Vernon Ramesar, 7:11pm.
As we said before, and as Joanne is reiterating, an investigative piece cannot be done now for now, unlike what some tv journalists would like us to believe.


Hmmmm. TV6 what happened to the video in that Sharmilla Persad story at the top of your newscast?
We were hearing audio but were not seeing any video for quite a while.
Your producer and director took way too long to cut back to Samantha and move on to the next story.


Here's a response to Sandra on CNMG's losses.


"In response to Sandra's reply to my earlier comment on CNMG's losses:

"My question about what CNC3 is doing that CNMG isn't sarcastic at all. And it is a fair analysis. In fact, Sandra, you have by your response done exactly what I had hoped the reporter would have done. That is, the reporter should have explained the difficult advertising environment and, in comparing the two new stations, highlight the fact that CNC3 is shielded somewhat from adverse market conditions by serving as an advertising vehicle for the ANSA McAL Group.

"In other words, what I was looking for is context, the type of context you would get in a similar story were it reported in the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal or other business publication where the reporters know what they're talking about, understand the media industry as a whole and understand how to compare financial performance.

"You say: "CNC3's salaries are also much lower than CNMG's, ask their staff members they'll tell you." Great, because I would really have liked for the reporter to tell us what those salaries are, so that readers could make an informed comparison of the two stations.

"So like you I too say, "come on reporter, get busy!"


Thursday, June 12, 2008


There are lots of examples of government officials worldwide resigning or offering to tender their resignations following public protests or scandals, or the failure of their governments to perform on particular issues.
Why doesn't someone start a campaign to pressure National Security Minister Martin Joseph to do the same?

Here are some examples:
"Other senior Iraqi officials have considered resigning in recent weeks over the failures of their government to make progress after more than a year in power, according to Iraqi and U.S. officials."

"A senior Finance Ministry official resigned Wednesday as the trading scandal involving his former employer, the Nordic investment bank D. Carnegie, spread to the upper echelons of the Swedish government.
State Secretary Urban Funered said he had resigned his post to keep allegations of financial wrongdoing against Carnegie from tainting government efforts to sell off stakes in major Swedish companies."

Need we say more?


IETV's lead story was that Stephenson Williams is tipped to be named as the new Police Commissioner tomorrow.

They also had the story of the 13 year old girl who was found "resting comfortably" at the home of a teenaged boy near her home. Melissa Williams told us the girl was being interviewed by the police with a view to whether she should be charged with wasting police time.

CNC 3 on the other hand said she was found and taken to hospital for treatment. They said there was no word on whether a ransom was paid, but IE said the family could not raise a ransom. CNC did not mention anything about the girl 'resting comfortably'.

And Gary Hunt's generous offer to waive rental fees for the National Stadium if Jack Warner waives ticket fees was the lead sport story. CNMG, TV6 and CNC 3 all had responses from Jack Warner (CNMG and TV6 reached him by telephone in Nigeria), while CNC had a graphic of what Mr Warner said. But Nadine Hackett of IETV did not provide us with any response from the TTFF or Mr Warner, who described the offer as "idiocy" and said "Thank you minister, but no thanks".

We are still trying to make up our minds about CNMG's new sports reader. Maybe he will grow on us. BTW, what happened to Robert Dumas?
And Joel Villafana of TV6, please either sit up or unbutton your jacket. Unfortunately we are seeing what looks like man boobs.
Take a look at the tape.


See what a little pressure does?
Martin Joseph apologises for his "arrestses" slip during today's post-cabinet news briefing.

When will some of you reporters apologise to the national community for your slip ups?


Well Jade, we picked up a hard copy of the Guardian today to see for ourselves what the fuss with the Press Watch ad was all about. Interesting name eh?

As we said before, we like the colour of the front page. It's very bright, and an improvement on what we remember as the dull grey of the old paper. And like someone else said, it looks very British and international. We are guessing that's the look they were going for.

A few other things stood out immediately.
On page A3 there's an interesting story about a young man who appeared in court charged with turning off a computer in the Register General Department.
And would you believe directly below that story is a section called Getting It Right, which says "It is the Guardian's policy to correct significant errors as soon as possible."
Directly below.
You might say that was not a significant error since the writer of the story really just meant to say Registrar General's Department, but here are a few more things we picked up and which are really tempting us to write to the editor at the email address they have provided.

On page A5 there's a photo of a man identified as Anthony Alto, who died at the San Fernando General hospital. Yet throughout the story written by Radhica Sookraj, the deceased is referred to as Anthony Atlo (13 times).

The print in the business Guardian is pretty small. And when there's too much of it in one story, the print gets even smaller. Not good. And we are not partial to the pink paper. Never were.

Then on page B34 there's a story on sleep titled 'How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?'. We thought it looked familiar, but there was no byline in the Guardian so we searched the net and found it - the same story we read last week at
The story was written by Laura Blue.
The story on page C16 on hearing loss also looked familiar. Ah yes. We read it on the BBC website on Monday. They copied down to the picture of the ear.
Come on editor, where is the attribution? Why can't you stick in somewhere in the story where it was copied wholesale from?
This is not the first time you've done this and it's not a habit you should be happily repeating. What about copyright issues?

And we noticed there are lots of ads. We did not check how many of the companies placing ads were Ansa McAl companies, but the marketing department clearly tried to pull out all the stops for the relaunch.
Let's see if they can maintain this.


And another reader weighs in on the CNMG story.

"Did someone ask what CNC3 is doing that CNMG isn't doing.

"Is that a sarcastic question? Because clearly CNC3 falling under the Ansa McAl financial umbrella only means that a lot of its advertising dollars are pumped right back into media houses owned by the group. So I am not sure that that was a fair analysis or question as it were.

"CNC3's salaries are also much lower than CNMG's, ask their staff members they'll tell you. But that is no justification for it to be that way, after all the profit Grenfell Kissoon boasted about is over 200 million - minus Ansa McAl recycling its funds, I'm sure the story would be similar to CNMG's after two years in business.

"C salaries amounts to 8 million, this means CNC3 won't feel the pinch if they math that payment plan given their profit margins versus CNMG's losses.
CNMG is in a bad way, as the Advertising Market is shrinking and we are heading for seriously hard economic times that even the man of Hope, Presidential hopeful Barack Obama cannot mend. Like every thing else time will change all things.
It is a bad time for CNMG. They may have to lease as an option.

"Did someone say the consultancy cost was one million, looks like that figure could be much higher. Come on reporter, get busy."



And here's round 8 in the debate.

"NN, your facade is just that, a facade, you try to come across as someone that has veneer, but like your leader Obama, I smell something phony.

"And thanks for the insult, but I am not supporting Hillary because she is a woman, surely I am of more substance than that, I am supporting her because she is a better candidate with better policies.
Clearly you are supporting Obama because he is black. But he won't be able to influence a change in fuel and food prices like Hillary would.

"Well I got news for you, he is a puppet on a huge string that will do nothing more for black people nor the Caribbean, he will be taking instructions like you never know it, and if there is one reason I'd like to see him become President, is to prove my point and watch chins like yours touch the ground.

"Get it through your head and stop listening to the pundits, Obama is an empty suit. His speeches are pieced together, they are not his words, he is a fake and a phony.
He will crash and burn.

"Hillary for President - 2012"



Well the Guardian was called the G-Size in its last incarnation, but we're not sure what it's called now.
Here's another comment on the new look.

"The size of the guardian doesn't make much of a difference to me, but I have to disagree with that person who said dominic kalipersad's departure is bad for the paper. Seriously, kalipersad did not seem to make any real difference, and I'm not entirely sure he's dynamic enough for tv6 either. I mean we all see how tv6 lets some their reporters get away with being biased, politically. That's almost funny.
"In the end, content is what matters. All the papers win some, or lose some. What was stupid though was this "construction" marketing campaign! I sincerely hope they didn't actually PAY some one to come up with that garbage. The ads are bad bad bad. Let's hope they get some new marketing people."



Here is some food for thought from this reader in response to the story about CNMG's losses.


"Of course the writer meant to say cumulative, but does he/she -- or the sub editor who subbed the story -- even know the difference? This is the problem. There are too many inexperienced, ill-trained 'journalists' in the local media industry. Some of these reporters would not even make the cut at quality college/university newspapers abroad. Sad, but true...

"Regarding the story in question, its whole premise and headline are silly. It suggests that by the government pumping $135 million into a media company it should immediately turn a profit. As you know, many companies run a loss for several years before becoming profitable. I think the typical time-to-profitability for a magazine, for instance, is roughly five years. I don't know the time scale for a TV channel, but given the losses Murdoch incurred setting up Sky and Fox, I would say they can be fairly substantial in the first few years.

"The real story should have been, 'Is CNMG being properly managed to turn a profit anytime soon?' Have there been missteps in executing the strategy? Grenfell Kissoon at ANSA McAL's earnings conference a few months ago said that CNC3 had already turned a profit. What is CNC3 doing right that CNMG isn't? CNMG's salaries, the article tells us, account for a big part of its operating expenses ($8.7 million). Just how much are the top executives and talent being paid, and are these salaries justified in light of the company's performance to date? These are some of the questions that should have been investigated by the reporter, instead of just mindlessly telling us about the various line expenses and revenue items.

"Also, it would have been helpful to be given percentages along with the raw figures. For instance, the $8.7 million represents what percentage of overall expenses? This type of information is far more useful for evaluating the company's performance than raw figures."


PART 2 (3)

We caught Part 3 of Sasha Mohammed's special look at the lack of implementation of government projects. It wasn't bad, but again, it left much to be desired.

At one point Miss Mohammed asked Indira Sagewan-Ali about government's funding of programmes like CEPEP, and her response was "As you say they are political instruments...". But that's a leading question Sasha.
It suggests that you did not ask her if she thought such programmes were political instruments, but that you made the statement then asked her if she agreed.

And with Christine Sahadeo, she did not turn out to be the hard-hitting interview subject you were hoping for. She basically said she felt more emphasis should have been placed on the execution of certain government programmes.
But she was a key member of the finance ministry in the last administration, and the national budget was delivered in August, while she was still in office, and some of the programmes she criticized came under her purview. Did you ask her how many of these things were proposed during her tenure and how many have been fulfilled?
You were trying to go for the effect of someone close to the PNM criticizing them, but it had the additional effect of making her comments look like sour grapes, since she was part of the group that did not deliver.

PS Gerard Lampow reads the midday news and the 10pm newscast. Where has Fabian Pierre disappeared to? We haven't seen or heard him in a while.
Gerard careful of burnout so soon after your debut.


This Obama/Clinton debate will probably rage for the rest of the year. Here's a comment from NN.

"Damn! Bad talk Hillary and off with your head!

"PH, what do you think a Hillarian-cum-Clintonian US President will do for us plebs in the Caribbean? We all thought Clinton the Former was a godsend and what did that get us? Note well that I'm not optimistic about a swift change of policy as regards the Caribbean if Obama wins the race. How America treats its stray dogs won't change unless the dogs start to bite, if not leggo a lil growl, not whine helplessly in front of master and beg for some scraps.

"I was raised by a feminist and have become one myself over time and therefore understand the immense possibilities for women in politics Hillary presented with her campaign. But yuh cyah put a woman for being a woman sake. Hillary would have to have demonstrated that she brought qualities and policies that will sustain and propel the US along a certain path, not maintain the status quo and fulfil the destiny of what some call the Clinton dynasty. She's a better-than-average politician, and earned a great deal of respect and votes as a result. If she's meant to be in White House, she will be. But the better candidate won. Punto final."


One of our readers has suggested we ask for your comments on the new-look Guardian.

Here's what JM says:
"do you think its editorial content and reputation has been changed fundamentally with these changes?

"since the departure of dominic kallipersad i find that the paper has become more of a bacchanal paper than a credible one.

"in terms of the new look, my own take on it is that i like the use of colours and the crispness of the font, but i am strongly opposed to the change of logo/masthead."

Our response was that we also like the new colours, which brighten things up, but again the masthead was probably changed in order to make the paper appear more international. As one reader put it, the paper now resembles the UK Guardian.

Tell us what you think:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Veteran sportsman Alvin Corneal has an interesting take on this country's upcoming path to the World Cup in his Guardian commentary, as well as a look back at some of the people who paved the way for this new group of young Warriors.

"This is not only about winning the matches on the next two Sundays, but firmly sending a message to the football world that we are ready to compete against the likes of North and Central America.

"I would expect that Francisco Maturana and his staff will be making a demand from their players from the very first touch and let the opponents know that this will be a tough, intense, aggressive and courageous exercise for which the “Soca Warriors” are ready."


CNMG saw some tough financial times in the first two years of its operations, according to information tabled in the Senate on Tuesday, and as evidenced by this article in the Express "CNMG records $25m loss".

But the writer (there's no by-line) tells us the company "recorded a culminative loss of $25 million for the years 2005 and 2006,...".
Did the writer want to say cumulative?


So Wade Mark was 'just joking' when he had that tongue slip in the Senate on Tuesday?
And according to Mr Mark, and the Hansard, he didn't quite say what Juhel Browne told us he said.
Mr Mark's explanation comes without a by-line in the Express this time.

"The Hansard record shows that during the debate on land acquisition in the Senate on Tuesday, Mark stated: "Government intends to redevelop that whole East Port of Spain community; commercial, urban development as it relates to new high-rise condoms, condominiums, that is. (Laughter). You all are very-Mr Vice President, condominiums, Sir. You all are very alert this evening.""

Tsk tsk.

So is this more justification for our original justification?


We don't usually do this, but we thought we would show our goodwill to the members of the media by publishing this letter sent to us by Raymond Edwards of CNMG on behalf of his colleagues Nicole Huggins and Dion Boucaud, whose 3 year old daughter Zuri needs urgent medical care in the United States.
Here's hoping this helps.

All the best to Zuri, Nicole and Dion, and if you'd like to help, you can contact Raymond Edwards at for more information.

PART 2 (2)

And here's a comment on Part 2 of Sasha Mohammed's report.

"Ahhh Sasha, I love it when you can disappoint.
Your interview with the former Minister on how Government is dishing out its 2007-2008 Fiscal Package turned out to be former PNM Minister in the Ministry of Finance Christine Sahadeo, well thank you Sasha. But her response to the issue was not as dramatic as you made it seem.

"But Sasha...(yes there is a but) you ...gracing it with the first three sound bites by Economist Indira Sagewan Ali, while there were only two sound bites from Christian Sahadeo who was supposed to be the highlight to your follow up story on Government’s management of the budget according to you Sasha.
"Yes Sasha on Monday night you said the former Government Minister would have been the focus of this version of the story. Need I say more? Hmmm.

"And Joel Villafana also at TV6 you opened your Sports Cast by saying Politics and Bacchanal seems to be the "orther" of the day...tongue not just between, but gone beyond your teeth to make sure you get it right, I Joel? You were referring to the Bermuda Match which is supposedly set for the Marvin Lee Stadium according to Special Advisor to the TTFF Austin Jack Warner who stressed this in a poor quality phone interview. tut, tut."



Sasha Mohammed of TV6 gave us part two of her special piece on Tuesday where she said the government had delivered on less than 25% of its promised projects, and she gave us a double whammy of woman power in Dr Indira Sagewan-Ali and former minister in the ministry of finance in the last PNM administration, Christine Sahadeo.

Well Sasha, unlike what one of our readers predicted, you did not serve up a former UNC government minister, so kudos.
But the lead in to your story suggested that the former minister was going to blast the government for failing to deliver on campaign promises, which in the end she did not. She just said they need to look at certain things if they want to accomplish their goals.

Then the lead to your story also prepped us for the former minister to start your story with guns blazing, but instead you started with three soundbites from Dr Sagewan-Ali, then tamely went to two soundbites from Mrs Sahadeo.
It does not matter how strong or weak Mrs Sahadeo's comments, that's who everyone was waiting to hear from, so you should have started your story with her admonishing the government, then move to the economist to bring balance to the piece.

Well you have one more night to get it right, and we will follow up your piece on the poor people in Trinidad on Wednesday evening.


Here's a comment on the "Staged?" story.

"I too saw the story with Marsha Dhannesar. It was Sampson that narrated that story.
And I did have a laugh at the woman's name being shown on the screen while she hid her face. Quite funny.
It is also funny that Otto and Sampson sound alike. Maybe it is because they both sound stacato and their tones are close. Otto's just a bit heavier, but like Sampson also has a light toned voice.

"And Odeka please do something about your breathing. Shelly also has breathing problems, but yours is noticeably out of control. Shelly controls hers better."



CNC 3 ran a story in their 7pm newscast on Tuesday about a woman whose family was robbed at gunpoint. We can't remember the name of the reporter, maybe Otto Carrington, but the robbery victim was Marsha Dhanessar. She said the bandits covered her head with a towel while they beat her husband.
Well the reporter gave us a shot of the woman with a red towel covering her face, since apparently she did not want to be identified, then used a voice interview from her over that still shot. Eh?

Then to top it all off, she allowed the cameramen, video and still, to stage some pictures of her little son, maybe 4 years old, all the while she was hiding behind the child and turning her head away while sitting next to an older woman.
That shot of her holding up her son actually reminded us of a bandit using a child as a human shield.
Why would she allow her defenseless son to be identified while cowardly hiding behind him?


OK. Where do we begin with this one?
Aretha Welsh of Express TV: No, no, no.
That striped top you are wearing to read the business stories on the webpage is all wrong. Or maybe we should just say what we mean: too tight. Did your manager get a good look at you before you did this piece?

Remember you want the person watching your piece to pay attention to what you are saying, not to your, em, assets. We even got the feeling that the person who edited the piece was trying to distract us by slipping in what seemed like random shots of vegetables while you were speaking.
You have a perky personality and you read well, so next time just give that top to the young lady who does TV6's entertainment show on Fridays and borrow one of Samantha John's jackets.

And why were your two (and only) stories so long? The piece on food prices was a minute and a half, and the second piece on Lenny Saith was a minute long.
You told us you were updating us on "all that is happening in the local world of business", yet we only got two stories.
And you perhaps left out the biggest story of all, that the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce is calling for the resignation of the National Security Minister.
We are sure you will do better next time.


Some more justification for us to keep you media people on your toes.
Juhel Browne of the Express reporting on Senator Wade Mark's 'tongue slip'.
"Now Mark in 'condomise' tongue-slip in Parliament".

And just to add our own 'tongue slip' bit, in CNC 3's newscast on Tuesday evening, Sampson Nanton was reporting on the murder of the driver of the car in which baby Zion and his father were killed, when he said "...the bullet-riddled body was found dead...".


The kudos are rare these days, but we have to give credit where it's due: Peter Christopher and Anna Ramdass, that piece titled "Cops in ATM theft" in the Wednesday Express was well written. We didn't have a single question about it.
Well, just a tiny oversight on your part - you left out the 'g' in bringing, at the end of the story, but we'll forgive you. Nice story.

And none of these cops would admit to special treatment for their colleagues.
Let's see if they try to get them into the court through a back door with their heads covered so the media can't get shots of them, as has been done in the past for other rogue officers.
Well guys, do your homework. Check with your photographers to see if they have any old photos of any of those guys, so even if you miss them in court, the public will still be able to identify them, because they always make it easy for us to identify whom they consider to be the 'real' criminals.


Radhica Sookraj wrote a story in the Guardian (new-look hard copy, old-look webpage) about the "secret" marriage of two cousins, and the man's body being found inside his car.

But the marriage really was not secret because the man's father knew about it!

"Dino’s father Richard Dino....said he was the one who witnessed the marriage.
Richard said Dino had fallen in love with his cousin and wanted to marry her.
“They were happy until the family started to get involved. They were happy. I wanted them to be happy,” Richard said.
He said he never knew whether the couple had problems."

Miss Sookraj, we read the entire story twice hoping to find even one sentence where you said you asked the father why he supported his son marrying his cousin. But we didn't find it.
Did it even cross your mind to ask that question??

And while Miss Sookraj told us the young man's cousin/wife did not want to be identified, unfortunately for her, the Newsday has a photo of her after she fainted near the site where her husband's body was recovered.

But the Newsday's South Bureau did not have the information about the "secret" marriage, they just treated Mr Dinnoo's (Newsday spelling) death as just another murder.
"THE body of a 23-year-old man was found yesterday in a Petrotrin dam inside a car."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


This viewer has a comment on Sasha Mohammed's piece on Monday night.

"Sasha Mohammed over at TV6 you concluded in your report on government's handling of it's 2007-2008 Fiscal package that of all the projects promised by the PNM Government, less than 25% were implemented.

"And according to your presenter Samantha John, you will be talking to a former Cabinet Minister on Tuesday 10 June as to whether or not the Government has the country's interest at heart. Well let me guess, it will be a former UNC Cabinet Minister, and I challenge you to disappoint me Sasha."



Who is going to get the post? Speculation is rife.

"TV6 reported that AC James Philbert is tipped to be the New Commissioner of Police.
But Gayelle News seconds later reported that Stephenson Williams is tipped to be the Commissioner of Police, well on Friday we will see who was right.
Meantime CNC3 seem to have had no idea who is tipped to get the top Cop job as there was no mention of such."



PH is sticking to the story on Hillary Clinton.

"Truly, I want him (Obama) run this race without Hillary as his VP so he could get his **** whipped in November and make room for Hillary in 2012, you can then look out for him in 2020."

Monday, June 9, 2008


It's really sad news that a five month old baby (according to which report you read or listen to) is shot to death.
What is happening to our lovely country?
The distraught mother of "Fatman" has to mourn for a child she knew for such a short time.
What do you call a mother who has lost a child?

But in the midst of our questions for the security forces on how they will stem the crime wave, we also have questions for the reporters who continue to give us different versions of the same story.

According to Denyse Renne of the Express, "Police say both father and son were seated in a car around 7.45 p.m. at Pump Trace, Laventille, awaiting the driver of the car who had gone into some nearby bushes to urinate, when two men approached the car and started shooting. The shooters then ran off.
The younger Jones' cries pierced the area and the driver ran back to the car, where he drove to the Port of Spain General Hospital."

But Nalinee Seelal of the Newsday writes: "At about 9.30 pm on Saturday, Jones, a construction worker, called a taxi driver he knew to take him and the child to his girlfriend’s Morvant home.
On reaching Picton Road, Laventille, at about 10 pm, the driver stopped to urinate.
Police reports revealed that a lone gunman emerged from bushes and pointed the gun at point blank range at Jones, whose son Zion, also lovingly called “Fatman”, was asleep in his arms."

And here's the version according to the Guardian's Camille Clarke: "Both Jones and his son Zion, affectionately called Fatman, were shot around 9.30 pm on Saturday, when they were about to enter a taxi on Picton Road in Laventille.
Police said Jones, 25, of Beverly Hills, Laventille, and his son fell into the car after being shot."

Well according to Miss Renne, here's what the child's grandmother said: "Beatrice said she received the news around 8 p.m. while out with her other children and rushed to the hospital with Deena."

Miss Seelal also tells us that "An eyewitness told police investigators that the assailant fired nine shots at Jones striking him in the chest, hands and shoulders. Baby Zion, was shot in the chest, arms and legs. The gunman then fled the scene."

While Miss Renne tells us that "Jones, 25, who was shot in the chest, leg and face, died on arrival,...", and ""When we got there bandages were wrapped around his (Zion's) feet, hand and belly..."".

Miss Seelal tells us that the police took the victims to the hospital, Miss Renne says the driver of the car took them (no mention that police were on the scene at that time), and it's not clear from Miss Clarke's account who took them.

And by Miss Seelal's count, "The two killings pushed the murder toll to 218 for the year.", while Miss Renne tells us "So far for the year the murder toll stands at 225,...", and Miss Clarke did not hazard a guess at the figure.


Here's a response to NN on Hillary Clinton.

"Well "NN" you sound like one of those pundits who hates the Clintons and subtly wants to see Mc Cain elected in November.

"Obama is a flash in a pan, they're using one of our own to screw us, he will still have to follow the dictates of we both know who. For starters I would like to know what he promised those endorsers that were so quick to endorse him a few months ago, and who will be paying the price. It's always the people, not so?

"He is as slimy as any other politician, and nothing he says is new, it's just packaged differently. If you go to church "NN" you would hear a lot of Obama's rhetoric there. He did what pastors do, played on people's emotions.

"Obama's speeches are pieced together, according to the material you read, you would see a lot of his phraseologies else where.

"See the link as an example of what I am talking about...look at the video.

"The time when it was assumed Hillary would be the nominee was is when the full blown coverage of the race began that it mattered and Obama was overlooked by the media, by the time they started investigating him, it was too late.

"Truely, I want him run this race without Hillary as his VP so he could get his **** whipped in November and make room for Hillary in 2012, you can then look out for him in 2012.

"Sometimes we do not see the danger where it's at. Obama could pick someone other than Hillary for his VP and they can assume the position following hopefully not, a sudden plane crash or a bullet that takes him the right place.

"All this can happen without Hillary being there to snatch up the Presidency. Anyone can usurp Obama's role, not Hillary alone, and quite frankly I don't see Michelle Obama letting that happen. She's a bull dog.
I still say Obama stands a better chance of winning with Hillary on the ticket.

"It will anger me if she should campaign for him vigourously and she is not on the ticket. And if that's the case, I hope millions of women are angry enough to stay home on election day.


Saturday, June 7, 2008


Desha Rambhajan of C News, what was wrong with your eye makeup for the 9pm News on Friday? We didn't hear a word you said because you looked like you had been frightened out of your skin.
Makeup, hair and clothes, if not done absolutely correct, can and will distract your viewers.


It's interesting that members of the media made much ado about Martin Joseph's 'Tongue slip'.
This piece in the Friday Express was written by Anna Ramdass.

"For his new word "arrestses", Joseph now joins the ranks of former Education Minister Hazel Manning for her unforgettable "breakfasts-es" and also former Education Minster Adesh Nanan for his famous pronunciation of the word paradigm (para-dig-im)."

And in the Friday 7pm news on CNC 3, Sampson Nanton also took the minister to task with the exact same story, in a type of "Things that make you go huh?", CNC 3 style.

So with this insight and scrutiny, we hope none of you will be upset when we step on your toes for making the same mistakes, or send us any more death threats.


So we are flicking through radio stations just to get a taste of what's happening out there and we heard this one from an announcer, not sure of the station, and don't know the person's name: Clico is giving away "dwaahfh" poui trees. Guess he meant to say dwarf?

Then the announcer gives the list of trees that will be distributed as well as the locations, then he says this will be done between 8am and 4pm.
The announcement was made at 4:53pm.
So clearly he must have looked at the clock then told his listeners: "I think you just missed it."

Then he said he got pictures of bodies on the beach after the "hurricane" in south Asia. Did he mean cyclone?

And last but not least, he said some situation was "waaarped".
Is there any muzak on the radio?


Here's one for Sampson Nanton.

"Well Sampson Nanton over at CNC3 while you have done well to downsize the knot in your tie, how about trying an Obama sized knot for a change.

"Uh, and off course if there anything else about Obama that you like Sampson, feel free to follow.

"Peace brother.



We laughed out loud at this one. Very funny.


"I don't know if I missed any posts, has anyone ever mentioned the psychedelic colours worn by the "British twins" on Gayelle? You won't be one of the dynamic duo, would you? Almost everyone else got a critique about their wardrobe, but not them, or is their blinding fashion sense so unique, so them, a reflection of their personality, it is beyond description? It's not a diss, just an observation, I like the duo's loud rainbow style.

"I'll have you know that Sampson Nanton's ginormous tie knot is his way of paying homage and tribute to the bygone era of the Roaring Twentys and the zoot suit!

"Dennis Mc Comie is one of the more seasoned media practioners, and one of the most affable. He made a booboo, which shows that he's human, when he made mention of a "dead cadaver" on the Cock-A-Doodle-Doo 5th June morning programme. I take it there are live cadavers out there? I blame it on the influence of all those Hollywood zombie movies."

"Don Fashione"


Here's a response to PH on her comment on Hillary Clinton.

"I have to let "PH" know that the media that were 'so biased' against Hillary only turned after the people started to VOTE for Obama... PH should have seen the Daily Show 'report' that actually showed that since 2006 the same media were predicting a Clinton victory... just as in Trinbago's elections, the people have spoken and popular vote does not mean squat... and the US Democrats should know that first hand... ask Al Gore..."



Just as the Speaker of the House tells the government to spend some time debating crime, comes this veiled threat from some idiot who is using the name "colleen holder", and sending the message anonymously from the blog website on Friday.
We suspect it's not her since we've had threats before from people like "curt williams" (NOT the Curtis Williams we've come to know and love from CNMG), and we haven't said a thing about Miss Holder recently since we haven't seen or heard her in ages.

"the murder rate is pretty high. you may want to be careful you don't step on too many toes"

Whoever you are, you must be in the media and we must have made some comments about you which you did not like, but hey, you are a public figure and everything that we see or hear from you is what's being seen and heard by hundreds of thousands of other people who watch your station.
So we'll continue to gently step on toes and if you can't take the heat, by all means go buy an a/c unit.


Here's a plug for Barack Obama.

"Kudos to Obama for not only making history but for making people believe in upstanding committed leaders again. Obama is just inspiring to many different people, in many different ways.

"Hillary, for all her experience and demonstrated record of public service, has exhibited too many flaws in her policy considerations and had too many public gaffes to convince people she is the better candidate. As a woman, it would be tremendous if the USA had a woman President, but for now, HIllary has come up against a better candidate. Talk done.

"Unlike this 2x4 country, I think regular Americans tend to vote on issues and character. Obama seems to be on the humanist side of many issues, and is chock full of character because of his ethnic and social background.

"I hope Hillary doesn't resort to shenanigans to trick Obama into selecting her as his running mate. Personally, I feel he should choose someone else because she will try to usurp his authority and make a case for herself as the frontrunner in 2012 if she becomes veep.

"But Obama, boy, go brave, yes! The rest of the world (ie the developing world), those who know of you, is rooting for you to bring a shiny new face to Washington and a familiar and sanguine demeanour to America."

Friday, June 6, 2008


We heard this one from Sterling Henderson while listening to the news update just before 8am Friday on I95.

"The national security minister says he's not pleased with the level of crime in the country."

So we listened to the actual newscast to hear what level of crime would please him.

Dale Enoch told us Mr Joseph said the murder 'rate' stood at 204....and the latest figure is unacceptable. So again we ask, what is an acceptable level? Would two murders per day work? We are sure the gang members would be happy to oblige.

But according to Express reporter, Anna Ramdass, here's the exact quote from Mr Joseph: ""As it stands now, we are not satisfied with the safety and security. But, I give you the assurance that in two to three years from now, we will not be talking about this level of gang and criminal activity in this country,"".

And the Guardian's Anthony Milne writes this from the minister: "“I give you the assurance that two or three years from now we will not be talking about this level of gang and criminal activity in this country.”", and "“Clearly, this level of homicides, especially those that are gang-related, is what is posing the greatest challenge to law enforcement.”"

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Here's another comment on the US Presidential nomination.

"I think it was an interesting race for the Democrats..but there was a serious decision to be made either a woman or a black man ...both choices historic...I must say I was not totally surprised that Obama got more delegates to support him than Mrs Clinton. The Americans have clearly demonstrated that they are not ready to embrace a woman as head of that nation..notwithstanding those who have held powerful positions such as Madeline Albright, Condoleezza Rice and dare I say Mrs Clinton herself who has served as somewhat of a backbone to her husband former US president Bill Clinton. A man, irregardless of his colour, would sit in that seat of power...
But after one change comes another, maybe Obama's good fortune will pave the way for other historical changes..such as a woman leading what some dub the World Power...".



A reader graciously reminded us that we did not mention Dame Hilda Bynoe of Grenada in our post on female Heads of State and Government, while providing us with this link to a comprehensive list of powerful women.


Guess we stepped on some toes.

"Attention please Messrs, I refer to your heading "Barack Obama Elected" to state that Obama was not elected, he was selected, courtesy House Speaker Nancy Pelosi et al who pressured Super Delegates to not select a nominee against the will of the people, nevertheless he was SELECTED.

"Neither candidate reached their magic numbers to clinch the nomination so a nominee had to be selected as Obama was, even before the results for Montana and South Dakota came in last night.

"Now remember added to this, the Florida and Michigan delegates were split in half, leaving still disenfranchised voters who still believe Hillary was cheated.
Remember, the main stream media broadcasted in favour of Obama, leaving many Senior women voters who support Hillary disgruntled.

"Remember Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but was defeated by a clumsy delegate system and other odds that came up against her, leaving more of her supporters upset.
My take, Obama will have a tough hill to climb. I think he will lose West Virginia and Florida to John Mc Cain and lose the General Election. That loss is a greater loss.

"I also believe Hillary is not interested in the VP slot but is eying 2012 when she can slam dunk following Mc Cain's one term in office. However, she may have expressed an interest in the position to get Obama to publicly say no which will make him lose in November.

"Well what can I say, Hillary Clinton is a smart woman who unfortunately was taken down by Chauvinistic media personnel and Radio and Television broadcasters who does not at all want a woman President. So they supported the lesser of two evils.
Every American syllabus teaches you that the media in America decides who wins an election, and Fox alone couldn't save Hillary Clinton.

"And if you don't believe me, follow MSNBC's Chris Matthews and HBO's Bill Maher who openly campaigned against Hillary.
But the Republicans will keep her name all over their campaign to woo her supporters and Obama will have no choice but to follow suit, so Hillary might be out, but she is still in.

"Hillary for President - 2012
"Go Hillary"



OK 'First Up' news producer, the Police Commissioner made an interesting speech.
Which we all saw in the C News 7 o'clock newscast last night.
So why at 6AM and 6.30AM Wednesday are you running that story as your lead when Barack Obama has made HISTORY as the first African-American to be nominated to lead a major political party in the US into general elections??
This should have been your lead story even if Hillary Clinton had won the nomination, because both make history.
This kind of story comes along once in a lifetime, so you can't just go with the flow and leave the story for way down in your international segment.

You do your viewers a disservice. Suppose they did not see the international news overnight and the only station they chose to look at this morning was yours? They would have had to wait at least ten minutes for your news reader to get to that story, when that should have been the first thing to greet them.
Do you understand what 'news' means? It's not rehashing old stuff first then throwing in the new for some variety!

Kudos TV6 and CNC 3 producers for having the common sense to lead your 6AM newscasts with the story.