Where do we begin?
When the Prime Minister spoke about political integration with three other Caribbean countries on Thursday, didn't anyone try to figure out what he was talking about before running their stories?
Well it doesn't seem so because on Friday the 7pm newscasts were replete with analysis and backlash from the opposition.
Curtis Williams of CNMG had a telephone interview with Professor Norman Girvan.
TV6 carried a loooong voice over with Samantha John reading about Basdeo Panday's response to the matter, but they had her up in a tiny screen on the right, and they had a larger screen to the left with Mr Panday. What was the point of this? You confused your audience because the shot used of Mr Panday was one of him sitting in a room talking to someone, so of course we couldn't hear what he was saying. Talking head.
Then as soon as that was done she introduced another story along the same lines, but this one was a package by Sasha Mohammed (making a return to reporting after the Jerry Narace debacle a few weeks ago). However Sasha also included extensive comments from Mr Panday in her story. What was the point of that?
Then Naette Lee of CNMG also delved into the issue, a very theoretical piece. But about halfway through the packaged story she stopped abruptly on a sentence and started the sentence all over again. So your editor did not pick that up?
And her sister Golda (who was anchoring the newscast) also took part, interviewing live on the set Conrad Enil. Golda seemed a bit spaced out, as if she was listening to someone give her the questions. Then at the end of the interview she said she had been speaking with the Education Minister. Well the shot was still on Mr Enil, so we saw him give a huge frown, probably saying to himself 'I'm the what?', and Golda went on to the next story without skipping a beat and without correcting herself. So why didn't your director or producer correct you immediately so you could make the correction???
Sampson Nanton of CNC 3 also got in on the integration act; his packaged story though was done to the tune of Sparrow's classic song on the Federation of the 1950's.
Then it was on to sport.
Roger Sant of CNC 3 used part of an interview he did with the national Olympic team's doctor regarding the track team. Roger, track and field is a fast-paced sport, but your presentation of that story was too slow and laid back; it had no life. Are you tired already? You have two more weeks to go in Beijing.
While back at home, Astil Renn ran a story on the national football team beating El Salvador in a match in the US. That video was horrible! It looked like some over-zealous fan shot the video with a mini camera right off of their tv screen and decided to send it to CNC who happily accepted it. Steups! You know just because someone sends you something does not mean you have to use it! The least you could have done was put up a sign on the screen saying 'Amateur Video' so we would know for sure it wasn't a drunken cameraman from your station who messed up the video.
And we noticed that TV6 pulled the rug out from under CNC by bringing their 'Olympic roundup' at about 7:10, while CNC's sportscast starts at around 7:25. Makes sense.
But at the end of TV6's sportscast, they had the customary video roundup of sporting events over the last week, but can you believe they did not use a single shot of any of Trinidad and Tobago's or the Caribbean's track athletes in competition? They did not use a single shot of George Bovell or his brother in competition? They did use a shot of Bovell leading the team on the opening night of the Olympics with the flag, but that was boring. That whole piece was boring because it did not reflect the fact that the Olympics was going on. This was the perfect opportunity to give viewers a final look at some of our athletes in action, because most of their events have ended. But we did see a shot of Michael Phelps winning one of his many races and lots of shots of someone kicking a football into the back of a net! What game was that from? And you call yourselves the Olympics station? Steups!!!!!
The director faded out the piece after a while and went back to Joel to close the sportscast. Probably disgusted too that the thing did not reflect local or Caribbean participation in the Olympics.
So no one checks these things before they go to air?