Sunday, July 27, 2008


We came across this post on the Trinigamers website which speaks to the heart of the problem in the local media. We have said it before and here is someone else (Kayode) saying the same thing in a different forum.

"Journalism is in the state that it's in because of industry-wide brain drain. Journalist salaries are rubbish, and the working conditions (not physical) leave a lot to be desired. Basically, like most aspects of the developing world, as soon as a young journalist gets worthwhile certification or relevant experience, they leave the industry to:
1) Work in the foreign media
2) Work as communication specialists for the private sector
3) Work in some other industry that pays more money

"Many reporters use the industry as a hold over or springboard to another career. Many of them are studying and leave the profession as soon as they're qualified. Plenty of them just ended up there because they have the minimum qualifications and answered a job ad...but journalism isn't a "job". Most reporters are trained on the job and start off knowing very little about writing a real news story. It's true that journalism is one of the most experienced-based professions, but you can still benefit a lot from learning the basics beforehand.
Very few reporters actually love the profession. A lot of newbies fall for the myth of the glamorous reporter lifestyle.

"I wouldn't lie: I loved journalism while I was in it, but the money was a joke. I worked alongside a veteran in his forties who was making $5200 a month. I had a degree, almost ten years experience, and I was making $6200 as a "senior reporter". I'm glad I was qualified for (and interested in) another field, because I can't imagine what working as a journalist for my whole life would be like.

"And before we start up the "Well is Trinidad" ole talk, realize that this is a worldwide issue. News companies are dying the world over due to their inability to compete with the internet and TV. The companies feel forced to sensationalize to attract/retain viewers and readers. They're unable to pay good money to newbies and maintain the salaries of veterans. They cut staff regularly. Do a google search on the issue and you'll find some surprising information."