Monday, July 21, 2008


Here's a comment on Miss Mohammed's interview with Jerry Narace.

"That debacle of a newscast featuring the Minister of Health was appalling on so many levels.

"It seemed as if Minister Narace manhandled his way onto the set based on the way he attempted, from the onset, to discredit the integrity of the TV6 newsroom. His belligerent attitude and obvious vexation about the content of Ms. Mohammed stories was unacceptable. In fact, he actually had the gall to say that the Ministry did not 'authorise' the journalist's pieces...what!?! Since when to Minister's have to authorise a story on a public institution?

"So that leads me now to the HoN, who seemed to have been bulldozed into allowing Minister Narace on the set to rebut in the first place. Was that necessary? Ministers of government get more coverage of their points of view that any other group of people. In fact, in most news stories, they are the only ones quoted! What news value did Minister's presence bring? It would have been impossible for him to accurately and succinctly address all the concerns raised in the series in the space of 15 minutes, so I see it as valuable air time wasted.

"If the information presented in the stories was so incorrect, why were they broadcast? Was this an attempt to put the overtly 'anti-government' reporter in her place? It was quite embarrassing for Ms. Mohammed who barely had a chance to get a word in with the Minister who rattled off figures that no-one who was listening will remember anyway.

"The entire incident called into question the level of autonomy and independence newsrooms have when critiquing government. We're supposed to be living in a democracy where principles of 'freedom of the press' and by extension the broadcast media are supposed to be in practice. All that newscast did, in my mind, was cast a shadow over TV6's commitment to these ideals.

"I'm glad I had a chance to see it first-hand. I would not have believed it otherwise."


And we are not sure how Mr Narace even came up with that part about the pieces not being authorised, because he gave them credence by being interviewed for, and appearing in, the recorded pieces.