Saturday, November 29, 2008


Writing for the sake of writing seems to be the norm now. Except for the columnists, writing in the nation's newspapers is no longer creative, no longer fulfilling to read.
We read this piece on the Fox News website, of a woman struggling to come to terms with the fact that her elderly father faces the death penalty, charged with the murder of her mother.
This type of writing is almost non-existent in local crime stories.

"The story of how Evans got here (jail) began decades ago, when he was just a teenager who fell head-over-heels in love and married his high school sweetheart. Together they raised an old-fashioned farming family, tilling land in a lush valley of southern Ohio.

"But now his wife, Carol Evans, is gone and police say he hired someone to kill her. Day by day, memory by memory, their eldest daughter looks into the past and struggles to understand what might has (sic) happened."

Thursday, November 27, 2008


The members of the Flying Squad have regrouped and have sent urgent suggestions on crime fighting to the Acting Police Commissioner.
Let's see if there will be any improvements in the crime situation.

Do you have any memories of the Flying Squad at the height of its success in the 70's and 80's? Drop us a line at


Well it looks like the PM and his Information Minister are serious about this "Media Committee", according to a report in Thursday's Express.
They are still trying to woo former CCN Chairman Ken Gordon to head the body.
We await the outcome.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Here's a response for Trini.

""Trini", I credited TV6's Sasha Mohammed for breaking the story, not for sensationalizing it. After all that is the norm with Sasha more so to write stories against the PNM and the PNM Government.

"Cellphone and Email tapping is practiced worldwide by Governments, and someone could know if their phone is being tapped. It does not happen without disruptions, granted all sorts of things could cause disruptions, but suspicion arises when there is a consistency with a particular kind of disruption. I believe the story is true.

"That being said, who are we to tire ourselves with Sasha's obvious biased reporting if the TV6 management refuses to control her content? Certainly not me, I done with that. I maintain the series is a good one.

"On the issue of Odeka and Hema over at CNC3, it is true that that station has a cultural belief of what is a good image for TV. It is as obvious as Sasha's anti PNM stance. But like everything else, societal pressure would force them to present a different picture. Had it not been for that, only the Shelly Dass types would stand a chance.

"The media saga continues.

"Oh by the way, I can't wait to see what position awaits Madam Mohammed when the UNC forms the Government someday."



"Flying Squad members offer help to fight crime".
'Nuff said.


Here's a response on the "Spy Games" series and the Guardian ad.

"Lol! Photoshop is funny (and scary)! I saw the shot of Hema Ramkissoon from CNC3 as well. She almost looks as tiny as Charlene Ramdhanie with all that photo editing! Look, both Hema Ramkissoon and Odeka Seaton are large women. There is nothing wrong with that. Why do they feel compelled to edit their pictures, when we can turn on the tv and see that they don't look like that? What kind of message are we sending? That Hema and Odeka are not comfortable with themselves? That tv is only for the perfect barbie doll types? No no nooo. Was Roger Sant's photo edited? Or Eric Mackie's? Or Keith Clifford's? What messages are we sending? That large women are ugly? That everyone should try to look like someone else?

"I really woke up to the reality of CNC3 when they went national. That morning, we saw full body shots of all the presenters as they sat on stools. Shelly Dass and Roger Sant are tiny, petite, little things, a bit on the pale side. Odeka and Hema are much larger...(again nothing wrong with that) but WHY is it, that they all appear to be the SAME height, and even the same COLOUR on tv? Are we making carbon copies of what we think a presenter should look like?

"On another note though, I have to say I disagree with PH and that Sasha Mohammed series. The piece is sensationalistic. It lacks substance, is based on someone's paranoid tendencies. I am still waiting on the reporter to present hard evidence that this is going on. The possibility of cell phone tapping is not new. What is new, is CCN's apparent lack of control over someone whose credibility has been compromised and political bias has become blatant."


The photo editing for the CNC ad may have been a product of the station's marketing department, and probably had no input from the two ladies (correct us if we are wrong). (There was recent debate on whether singer Jennifer Hudson's image was photoshopped for her new album cover).
Image is important especially when you are in the spotlight. As you say, they are both attractive women and should celebrate their physiques.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Pronunciation is a hell of a thing.
Melissa Williams of CNC 3 wants us to believe that the police do not have any 'cong-crete motive' for the murder of the gentleman who was shot to death on Tuesday morning while sitting in his car along Duncan Street in Port of Spain.

And can you say photoshop? That's what we see every time we look at that ad CNC 3 is running in the Guardian with its news anchors - Shelly Dass, Roger Sant, Eric Mackie and Odeka O'Neil-Seaton. The Odeka we saw on the 7pm news on Tuesday looks nothing like the Odeka in those newspaper photos (Tuesday Guardian pages A20 & B48). Those photos were probably taken a few years ago and dusted off for this new ad campaign.

Editor's note: We took it for granted that you would understand that we like the Odeka we see on tv just fine (a little wardrobe tweaking would be appreciated though). But no need to change the body image.


Here's a thumbs up for the TV6 special report on alleged government spying.

"Kudos to Sasha Mohammed over at TV6 on her breaking series "Spy Games". Not hearing the Government denying that one.

"Well Jerry Narace your Government got hit back by Miss Mohammed for your rudeness to her on live set sometime ago. Next time be nice and Miss Mohammed would return the favour I'm sure."


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Ministers Colm Imbert, Martin Joseph, Hazel Manning and Dr Amery Browne held a press briefing this afternoon at the Prime Minister's office to address the extraordinary flooding which took place on Tuesday.
CNMG was on the ball with live coverage from the start, at 4:15. CNC 3 joined them a short time later while the first speaker, Mr Imbert was still at the podium.
TV6 meanwhile is showing the cartoons Dragon Booster, Tom and Jerry and Pokemon.
Oh, they finished off with EZ Shop and did not bother to go live to the news conference.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Well yes! What do the old folks say? "What 'ent meet yuh 'ent pass yuh"?
After all that gun talk last week from the PM we see that he (or at least his Information Minister) is willing to put his money where his mouth is, with consideration for setting up a "Media Committee".
Minister Neil Parsanlal told the Senate "“This Government is not anti-media, nor does it expect a pro-Government stance from any media house... we require no favours. What the Government desires is the time-honoured journalistic practice of accuracy in reporting and balance in coverage by the media.”"

Gail Alexander wrote that the minister said "Since self regulation has not worked and media houses are adamant against imposed regulations, Parsanlal said that in recognising the issue of “who will guard the guards”, Government had asked the former CCN chairman (Ken) Gordon to chair the proposed team comprising media owners and workers."

TV6's Sasha Mohammed clarified the story by telling her viewers that Mr Gordon indicated he had been approached by the government to chair the committee, but that he had not yet agreed to anything and was awaiting the terms of reference.
Interesting that though Miss Mohammed and Anna Ramdass both work for the CCN group, only Miss Mohammed was able to get a response on this matter from Mr Gordon, while Miss Ramdass told her readers in the Express that "Efforts to contact Gordon for comment last night were unsuccessful." So there's no room for collaboration within the same organization? Hmmmm.

Well the media landscape is certainly heating up. Exciting times are ahead. But maybe media practitioners need to get out their marching boots, just as they did a few years ago when another administration was perceived to be trying to put the brakes on media freedom.


Now this is the type of weather that gets die-hard journalists excited. Not that anyone exults when there is death and destruction, but the opportunity to report on the extraordinary is always exciting.
That said, we have to give kudos to all the major tv stations for bringing us on the ground reports of the flooding well before the major newscasts were scheduled to begin.
At 4:30 we saw TV6's Fabian Pierre wading through muddy water (a la the old Sampson Nanton) at the bottom of Charlotte Street to give his viewers a sense of the depth of the water (the piece was recorded, and thanks for using that wireless mic). We also saw weatherman Damian Salandy out on the streets, standing there with a wired mic (your station only has one wireless mic? - like you 'ent 'fraid to get shock?).

CNC 3 had some great recorded overhead shots of the flooding along South Quay, and Melissa Williams did a good job on the telephone report.
C News' Charlene Ramdhanie was also out and about (via telephone), but we were disappointed that we did not see any live shots much earlier than your 7pm newscast. Time to ask Patrick for a news helicopter. Or should that be Neil?

At 7pm CNC 3 had a very cool flooding graphic and very dramatic music at the start of Sampson's report. TV6 unfortunately chose to run that same five minute report that Fabian did at 4:30 at the top of the 7pm newscast. Unfortunately it had already lost most of the dramatic effect.
And to cap off the drama of the day, CNC 3 and C News both wisely chose to extend their newscasts to continue with coverage of the flooding; CNC went to 8:15 with telephone interviews, while Miss Ramdhanie of C News brought us live reports from South Quay up to 8:45 with Golda Lee anchoring the programme. Unfortunately though the same packaged reports which were used during the 7pm newscast were used again during the extended newscast, and were used again during the 9pm broadcast without any re-editing and without any new material being added.
The 9pm broadcast should have started with Golda introducing Miss Ramdhanie for a live report to give an immediate perspective on the flooding, and she could have introduced one of the earlier packaged pieces, then the director could have cut back to Golda in the studio to continue with the flooding stories.

Here are the reports in the Newsday, Guardian, Express.

BTW, we caught this on the TV6 midday news: "Highjacked oil tanker nears Somalia". Hmmmm. At least it was correctly adjusted a short time later. Please check these things before the viewer sees them.


The media landscape seems to be heating up once again...the economy is making headlines as well as the inclement weather and country-wide flooding.
On Monday evening, the Central Bank Governor's pronouncements on the state of the economy were certainly attention-grabbing. To put it succinctly, DOMA President Gregory Aboud said "A bout of sanity is about to be revisited." (in terms of government's handling of that portfolio).

Sherwin Long of C News chose to begin his story on this issue with a standup. Not sure why. Then he chose as his background a shot of Ewart Williams doing a one-on-one interview with another reporter. Again, not sure why. Yet all the soundbites from Mr Williams that Sherwin used were of the Central Bank Governor at the podium during his speech. So Sherwin, you didn't figure to get Mr Williams to do a one-on-one with you as well?
Anyway we appreciated that you gave prominence to the IMF official's comments in the same story, rather than just giving us one by-the-way, stand-alone soundbite like we got from TV6.
And at 10pm that Central Bank story was still relevant as the lead, but somehow TV6's producer decided to push it back to third place behind a school protest and some other story. (Maybe some enterprising reporter {a la CNN's Jeanne Moos} can do a story on the anatomy of carrying out a school protest and send the results to TTUTA for inclusion in the school curriculum. Module I: You don't need to know how to spell to make a placard).

Charlene Ramdhanie's story on the aftermath of the deadly mudslide in Maraval was well written, very descriptive and she did a good standup, but the last shot in the story killed it. She talked about the clean up efforts in the village continuing, yet we saw none of it. What we did see was just a wide shot of the backhoe which was probably being used in the clean up effort. So what if someone had not seen the devastation of the surrounding area in the newscasts on Sunday?
Melissa Williams of CNC 3 on the other hand had much better cutaways for her story, as well as various soundbites from villagers describing the clean up effort.

C News launched their new set and graphics. Very spiffy. We thought though that you went a bit overboard on the very first night by using that online comment from someone saying he loved the new look. How do we know that's not just some 'pardner' of a staff member?

Onto sport. Robert Dumas, we are not sure who writes some of your scripts, but the video is very boring. For the story on Yusuf (the Pakistani cricketer), we saw just three shots in that story, and we are sure it was longer than one minute. The three shots were of him moving to sit at a table for a press conference, answering reporters' questions and a wide shot of the reporters. For a moment we thought you had embodied Yusuf as we were hearing your voice and seeing his lips moving.
And the person who wrote the story had some difficulty going into your video archives to find footage of Yusuf actually playing cricket? Steups! You do your viewers a disservice.

Odeka O'Neil-Seaton read the 9:30pm CNC 3 newscast. Her makeup looked good, not overdone as it sometimes does, but she read the news as if she were disinterested, or maybe distracted. We're not sure which one. But we didn't pay much attention to what she was saying because her nonchalance was very distracting.

According to Sampson Nanton, Sheraz Khan is the "President of the Sheep and Goat Association". That title ran at 7pm and 9:30pm. Hmmmm. Yes Sampson he has a goatee, but his title should be "President of the Sheep and Goat Farmers Association".

Miss Williams-Allard of TV6 was not to be outdone when she told us that the THA is being sued by the family of Yannick Quesnel (her pronunciation of his last name was kwes-nel). That ran at 7pm and 10pm. Hmmmm. Miss Williams-Allard, it's actually pronounced 'kennel'.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


There is so much talk in T&T at this time about "Press Freedom", but clearly that term means different things to different people.
Consider the International Press Freedom Awards, and those who will be honoured later this month.

THE PM & POWER 102 (8)

Well this is what sparked the latest salvo from the Media Association.
Louis Lee Sing of I95 saying in a press conference that the TTPBA needs to urgently address deteriorating standards in the media.
"“The grim reality is that officials, both in the private and public sectors, are afraid to speak to the media—out of a single fear there will be no balance, no objectivity—no fairness,” Lee Sing added."
By the way he is the boss of the new MATT President Marlan Hopkinson, Secretary Sterling Henderson, Treasurer Marcia Braveboy and 'radio personality' John Benoit, as well as former MATT President Dale Enoch.
Maybe we should have made that call ourselves to the TTPBA and bypassed the reporters!

Here's what Ken Gordon had to say on the matter during his visit to CNC 3's The Big Story on Monday evening.
"Gordon, a former chairman of Caribbean Communications Network said, “Anybody who purports to be a broadcaster should be expected to conform to certain standards. If they do not conform to those standards, they should be made to understand that there are going to be consequences.”"

THE PM & POWER 102 (7)

The Media Association has sent yet another response to the PM's tete-a-tete at the radio station.

"The Media Association appreciates and encourages the expression of divergent views as we believe it substantiates our position that freedom of expression remains a right that all should cherish.

"The first utterances of the new administration emphasized its commitment to above all else focus on training and improvement of our membership and the industry.

"Recent events have sparked much debate on the issue and we agree with those who would like to see better standards in the industry. However, we maintain our position as expressed in releases as it relates to the action of the Prime Minister at the offices of 94.1 F.M.

"In some regards we are heartened by the Prime Minister’s position that in the future he would seek redress in the courts if he believes he has legal grounds to do so. The association does not agree with the view expressed that the association has been fighting with the Prime Minister. We do not believe that expressing a different opinion constitutes a fight.

"We encourage our members to strive for excellence in their work and intend to aid in this regard as best we could (sic)."

"Executive, M.A.T.T."

Monday, November 10, 2008

THE PM & POWER 102 (6)

The media honchos were all over the air waves Monday...discussing and rehashing the PM's visit to Power 102 and whether he should or shouldn't have.
We saw Peter Ames of the TTPBA and MATT President Marlan Hopkinson on the CNC 3 Early Morning Show, Sterling Henderson of MATT and veteran journalists Lennox Grant and Peter Richards on the TV6 Morning Edition, and former CCN Chairman Ken Gordon on CNC 3's The Big Story.
Let's hope the PM paid attention.

But Information Minister Neil Parsanlal already has a response for them.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


An avid reader of this blog sent us this link to a very interesting story from the Washington Post; it's the autopsy of the McCain/Obama presidential campaign.
The comments on the article are very interesting.

Friday, November 7, 2008

THE PM & POWER 102 (5)

Here's the Media Association's response to the PM's statements at the post-cabinet press briefing.

"Freedom of speech is enshrined in Section 4 of the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago. The Media Association takes this opportunity to remind its members and all members of the population that we have a responsibility and right to comment on the actions of public officials and issues of national importance.

"While we agree Mr. Patrick Manning has the same rights as any other citizen, a prime minister has greater power, which should be exercised in the public interest, with due care and responsibility.

"MATT notes it is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, a Prime Minister has taken issue with a media house. Mr. Manning has every right to consult his lawyers whenever he feels aggrieved.

"The association notes that in the Privy Council’s 1936 ruling in the Ambard case, Lord Atkin said, “The path of criticism is an open way: the wrongheaded are permitted to err therein.”

"With regard to the Prime Minister’s statement that “expecting redress from the media is asking too much,” MATT begs to differ. Individual media houses have mechanisms for dealing with such matters and members of the public are also free to ask the Media Complaints Council to intervene if they are not satisfied.

"MATT maintains its position that the Prime Minister’s visit to 94.1fm was inappropriate and unnecessary.

"Marlan Hopkinson
"Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago"

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The PM has put a spoke in the wheel of new car dealers with his announcement that he has had discussions with BMW officials in Germany with regard to leasing vehicles for the Summit of the Americas and the CHOGM.
The President of the New Car Dealers Association, Philip Knaggs is quoted in the Business Guardian as saying he is 'flabbergasted' that the government would choose this option, since it would cost taxpayers close to $35M TTD.
Well Mr Knaggs, maybe he read our earlier piece on this issue and noted that your offer sounded a bit suspect.
Or maybe it would be better to just cut out the middle man and go straight to the manufacturer?
Or that it was difficult to swallow giving your association between $50M and $100M TTD?
Hmmmmmmm. Your pick.

THE PM & POWER 102 (4)

Here are the newspaper reports dealing with the PM's responses to media queries about his visit to the radio station.
Express, Newsday, Guardian.


Here's a Letter to the Editor in the Newsday which partly reflects what we have said about Barack Obama and John McCain's speeches on the night of November 4th.

"So in the end both men praised each other and look forward to working together at some point in order to procure the common goal of a better USA. In essence, President–elect Obama and Senator Mc Cain (sic) harbour no overt bitterness towards each other. They showed a level of maturity that knows when campaigning is over – an understanding that Democrats and Republicans must unite to effectively address the floundering economy, foreign policy, security, health care, education and all other critical business.

"Sadly, TT’s politicians appear to be devoid of such political maturity, since an Opposition Leader will generally not regard the Prime Minister as his own Prime Minister."

THE PM & POWER 102 (3)

And here's another comment.

"I heard Prime Minister Patrick Manning tell journalists at Thursday's post cabinet briefing that he is entitled to the same right as any other citizen to walk into 94.1FM to express upset over something aired on that station that was displeasing to him.

"Well Miss Paige De Leon, please tell Patrick he is a public official and is not entitled to conduct himself in the same manner as any other citizen, otherwise ah want a ride on de private jet and he must pick me up in the State's car when he see me on the street.

"Now if he is a regular citizen that is entitled to the same rights, he shouldn't mind being called Patrick in this capacity. In any case, I think the present laws do allow the same rights to politicians and the public, so maybe you were legally right Mr. Manning but you were morally wrong.

"If we so want to be like America, we should then follow them and change the laws to not allow citizens in Patrick's position the same amount of freedom or rights as citizens. What say you Mr. Manning?

"Watch out T&T the Broadcast Code is coming and this country will be just like Guyana when it arrives."


THE PM & POWER 102 (2)

Here's a response to the MATT press release on the PM's 'visit' to Power 102 and 94.1FM.

"Question: apart from that rather conservative press release, is MATT or anyone else doing anything about this Manning/radio station incident? We are walking a dangerous line when politicians can block off a street, and demand apologies.

"I also caught that Jerry Narace interview with Shelly Dass. I thought it was rather entertaining compared to the last one. He was clearly trying to be subdued, speaking softly and smiling at Dass, but she provoked him, telling him "please don't read from that've said all that before". He looked like he was ready to bite her head off, but she moved on. Then he started criticising the media, and she said "minister, you might want to drop that..not tonight" or something like that. It went on and on..I swear local tv is becoming more entertaining!

"Speaking of which...where is Paolo Kernahan's Skews show??? Come on've got gold there! There's only so much "mainstream" media we can take!"


Well Trini, several journalists tried to grill the PM on the Power 102 issue at today's post-cabinet press briefing, but he (as usual) coolly side-stepped them, saying he had a right to protect his name, or something to that effect.
Mr Manning told them he did not ask the station's management to suspend anyone, as he told them what they did there was their business.
Interestingly he asked if any citizen of this country had the right to visit a radio station, and when he was told yes, he said that right extended to him as well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Nicola Barriteau of C News is an attractive woman and certainly well-endowed, so it baffles us why she often wears tops which are way too tight for her on the Live! show, and to read the midday newscast.
Take for example today's episode where she's wearing a bright yellow shirt, and just spoke with the two guests about the bridal expo.
On Samantha John the shirt would have been perfect, but unfortunately for Nicola it's just too tight and some of the buttons look like they are about to pop.
At one point it seemed as if the cameraman was trying to give us an extreme close up shot in order to block out the distracting buttons, but that didn't last very long.
So Nicola, forewarned is forearmed. There are lots of nice shirts and jackets on the market that would suit your body type and still make you look good. Since you are your own producer you can approach your bosses to foot the bill for some stylish threads.
(And you can also save yourself some pending embarrassment just in case one of those buttons decides to pop while you are Live! on the air.)
You're welcome.


Health Minister Jerry Narace continued his rounds (no pun intended) of the media houses to give his government's views on health care and perhaps continue to smooth ruffled feathers after all his recent bad press.
On Monday evening he was the main guest on the Big Story, along with Chief Medical Officer, Dr Anton Cumberbatch.
His most recent (and more memorable) one on one interview turned out to be a sham, with fingers pointed in both directions.
But speaking with Miss Dass, the minister's tone was very subdued (probably given pointers on his bedside manner), and no one seemed to be trying to upstage the other.
Pretty boring stuff.


Here's a response to Dandai Ramdass' comment on the US election coverage.

"Dandai Ramdass : actually you are wrong, deliberately or not, is another matter. ALL the stations ran with an election night panel..including CNMG and CNC3. CNC3's host was a businessman, his guest was political scientist John la Guerre.
PLUS Shelly Dass did in fact discuss the US elections in her show, with a report from US ambassador Roy Austin. I distinctly remember that, because the ambassador was dry, and unimpressed with Obama (maybe because he is a Republican).
And I have to disagree a little with the thought that the bar panel for TV6 was bad. I think it was different..granted...but let's shake things up. Too many in studio talking heads!"



Richard Charan's story of the policewoman who was killed by her estranged husband has a somewhat misleading headline in the Wednesday edition.
The story, titled "Killed in her sleep" is not quite accurate.

Mr Charan tells us "She was big and brave - a police officer trained to win a fight - so her attacker waited until she fell asleep before hacking her to death.
The body of PC Nisha Dhanessar was found in the kitchen of her home at Main Road, Tabaquite, at breakfast time yesterday."
Now if you decide not to read the rest of the story, you are left with the impression that Mrs Dhanessar fell asleep on the kitchen floor and was then chopped to death.
But close to the end of the story he tells us "Dhanessar fought for life, police believe, because she was a buxom woman twice the size of the suspect.
There was a bloody trail that began on the living room couch, where she is believed to have fallen asleep, that led into the bedroom and to the kitchen."
So in truth and in fact she was not chopped to death in her sleep because she woke up during the attack.
If she had not woken up, then we could have safely said that she was killed in her sleep, hence there would have been no fight for her life and no trail of blood from the couch to the kitchen.

BTW, I95's Dale Enoch told us during their midday newscast on Monday that Mrs Dhanessar's husband (name called) had been in an altercation with her and was being sought in connection with the murder of his wife. This was unlike the other media houses which later in the day reported that a 'relative' was being sought in connection with the murder.
Now suppose Mr Dhanessar had not taken his own life and was proven to have had nothing to do with the murder?

And there were conflicting reports on who actually found her body. At 7pm, TV6 told us her son found her body, but Mark Bassant in his report for C News told us a neighbour found the body, even though the scrolling news line running across the bottom of the screen was telling us that her body was found by her 7 year old son (the ticker was removed for the 9pm newscast).

And on the story with the young man who shot policeman Edward Alleyne, Charlene Ramdhanie of C News gave us his name, told us he was 17 years old, and we saw video of him being led into a prison van and sitting in a police car. But TV6 told us the young man was 16 years old, they did not give his name, nor did they show any video of him.
So how old is he really? In his story for the Tuesday Express, Gyasi Gonzales told us "the boy was born in May 1991, lives with his mother and had no previous or pending court matters." So that means he's 17, right?
Meanwhile the scrolling news line at the bottom of the screen on C News told us a "17 year old appears in court for the attempted murder of police sargent Edward Alleyne".

Still on Monday's news, TV6's sports reporter James Saunders told us former Joe Public coach Keith Griffith resigned from the club, yet the graphic across the screen told us the team's management had sacked him and two players.


Here's the first comment on the local coverage of the US election, from Dandai Ramdass.

"Hey Martine,
I must firstly give thumbs up to Gayelle and TV6 for their extensive coverage of the U.S. elections 2008. Gayelle however outlasted the latter carrying on with in - studio coverage till after twelve am the next morning. (sic)
Their panel also included former CNC3 morning show host, Josanne Lennard (who also served at Gayelle as a news anchor in the past) and Errol Fabien, formerly of Gayelle's morning programme.

"TV6 had been following the elections since six am on the Morning Edition (sic) with Andy Johnson and also carried another programme at half past eight till ten hosted again by Andy. Joining him on set was Dr. Morgan Job, Indira Rampersad I believe and another (panellist), I can't really remember his name.

"Gayelle also started off the day with the Big Story, something which Shelly Dass failed to address last evening on her programme. Whatever is going on with CNC3, who failed to start off the day on the biggest story of the week and yet they did not even catch up on Jeremy Matouk's programme this evening. Not because they have a national license now means they have to just handle national issues.

"Once again TV6 proved to be the best. C as well followed in the footsteps of CNC3, shame on them as well. TV6 and Gayelle, keep up the good work.
Oh and by the way, has anyone noticed that Odeka O'Neil no longer carries the name Seaton?
Also TV6 could you please revisit the idea of Co - anchoring? Maybe we could see Samantha and Rochelle or even Dominic reading together. After all just look at the size of that new desk."

Well Dr Morgan Job was truly animated in his speech and posture, so much so that we were led to believe that he arrived at the pub much earlier than the show's start time (9pm and not 8pm as heavily advertised).
Did you hear his description of Governor Sarah Palin, which included the words "vapid" and "vacuous"?
And can Dominic Kallipersad tell us whose idea it was to host the programme at Trotter's Pub? None of the US networks or even the BBC did that. They had interviews spicing up their programmes from all over the world, but none of the shows were actually hosted in a glorified rum shop.
But then again, maybe the thinking was that Trinis like to lime and the best place to get the real 'ole talk on the election was at a pub? Smokey's and Bunty's probably had a more animated crowd.

Dandai we also will take issue with Miss Johnson co-anchoring the TV6 news. We recently heard her voice on an ad which was run on TV6, and it's not common practice for news presenters to voice ads, for obvious reasons. Then again, Miss John is in a similar position and that has not prevented her from presenting the news.
Dominic Kallipersad made lots of mistakes in presenting the 7pm news last Thursday, so maybe he needs some brushing up, and a shot of something to liven him up a bit (maybe whatever Dr Job had).

Share your comments on the election night coverage. Send them to


Well the polls have closed and the results are in: Senator Barack Obama will be the first black US President (and truly the first African-American) in the White House.
His victory speech (text and video) holds lots of lessons for local politicians on how to be gracious in accepting victory, while his rival, Senator John McCain's speech (text and video) also has lessons for local politicians on how to concede defeat without dividing a nation.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


The Media Association has issued a press release relating to the Prime Minister's unscheduled visit to Power 102 last Saturday. Seems he didn't like what he heard during the midday newscast.

"The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago received reports of an incident involving Prime Minister Patrick Manning at the Abercromby Street offices of Power 102 and 94.1 FM.

"The Association contacted the station’s Vice-President of Operations, O’Brien Haynes who confirmed the Prime Minister visited the station on Saturday 25th, October 2008 to express his displeasure with the contents of the station’s 12:25 pm newscast. He described the Prime Minister’s demeanor as calm and cool.

"Mr. Haynes said the Prime Minister expressed concerns about crosstalk during the newscast on statements he made at Thick Village with regard to the increase in the price of premium gas and drivers converting from diesel to CNG.

"The Vice-President said following an internal investigation it was agreed by management at the station that a newscaster and presenter were in breach of programming protocol. Mr. Haynes added the employees were suspended.

"The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago notes the unprecedented action of the Prime Minister with surprise and some concern. The Association deems the Prime Minister’s visit to the station as inappropriate in light of the fact that it can be perceived as an attempt to intimidate or to stifle freedom of the press.

"The Association feels the Prime Minister has available to him many avenues of redress and should have perhaps considered the perception of his actions.

"MATT values above all an independent media operating without interference or fear, however the Association as well notes that standards of journalism must be adhered to at all times."

Sunday, November 2, 2008


We've decided to add a couple new features to the blog: a poll and the Quote of the Day.
We'll try to ask questions relevant to the media, but from time to time we'll jump outside the box.
That said, the first question we'd like to throw out is to the top right of the screen: Who do you think will win the US election?
We've had lots of debate on the issue right here as well as (we are sure) in newsrooms across the country, so here's your chance to vote, minus a green card.
Voting ends at 9pm on Tuesday November 4th.
The Quote of the Day is at the bottom of the page, beginning with words of wisdom from playwright George Bernard Shaw.


Well we haven't seen enough of the extended programming on CNC 3 to make a judgement on whether there is anything different there, but we did notice that they have lots of American shows being promoted. Hopefully it's not more of the same.

We saw most of the on-air personalities during the period when they were announcing that they were finally going national on Saturday morning, with comments from the GM and MD, and shots of the studio and newsrooms. Caught a glimpse of Mr Nanton dozing and that was added for the news story.

We were expecting perhaps a new-look newscast, but that was not to be either so we'll deal with what we saw in one story in particular which intrigued us.
It was the murder/suicide in central Trinidad. CNC 3 had a packaged story which included an interview with the mother of the woman who was killed. Her right arm was in a sling as she too had been attacked by the murderer, and she looked clearly shaken but was able to give a clear, concise on-camera interview of what took place.
At the same time, TV6 was running the same story but their account of the elderly woman's condition was very different. The newsreader Joel Villafana (the sportsman?) told us that she was warded in critical condition at hospital. Hmmmm.
So was it that she did the interview with CNC before or after her critical condition arose?
Then the next morning, 95.1FM's newscaster told us the woman had been treated at the Chaguanas Health facility and discharged. The Newsday's Onika James does not mention anything about the elderly woman's condition beyond the fact that she was chopped. The Guardian's Adrian Boodan told us she was treated at the Chaguanas Health Facility and discharged.

Miss James however told us that the dead woman, Ms Romeo was the mother of two children, "a 13-year-old daughter, and a 16-year-old son." Mr Boodan told us that Ms Romeo's children "...both attend primary school,...". While Keino Swamber of the Express told us Ms Romeo was "a mother of two primary school children."
Both the Guardian and Newsday spelt the woman's name as "Ursilla Romeo", but the Express had "Ursula". However Keino Swamber told us her mother's name is Ms Badal, while the Newsday had Bahal and the Guardian Bahall.

And the discrepancies don't stop there. Mr Boodan told us "He had a hatchet in his hand and there was blood on his clothes. Williams told (his nephew) he had murdered Romeo and that he would drink a poisonous substance and kill himself. Relatives did not initially take Williams seriously because he had made similar threats in the past." Was there blood on his clothes the last time he made the threat? Steups!
Mr Swamber told us "Williams then told a relative, Anston Daniel, that he had just killed Romeo, drank a poisonous substance and was going home to sleep. Williams's body was discovered at his home at around 7.10 a.m. yesterday." What time was the relative given this grim story, since the crime was allegedly committed on Friday night? Steups!
Too many unanswered questions exacerbated by the discrepancies in reporting.


Here is the Media Association's release on the passing of veteran Guyanese newspaper founder and editor, David de Caires.

"The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago joins the region and people of Guyana in mourning the passing of David de Caires.

"Mr de Caires, founder of Guyana’s Stabroek News, passed away on Friday night in Barbados, aged 70.

"Mr de Caires, who was also Editor-in-Chief of the paper, is hailed as championing press freedom and the right of the people to have a voice in a climate that did not foster or encourage independent thought.

"In 1986, he and his wife Doreen, began publishing the Stabroek News, making it the first privately owned media house in Guyana since the 1970s, when the political and economic climate had forced the closure of all its predecessors.

"In its early days, the content of the entire Stabroek News had to be flown to Trinidad for printing weekly at the Trinidad Express, and the entire print run then flown back to Guyana for distribution. Given his connections at the Express, whose Chairman, Ken Gordon, was a friend and supporter, the paper overcame this obstacle. De Caires and the Stabroek News also found friends at the Barbados Nation and the Jamaica Gleaner.

"Thanks to Mr de Caires, his newspaper survived in the face of continuing challenges to media freedom by the Guyanese political establishment, including a government decision in 2006 to withdraw state advertising from the paper. Mr de Caires led the campaign for the return of the advertising and was deeply aggrieved that a democratic state which had signed the Declaration of Chapultepec on press freedom could so violate it.

"Earlier in his career he edited the groundbreaking New World Quarterly.

"Mr de Caires is remembered as a legend by those who knew him and as a man of unwavering commitment to the highest ethics and standards of journalism.

"He was also, even before the advent of the internet, an early supporter of interactive media, counting extensive feedback and comment from readers an integral and essential part of his newspaper.

"He wrote recently of the profession he adopted after giving up a lucrative career in law:
"“Newspapers must deal forthrightly with all the main issues in the society. There will be pressures from politicians in and out of government, businessmen, advertisers and other interest groups. There can be no compromise: you only have to lose your journalistic soul once…the worst sin for any newspaper is to play safe, to duck the tough issues.”

"At the same time, Mr de Caires remained not only an exemplar but also an affable and approachable employer, colleague and friend, not only to his own staff but also to the journalists and other media workers around the region who came to know and admire him.

"While he has passed on, MATT hopes that the values he embodied continue to live on in every media practitioner, not just here in Trinidad and Tobago but throughout the region."

What are your reflections on the life and influence of David de Caires?
Let us know at


"And oh KC, both Obama and Hillary were historic candidates, the world would have gotten an orgasm for either, they are not just Obama-maniacs because he's black, it is primarily the historic factor that excites everyone, and the same energies would have been there for Hillary as she too was historic.

"Even Obama's 12 year old daughter could have reasoned that. Did you not see Michelle Obama relaying that information to the media when Obama won the nomination? Michelle said she asked their older daughter what she thought about her daddy winning the nomination: "well, there would have been the same excitement for Hillary because it's the first time a woman would have been running for President" said 12 year old Malia Obama...tut tut KC, that you can't reason like that.

"See the damage emotions can do? A child could make waves around us in that state."



And here's PH's response.

""KC", you are vooping and it is out of emotion. You sound like an emotional wreck. Going on and on saying nothing. Did you study Mass Communication? Because if you did you would have learnt that every University teaches that who the media favours in a US election tend to win the elections. So far only Ronald Reagan defied that. If Obama does, it's the media and 600 million dollars in campaign spending that did it for him.

"KC are you a journalist? Because if you are, I sure would have expected a more level headed response ---as the kind of media bias towards Obama is a poor example of what journalism is and what is expected of journalists.

"Forget Hillary, she faced a gender issue, the people chose the lesser of two evils, media icons stated outright that they did not want a woman for President and buried Hillary as fast as they could. You really think Obama would of reached that far if he did not have that kind of media support? If Obama wins, it's the media that carried him, if he loses it's the media that made him lose. Don't you think the significant imbalanced bias for Obama could also kill him?

"If Obama had stuck to his agreement with McCain and depended on federal funding, imagine the blow out he would have gotten...the fact is that it took $600 million and 80% media favouritism to get him this far in the game. That might be great, but it is not greatness on Obama's part.

"If McCain raised money the way Obama did, he would have been 15 points ahead already. And so should Obama with the tide on his side, but the fact is that he is only between 3 and 7 points ahead according to fluctuating and varying polls. Everyone sees the world is for Obama, but that is irrelevant.

"Are you saying KC that because Obama is black the media have a right to throw objectivity out the window? Pity how emotions twist our minds and thinking. Come better than the black argument."


Saturday, November 1, 2008


Here's a response to PH's comment on the McCain/Obama debate.

"I don't usually respond to what I see on this blog and while I agree to an extent with what PH has to say, after all a latest poll shows that 234 newspapers in the US have endorsed Obama, McCain trailing way behind with only 105 newspaper endorsements, the fact of the matter is that Barack Obama is making history, when last did an African American come this close to securing the highest office in the world?

"I find it silly that according to PH people should come better than use the "because he's black" argument. Were past democratic presidential hopefuls, John Kerry and Al Gore African American? Not to my recollection, unless I'm colour blind.
And Jessie Jackson in his bid for the white house in the 80's did not come as close as Barack Obama has.

"Obama is the centre of attention at the moment, the world is intrigued by him and it is true that the media in all its forms can be a representation of what the average man out there is thinking. And the truth is that people in countries as far as Dubai, Iran, Germany, Liberia and other parts of the world want to know more about him. And can you fault them? How many of us thought that he stood a real chance of becoming the democratic presidential candidate? Hillary Clinton may have well thought she had it in the bag until the results of the primaries showed her wrong. Obama is obviously someone who is breaking the barriers. And after eight years of George W Bush, it's no wonder why Obama and his message of change seems so popular.

"If other journalists were to read foreign newspapers to get an idea of what foreigners are thinking, it is clear that people think an Obama presidency can improve the US image abroad. I can imagine how intrigued US lawmakers and even editors in the media abroad are that a young African American with the name 'Obama' is challenging a 70 + year-old war veteran for the post of president!

"So while the media can be biased, and has been biased to an extent when covering this election, I believe that to condemn the media as favouring Obama would be a wrong assumption. Media coverage of Obama hasn't always been good. Comments made by Joe Biden and Michelle Obama in the past have been exploited by the McCain camp and have made their rounds in the media. Popular Republican notions about Obama, such as he's inexperienced, he lacks guidance, he fraternises with terror groups, he's Muslim, have been touted throughout various media.

"By the way, media coverage, however great it seems does not mean that Obama is a clear winner and he may well succumb to what is known as the 'Bradley effect'. And the McCain camp has also enjoyed a lot of media coverage especially since McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate. In fact Palin is so popular in the news because it just so happens that she is making history herself - if McCain is victorious, that will mean that Palin would be the first woman to sit as vice-president of the USA.

"In any case,think about it this way PH, if Obama loses, then McCain will receive all the media coverage, after all he would be the new president!"