Wednesday, July 2, 2008


The 'Big Story' of the day turned out to be that front page report in the Express on President Bush's proclamation to remove T&T from the US' preferential trade listing.
If the Guardian editor had any idea the story would have had such an impact, maybe the front page headline would have been much bigger than the miniscule, almost by-the-way print we saw.

For the evening news, all the major stations ran with the report.
TV6's Sharmilla Persad had the angle of the press release from the TTMA, which "...warms of reprecussions" (that was the graphic on the screen). Now we can understand if that ran at seven pm as a mistake, but two hours later in your 10 pm newscast? Steups.
And what about an economist's perspective? Guess we have to wait for Andy Johnson to call up someone for the Morning Edition to get some more meat out of that story.

Then we had a story from Nathalie Chrysostom about consumers bracing for "dearer bread". While she outlined that the NFM has increased the price of flour, she spoke with just one person - the PRO of Xtra Foods supermarket. The last thing he said was that the prices at his supermarket would not be increased. Well he should send you a thank you note since you gave him some free advertising there.
What about speaking with the Bakers' Association or even the Supermarkets Association to get some perspective for all consumers, instead of a specific supermarket?

Anyway, Odeka O'Neil-Seaton hosted the Big Story on CNC 3 on Wednesday and her guest was Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Mariano Browne, the same man Juhel Browne quoted in his Express report on Wednesday.
The minister was quite well-versed in his answers, but we can't say the same thing about Odeka. She seemed out of her league. Maybe on another topic she may have shined, but even her voice betrayed the fact that she seemed ill-prepared for that interview. We noticed that Miss Dass was also absent for the 7pm news, so we are guessing that the task of hosting the talk show was unexpectedly thrust upon Odeka.
Unfortunate. Mr Browne kept saying "As I said before..." in response to some of her questions.

And while we are still on this topic, Juhel Browne has what we will call Part 2 of his front page story in the Thursday Express, but there's no mention of it on the front page.
So he must have heard Mr Browne speaking about the Bush issue in the Senate late on Tuesday and rushed to have it printed for Wednesday. But you gave us a half-picked duck for your lead story Wednesday and then turned around on Thursday to flesh it out, but the story doesn't even make the front page.

"United States Embassy economic section chief, John Ries, says despite President George Bush's decision to remove this country from the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), the local exporters who are affected can still apply for duty-free access for their exports under the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)."
"Ries spoke on the issue yesterday after the US Embassy contacted the Express to clarify what he said could have been any misconceptions about Bush's decision."
"Ries noted that Bush's determination that Trinidad and Tobago is now a "high income" country was done after the World Bank gave this nation the same designation last year."

So you as the reporter did not know this last piece of information to pass onto your readers in the original story in order to allay any fears your report may have generated? Steups!
That's what happens when you are too busy trying to get the story out first instead of trying to figure out how the information will affect your readers.