We got a chance to take a look exclusively at the TV6 7pm news this evening, and a few things struck us.
First of all...interesting choice for the lead story - the US stock market crash. We have a thriving stock market in Trinidad so the US scenario would be of interest to a sizeable portion of the population.
But things went steadily downhill from there.
Leeron Brummel is not pronouncing the ends of some of his words. We can't remember which story he did, but he left off the ends of his words, making him sound as if he needs a refresher course on pronunciation.
Then that story from Fabian Pierre with the interview between Andy Johnson and David Abdullah from the Morning Edition. We saw the original interview, and at one point the cameraman who was focused on Mr Abdullah seemed to bump the camera, sending it off centre of the guest. Well we got that bump again when the story was turned into a voice over with two soundbites for the midday newscast, and we got the bump a third time when Mr Pierre turned the story into a packaged piece for the 7pm newscast. Why? So at no point did it occur to anyone to cover that bump with a piece of b-roll video?
Then for Elizabeth Williams Allard's story on the new political party in Tobago, Samantha John told us the name of the party was the "Tobago Organization of the People" and we saw this on the screen before the packaged story began, but then party leader Ashworth Jack later told us it was the "Tobago People's Organization" and their sign clearly stated that.
Miss Williams Allard failed to tell us what are the ramifications, if any, in the Tobago House of Assembly now that there is no more DAC - the party which holds the minority seats in the Assembly, and Mr Jack holds the position as Minority Leader.
She also told us that some of the big wigs in the new party are former Minority Councillor Hochoy Charles and Dr Hughvon Des Vignes; no mention was made that they are also 'former' members of the DAC.
You always have to give enough background in your story so that the uninitiated will not get lost. What if someone was watching your story and they are new to the politics of Trinidad and Tobago?
Sharmilla Persad's crime story went on and on, so we are guessing that's why it was cut abruptly so Samantha could read the People Meter question. It was very jarring, but there was no apology...she just launched into a new story afterwards.
Then later in the world news roundup, Natoya Johnson very confidently told us that "Hurricane Ike left a trial of destruction in Texas...".
She also told us about the power sharing deal that has finally been signed between Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe. But there was no word in her story on what that really meant. Would the two men rule together?
We had to do a little digging for ourselves to find out.
"Under the deal, Mugabe cedes some power to Tsvangirai, who is now prime minister. But Tsvangirai reports to Mugabe, who remains president and head of the Cabinet where his party has most seats...For the first time, though, Mugabe is not autonomous. He must consult the prime minister before making decisions like appointing judges or dismissing parliament."
Miss Johnson, not every viewer has the luxury of searching the net to get the information you left out of your report. Most times though they will switch to another station while you are still talking to try to get the complete story.
Then came the sportscast with a fresh new face. Miss Rochelle Johnson, filling in for Joel Villafana who is on vacation. Was she on the Morning Edition recently with Joel Julien? Anyway, she did a commendable job. Her head was not bobbing up and down or side to side like, well, you know who. She pronounced all her words correctly and most of all she flowed. Not staccato like Mr Nanton or Mr Renn.
Nice change of pace, TV6. We look forward to seeing more of Miss Johnson.
So. When is Samantha going on vacation?