Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Here's a response to the original post on Mr Pierre's audible faux pas.

"About Fabian.
Well 'AD' it's a good thing you're not a decision maker about anything. Couple Questions: What was Fabian's reaction when he appeared on camera after the flub? As Sue Simmons did, he should have gracefully apologized, for his part.
The technical editor however, who assembled the voice and the video, and did not re-check the story, or was not careful enough to edit out the error, is culpable.

"Furthermore, it appears as though TV6 management did the right thing, since 'construction language' shouldn't be used in any kind of recording studio, especially in a fast paced environment, when granted, technical editors must be under tremendous pressure.

"What happened does not warrant pulling Fabian off air, especially if he apologised. Oh but then again...wait...if we are to follow 'AD's logic...I'm Fabian, and I might be defending myself using a fake name... ooooo..."


The question is: has Fabian appeared on camera since this story aired? And if yes, did he apologize?


Here's a first-hand account of what happens when media people feel entitled to have extra passes to all-inclusive Carnival fetes.

"Hi Martine,
I am an avid fan of your blog and keep up the great work.
On the question of media workers abusing their so called Carnival coverage, I think the editors should be the ones calling the promoters. There have been instances where editors do call and make arrangements and reporters/photographers call for extra passes.

"Having been a former Guardian entertainment reporter, I can tell you of my personal experiences where a certain photographer will bring his girlfriend to several Carnival all inclusives and we will be stopped at the door/gate and asked for our passes. Normally a press pass will get you in, but since the promoters send two passes (reporter/photographer) we did not have a third pass and the end result will be the photographer arguing and sometimes calling for security to come to the gates. Tres embarrassing....and this photographer does this year after year.....
In some cases this same photographer goes to every party, inclusive of Zen with the company's camera on the pretense that he is working and gets into the parties free of charge.

"At a certain all inclusive last year, a photographer was already rostered to cover an all inclusive and the other photographer who was not rostered showed up with his girlfriend and when told there was already a representative from the company inside the photographer said: "All yuh ain't know who is me, I is Creole, I know the promoter, he called me personally...". The photographer (Creole as he calls himself) then took out his cell phone and pretended to call the promoter, but the guard let him and his girlfriend into the party.

"Martine, my point is this, when media personnel do this, they all look bad; media people have been known to like free thing and that is a dangerous thing. By doing this people start losing respect for the media and look at them as one laughing stock. Trust me, I know 'cause having left the media, I am privy to the talk from high officials...."

"Missing the media"


This one is for C News' producers.

"As much as I enjoy C News, there were some errors made in the (Monday) 7pm newscast that no one picked up in time for the 9pm newscast. Firstly, the member of Parliament for Point Fortin was titled, "MP for Portin Fortin" both at 7pm and again (at) 9pm. Was someone sleeping all that time?
And who is Minister "Grolund"? It's "Gronlund". Come on, don't start dropping your standards like another famous TV station."

"trini media"


The discussion continues.

"Ah TV6. Once again you show how unprofessional you can be. I know the exactly person who you're referring to requiring these tickets in obscene language. Begging for tickets to carnival fetes is an absolute no in the media. It is unethical, inappropriate and only helps to create a bad impression of the media in general. I trust that her managers deal with (her).

"And how could the tiredness of an editor be to blame for loud, obscene language by Fabian Pierre being broadcast on air? Get real TV6. You need to remember than you are not the only news station in the country and we are downright tired of your continued failure to lift your standards.

"And talking about standards, I must once again congratulate CNMG for continuing to keep Desha Rambhajan on the 7pm newscast. Maybe it's like football, where one player who is away for long is replaced by another player who performs so good that the regular starter, when he/she returns, has to fight for his/her place. Desha has made a fantastic substitute and it appears that C News managers have placed the regulars on the bench to fight for their place. Well done! Competition is healthy and Desha, you're doing very well."

"trini media"

Monday, January 26, 2009


Questions have already arisen about that story re: CNMG.

"Hi MW,
(Sunday)'s Express has an interesting story about the government's plans for its various media holdings. I'm a bit confused by the penultimate paragraph of the story: 'But the idea that CNMG, a reincarnated TTT, might go the route of a Government-controlled broadcasting structure has alarmed many people, both inside and outside the State-owned TV station.' What's the difference between being a Government-controlled broadcasting structure and a State-owned TV station? They seem like one and the same to me.

"The story does raise an important question that I raised in an earlier post about CNMG. Should the government be owning media companies in 2009? What's the rationale for this? I understand that government ownership was necessary back in the day when broadcast media was still in its infancy. But today we have several private broadcasters. So why does the government need to be involved in media of all things?"


Good questions Mike and we'd like to post this one as an open letter to both current and former Information Ministers, Neil Parsanlal and Dr Lenny Saith.
Maybe they should consider the BBC's operations.


Here's a comment on a few of the responses we gave to questions from some budding journalists.

"You say in response to one question: "Your editor will eventually notice and will eventually pay you top dollar because he'll get the heads up that some smart editor out there is also noticing your brilliant writing. If not, you can always quit and go become a lawyer." Keep in mind that not all lawyers make big money. Those who go into public interest lawyering, for instance, make as much as journalists do -- and sometimes less!

"Also, the question goes to the heart of one of the problems I see affecting local media: the idea that because you can write or like writing you can be a journalist. This is a mistake. Journalists aren't in the main people who like to write; they are people who like to know. Basically, you need to be smart and curious enough to see and explore all the angles to a story and submit to the copy desk a well-reported story. Note, the story does not have to be well-written because the copy desk will re-write submissions to conform to the respective organization's style, iron out any rough edges, correct grammatical errors, etc.

"If someone likes to write and loves to know then journalism is certainly a field I would recommend. But if the desire to know isn't there then he could explore other writing roles: screenwriting, speech writing, creative writing, biography etc.

"My experience in Trinidad is that people tend to be closed-minded about the options available to writers. The options available to writers also tend to be limited. So people good at writing (and some who think they are) see journalism sometimes as the only option available to them other than maybe teaching. A quick scan of the Internet would reveal that this isn't the case and that there are many fulfilling career paths for writers. You would generally have to leave Trinidad to pursue some of these career paths. But if you're serious about realising your potential this shouldn't deter you.

"On the issue of penalizing errant reporters, I agree in part with your answer. However, I also think that the problem is one of a lack of moral authority within the newsroom. There are no standards within the industry, so nobody can discipline anybody."



Mr Pierre, this one's for you.

"Hi Martine:
It's strange you all did not pick this up (maybe not yet) but on Thursday night, in the TV6 regionals section, which was read out by Fabian Pierre, there was a VERY AUDIBLE ERROR (Like he fumbled) and then he actually said "F**K". Loud and on air. The story was pulled immediately, but my cousin called TV6 that night to complain. No one took the call but on Friday, she called again and someone said the matter was being dealt with and the editor was overworked and tired.
But what about Fabian? She was told by her media friend who works at the Express that the bosses sent a general memo, but that type of language in a studio recording, where you know the chances are it will get out, is simply unacceptable.

"I believe he should be pulled off the air for a while at least, because cursing/obscene language is unacceptable on air and he should be properly disciplined."


It's unfortunate that the foul language was played on the air, but was an immediate apology issued by the news presenter once the story was pulled off the air? If not, then that would be the amazing part.
This is how NBC 4's veteran anchor Sue Simmons dealt with a similar faux pas, but hers was live. (Warning: adult language, viewer discretion advised).


We've had a response from the businessman who sent us that heartfelt appeal about the treatment meted out to his staff by media houses which 'demand' free passes to cover fetes.

"Well. I finally got a report from two of my juniors (involved in promoting separate fetes) who had the misfortune of being called by the producer I referred to in TV6.
She was even more rude, hostile and abusive towards them. (Last) week, when she called them for tickets, she told them, (on separate occasions) that - and I'm quoting from them - "All yuh feel writing to media watch bout me going to do anything. Just get the **** tickets for the fetes - we doin all yuh a favour".
Suffice to say, these workers had no clue what she was talking about, and when they asked her to explain, she actually used obscene language. Sad to say, the managers are not reining that woman in at all."

"Carnival police"

Let's see if this situation will be addressed before the free tickets season is over.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Recently some questions were submitted to us by budding journalists in training; questions on how the media really works and what it takes to succeed in this business.
We've decided to post some of the questions and answers because they were pretty interesting and perhaps are what some seasoned journalists would like answered as well.
Feel free to write in with comments, suggestions, and anecdotes about the TT media which can benefit budding journalists.

Comment/question from AH:
"I do not think that media workers should purchase tickets to cover fetes. The onus should be on fete promoters to facilitate the media's request if they want their event publicized. In the event that tickets are not sent, do you believe that their 'demanding' behaviour was justified? If not, how should editors/management deal with these reporters?"
MW: If fete promoters or anyone else wants an event publicized they rightly should send invitations and the necessary tickets, but since when does it take a crew of 12 (scantily dressed) people to cover a fete when the story on that fete will not last more than 2 minutes?
Assignments editors are the ones to make arrangements for these events and not reporters, so they can often be unreasonable in their requests, depending on the hype surrounding the event. Do you believe that same assignments editor would 'demand' 12 tickets to a luncheon for a home for the aged?
These fete tickets are not cheap, so any fete-loving editor would promise to cover the event once several tickets are sent so the three cameramen, the broadcast assistant, the six reporters and the cleaner can get in for free. Oh, add their grandmother (who is freelancing as an editor) to the list for tickets.

DB: "Do you think there should be more transparency regarding how errant reporters are penalized?"
MW: Yes there should be more transparency, but unfortunately it seems that the local media is an employees market, so if these errant reporters feel they have been slighted by their bosses, they can easily move on to the next media house where they feel their worth (or ego-tripping) is more appreciated. Media managers are often held to ransom by these over-inflated egos, so the easiest thing to do is nothing at all.

JG: "I love writing, but I don't like being poor. Have I chosen the wrong field?"
MW: Yes and no. Yes you've chosen the wrong field if your writing/reporting does not distinguish you from every other writer/reporter out there, so you'll have to be contented with making minimum wage and running after mundane stories.
On the other hand, you are in the right field if you can write with flair, passion, understanding, and come up with brilliant story ideas that no one else is looking at and get people to read and talk about your writing. Your editor will eventually notice and will eventually pay you top dollar because he'll get the heads up that some smart editor out there is also noticing your brilliant writing. If not, you can always quit and go become a lawyer.

AD: "How do editors and administrators typically respond to significant on-air flubs?"
MW: Significant meaning telling the nation that the PM was shot when he wasn't? Most times a grudging apology is offered almost immediately, while other times the policy is do or say nothing and maybe everyone will forget it even happened.

RG: "How credible is the media in Trinidad and Tobago given the proliferation of journalism errors in reporting?"
MW: The media is generally credible, though some media houses more than others.
Their strengths lie in the genuine qualifications and training of those who run the newsrooms. In days gone by, most local journalists had to learn their trade on the job, with no formal training and they became good at what they did by trial and error, rising through the ranks of their organizations.
But today, there are so many institutions offering training that there is no excuse for any journalist (young or old) not to be the best that they can be (mind you, there are many "training" agencies that are not qualified to teach journalism).

JR: "How do we find our true identity as journalists?"
MW: Your true identity as a journalist comes in reporting on what drives you the most...whether it's sport, the arts, business, politics. Try different beats (if possible) then try to stick with the one which makes your writing most passionate.

KF: "Do you think there is a need for more journalists in Trinidad and Tobago?"
MW: Yes there is a need for more journalists in TT because the crop that's out there has not exhausted all the stories that are waiting to be told. Some of them are already stuck in their various ruts and will not do anything different on pain of being fired, so you new ones have to challenge the status quo...go dig up the hundreds of stories waiting to be told that are right under everyone's noses, but that no one is telling. You may have a neighbour who is in an abusive relationship, or know that a drug dealer lives on your block, or a retaining wall in your neighbourhood that could come crashing down and cause serious damage or even death...there's always a story waiting to be told right under your nose.

AH: "Do you think that a reporter should be blamed for reporting incorrect information which was given to them by the police?"
MW: One of the fundamentals of reporting is that information should go through at least three sources before being published/broadcast. So if a police source gives information, there must be some way to corroborate that information before going to air with it. Otherwise, use the other fundamental principle...if in doubt, leave it out. But we live in a culture of reporters/editors/media houses which prefer to have incorrect scoops rather than stale facts.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Here are a few comments on the THA election coverage, from 'trini media'.

"I was not entirely surprised that TV6 did nothing worthwhile for the THA election. For a company that is "national" in scope, has a lot of equipment at its disposal and not to mention, is currently the oldest television news media house in the country, the station has not been functioning as a serious media station. Is it that you feel so comfortable with the market share Dominic and others, that you think you can rest on your laurels and not get out there and do your work? Is there even an assignment editor there who knows what to do, when to do it and how to do it?

"Why didn't the station have a live feed from Tobago on election night? I'm terribly disappointed, but as I said, not entirely surprised. The station has an entirely new staff since the great walk-out of the Natalie Williams era from which it has never recovered and the juniors over there have no one to guide them whatsoever.

"CNMG, I admire your effort. I don't know that I'd go so far as to say that Charlene Ramdhanie and Golda Lee were amateurs. They brought us regular reports but it was clear that the station had no election-night plan in place. Again, a station with equipment to do live reports and nothing from Tobago on election night with the celebrations. What if the prime minister had indeed turned up? Anyone thought about the significance of that. What if the PNM had lost the election? No thought whatsoever.

"CNC3 can be forgiven for not having the equipment as yet to do live reports. But it's high time that changes. You have been on air long enough and have "gone national" a long time now. Get with the programme CNC3, live television reporting IS the order of the day. After all, the station does have, in my opinion, the best live presenters in the country -- Sampson Nanton, who actually saved the station some face with regular and well-informed updates from the PNM headquarters, Shelly Dass, with a natural on-air presence, Francesca Hawkins, an absolutely brilliant presenter, and Roger Sant, an experienced and collected anchor who gave us some excellent reports from Beijing. It goes without saying that if the station had the equipment to go live, it could have crushed the competition. Well done however, as Shelly continued to toss to Sampson at the right moments with regular updates. I do agree with A Williams that the graphics needed to come alive.

"Now to Desha Rambhajan at CNews. I don't know if it's because Charlene and Golda were in Tobago, but you got the much needed break in the 7pm newscast and I must say, you have taken on the role with absolute excellence and with an on-air presence that is completely captivating. I particularly loved your choice of outfit on Thursday night. It was a calming colour and yet stylish enough to catch the eye of the viewer. Take a bow Desha and I hope that those in charge at CNews would recognise that they have a good presenter in the making and use you some more.

"Finally, I'd like to throw out a little suggestion though. We have had media competitions sponsored by just about everyone. So I propose some competition here as well. Perhaps without all the criticisms and tongue-lashings, we can rate the week's best reporter, best presenter, best producer (based on the overall news presentation for the week), best head of news (based on the best news content for the week), and of course, the worse in each category.

"If I were to begin, I'd give Desha the best presenter, Sampson the best reporter (particularly for his reports from Tobago), CNews the best producer for the overall presentation of their newscasts and again CNews for best Head of News for overall content of their newscast. Come on CNC3, your content standard has always been high but you need to be always reminded, you're only as good as your last story. And as for TV6, the least said the better. They may very well take the worse category all by themselves."


Here's a response to Ken Gordon's comments on the lack of standards in the media.


"I agree with everything Ken Gordon says. He's not saying anything sensible people don't already know. But his decrying the lack of standards in T&T broadcast media is like Bush calling a press conference today to decry weakened civil liberties in the U.S.

"What did Gordon do during his time as CCN head to improve the quality of journalism in T&T? Didn't Gordon oversee for many years a media company whose TV station (TV6) is a culprit of the selfsame lack of standards he now bemoans? I don't think TV6 is any better today than it was when Gordon was in charge.

"Oh, and CCN also owned the Express, whose reporting on any given day under Gordon's watch was as bad as it is today. So I find it strange that all of a sudden he's critical of the "appalling standards" in the media. But such is life, I guess."



This reader found the link to the actual 60 second BBC newscast which was pulled off the air because of the 'breathy' presentation.

"I just want to let you know that there is a youtube clip of the so-called "breathy" BBC presenter here: Sixty Seconds News Scandal. It sounds like she was trying to multitask. Hopefully no local presenters have tried multitasking in this way (A Sampson Nanton joke here would be too easy)."


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Here's former CCN Chairman Ken Gordon saying what most of us have known all along, that the lack of monitoring of countless radio and tv stations has led to appalling standards in the media.
"“The canons of good taste do not appear to be understood, racism is promoted; excesses dominate; pronunciation is abominable, green verbs are the order of the day and standards have fallen on every side. “There is a terrible weakness in the electronic media. No efforts have been made to make people accountable for standards.”...He also said there was the need for proper training for media personnel."

And while it's easy to lay all the blame on successive governments, media managers (most of whom are members of the TTPBA) should hang their heads in shame at this sorry state of affairs.
Hiring unqualified, untrained people to write stories and read the news in order to save a few dollars shows a distinct lack of regard for their audiences.


The comments continue on the THA election night coverage.

"I found the election night coverage interesting. CNMG's panel was rather lack luster. Hamid Ghany was good, but his fellow panelists were boring. And TV6, what happened to you?! Remember old school TTT? That's what TV6 is reminding me of lately. Don't get me wrong, I adore Andy Johnson, he's great, but let's have some more shots of the scene. Don't go to a place, prepared for a LIVE event, and come away thinking you may as well have been in a dark studio.

"Both CNMG and TV6 cut out their programming around 10pm. I actually think CNC3 though was pretty good, content wise. They went until 10:30pm or so with a political scientist, and an economist and every 5 minutes they had live reports from Sampson Nanton, and some new girl. The graphics for the results are so old school though. They look like someone dusted them off from 40 years ago.

"Still, CNC were the only ones who stuck around for the concession speech from Ashworth Jack. (But it seemed a bit touch and go for them though, because it looked like they were wrapping up the discussion, when the host did a turn-around, and explained they were standing by to go to Ashworth Jack in Tobago..but the guests looked caught off guard too. I guess they weren't clued into the last minute change in plan) Orville London did a long interview with 3 at some point. Is it that they have more political favour, or contacts? Why didn't CNMG get those interviews? But CNC3, get with the programme, send over a live production team to bring us back proper pictures. Get some better graphics, yours are just plain ugly. Doesn't McAl have enough money?"

"A. Williams"


Here's a question for the Guardian.

"I practically grew up on the Guardian as a newspaper but they have taken a serious turn for the worse within recent times...on the 20th they posted a letter to the editor that spoke of the alleged incident that occurred at a Mall in Trinidad. The mall subsequently printed a statement that no such incident did in fact happen.
It has been 'proved' to be an Internet Urban Legend.

"I wonder why did the Guardian still print this as the person answered self on this 'alleged' issue. Did they not have anything else to print?! I'm guessing not because there was a review of Rudder's latest CD that took half a page and I read nothing but what was already in the liner notes on the back of the CD."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Here's a comment about the election night coverage of the THA election.

"CNMG's coverage of the THA elections was far superior to Andy Johnson's excessive talk shop and CNC3's almost non-existent coverage. Andy and his partners talked the night away while Hamid Ghany and his guests spent time discussing THE RESULTS. Hello, Andy, people tuned in to get the RESULTS not to hear three overweight politicians argue with each other about a road behind a church in Bacolet.

"Junior reporters Charlene Ramdhanie and Golda Lee were amateurish and an absolute waste of time and did nothing to help the people in studio. Don't these girls know you should not get carried away by the moment as a reporter? Leave the giggling and the superlatives for the hairdressers, girls.

"Thankfully, Fatboy Hamid (who dresses him?) and his two knowledgeable guests kept things rolling along very very well and Ean Wallace was perfect for the occasion. Meanwhile, Andy and the fat boys talked and talked and talked. What a lousy production. The results came up and disappeared without explanation. Andy did not know who was fighting where and Gift, Dumas and Beard just kept on talking and talking while the results were not coming and coming.

"While all of this was happening, junior reporters Charlene and Golda seemed impressed. At one time I thought Golda would plant a kiss on Cecil Caruth's cheek and the less said about Ramdhanie the better. Back to journalism school for you girls. You wasted our time on election night."

"A. Gordon"

Do you have any comments on the coverage of the THA election? Drop us a line at


A reporter has informed us that when they interviewed The Mighty Duke last Carnival he said he was 75 years old, so therefore he would have been 77 this October.
Thanks for that clarification.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Here's a link to a story about a BBC presenter who got pulled off the air because her presentation of a one minute newscast was too "breathy".
Some of you local presenters, radio and tv, need to pay attention.


This letter was bound to come to the fore because it's been a problem that fete promoters have had to deal with ad nauseum over the years, seemingly with no redress from media managers.
It's from a businessman who has been on the receiving end of nonsense and in some cases abuse by media workers who think it's their right to get free passes to Carnival activities.

"Media houses have traditionally been granted access to cover Carnival fetes in the past, but it has come to our notice that they have been abusing their privileges considerably for the past few years. This year it is no different. Major TV stations and newspapers are the ones guilty of the following crimes:

"So called photographers/assignment editors/entertainment reporters call our promoters the week or mere days before major fetes and demand free tickets for coverage. Now in the case of photographers, we're asked for two tickets, but for TV stations, it involves an entire crew. These are expensive, all inclusive fetes and we often wonder why the media houses just don't buy tickets to cover them. But when we do allow people in via putting their names on the lists, we are faced with the problem of them bringing more than one person (in the TV stations) insisting that it is their crew.

"TV6news, Gayelle and to a lesser extent CNC3 are guilty of this this season. But TV6news is the worst. There is someone with a very gruff voice on the telephone, a
woman (from the newsroom), who normally calls our people for tickets. She actually DEMANDS tickets and speaks abusively to our people when it is not arranged to her timing. These workers claim our fetes will be properly covered on TV, but if we see more than one minute, it is a lot. Further, we note that this same woman has not been cooperative to cover any event the promoters (like UWI, CAREC, Bloodbank and Hilton) have during the year, yet at Carnival time they are keen. They also come into the fetes for free and stay there, so it is clear their intention was to get a free ticket.

"We are on the verge of refusing all tickets/free passes, but we are trying to be helpful. We think Media bosses must look into this embarrassing, abusive practice by their workers and institute some code of conduct for their "Carnival babies" workers who are out only for free stuff."

"Carnival police"

Have you had any experiences similar to what this businessman is describing or can you shed some light on why media houses demand so many free tickets to "cover" a fete? Drop us a line at

Friday, January 16, 2009


Well we may need a commission of enquiry into this one.

"Commission Questions: If NCC TV is considered part of the local media, WHO is monitoring the quality?
The broadcast of the commission (of enquiry) into the construction sector has been terrible.
The camera work is poor, I swear the cameraman is asleep or slow on the draw, the audio is dreadful too. Disappointing, because the commission has been rather interesting so far, based on news reports.
CNMG has a pretty good reputation for live broadcasts, maybe they should have handled it."



Here's a question that we would also like answered.

"Can anyone shed any light on the report a few days ago, that some news person (at a popular media house in Maraval) was being questioned by police about fraud? I heard it on the radio, and nothing else came of it. What was that about?"

"A. Williams"


And the winner of the musical chairs is....
We now understand that Naette Lee has resigned from CNMG as well as Sherwin Long. But it doesn't seem that either of them is heading to another post in the local media.
Well Mrs Sant, it seems you have some competition in the exodus category.


Here's a comment for AD on that Shelly Dass issue.

"While I hold no briefs, boxers or undies for Shelly Dass, I hope AD's posting on Shelly wasn't motivated by something personal during their school days e.g. who was the geeky, gangly school-girl growing up, a cat-fight over a boy, who developed faster (smirk) etc."

"Mirthrandir The Laughing Wizard "


As we predicted, the media musical chairs has already begun.
As you may have noticed, Odeka O'Neil-Seaton is no longer gracing the anchor's chair for CNC 3's evening news. She has called it quits after exactly one year. What happened there? That newsroom must be very dusty, and Shelly must be very lonely.

Then the Guardian's Asha Javeed (business reporter) has bid farewell to the Guardian; she's heading over to CNMG.
And there's another (how many is this now?) new co-anchor for the CNC 3 Early Morning Show. It's Renee Cummings (daughter of Strike Squad coach Everald Gally Cummings) founder of the Miss Trinidad and Tobago New York Pageant and a former sportscaster at TV6.
She had a very spirited interview with the Guardian's Francis Joseph on Wednesday morning, bringing some of her criminal justice training to bear on the interview.
(But Francis, we can understand why you are in the newspaper business: at one point you said " jus go an pick up girls an rape dem and throw dem in the canefield...". Hmmmmmm.)
Anyway, Renee welcome on board. You are coming in at a time when there seems to be a semi-mass exodus from the Ansa McAl media group, but maybe your presence will turn the tide. At least you can use your criminal justice investigative skills to help them uncover the real reason why so many people are leaving.
One note though: your hair does not have to match your clothes or your makeup.
On Wednesday you wore a peach-coloured suit, with very peachy-coloured make up and what looked like a peach hair piece. Please don't go the way of IETV's Giselle McIntyre.

Still with personalities. Is it our imagination or did we hear TV6's fill-in anchorman Gerard Lampow voicing a radio ad for BMobile (something about peas and carrots)?
Now how is it possible that the (sometimes) face of a national newscast is selling a product for a private company? And when a story on the said company comes up in the newscast we are supposed to take him seriously?
Shame TV6, but then Samantha John is also at fault as well as CNMG with Raymond Edwards and Jessie May Ventour for UTC and Jamieson vitamins.
We've never heard Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Dan Rather, Lyse Doucet or Sade Baderinwa selling goods during the down time.


Since this story first broke, we have been asking ourselves this question: who did the US$10,000 in jewellery belong to? Queen Latifah or someone in her entourage?
We all know the story by now: Latifah and her homies were chillin' (or limin' as she told Jay Leno) at Stone Haven Villas when the items were stolen.
But some reports says the items belonged to the rap/acting star, others claim it belonged to someone in her entourage.

Well by the time the culprits appeared in court we would have thought that the issue would have been settled. But here it is again the media fails to bring true clarity to an issue.
The Newsday's Karl Cupid tells us: "Kevon Bayne, 35, of Riseland Trace, Bethel, Tobago, was yesterday granted $300,000 bail by Scarborough Senior Magistrate Annette McKenzie when he appeared in court on a series of charges, including larceny of US $10,000 worth of jewelry belonging to Grammy Award-winner, Queen Latifah at Stonehaven Villas on December 28, last."

Yet the Guardian's Casandra Thompson tells us: "Three people appeared in the Scarborough Magistrates’ Court yesterday to answer charges related to the theft of items from a member of Hollywood queen Latifah’s entourage."

So which one of them do you think was actually in court and actually heard the charges being read? The magistrate would have had to say who the jewellery was stolen from, not so?

If you were in the courtroom and can bring some clarification to this matter, feel free to drop us a line at


Here's an observation from one of our reader's on Duke's age.

"I really don't know if these people fuh real!

"Excerpt from Guardian online (January 14th) "(formerly Stanley's) at 1.05 pm yesterday. Duke, 77, was born in St Vincent and came to Trinidad at a "

"2009-1930; the age could be 78/79 not 77!

"Come on print the correct thing pls."


The Newsday's online edition of Friday January 16th has an interesting photo page.
Nothing relates to anything else.
The page headline is "Constitutional Contempt", the photo is that of 3 Canal members performing and the photo caption is this: "POSH PORCHE: Miss Trinidad and Tobago World Gabrielle Walcott strikes an elegant pose during the unveiling of the 2009 Porche 911 at Lifestyle Motors' Bhagouti Trace, San Juan, compound on Wednesday. The sporty car is being offered to buyers at a cool $1.3 million."

Two more observations: nowhere on the website is there a photo of Miss Walcott doing what she is said to be doing, and the spelling of the name of that very sexy little car looked strange on the Newsday's website, so we looked it up on the car company's official website, and you guessed it, the Newsday is wrong twice again.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Hmmmm. Trini wants to get us in some trouble and already we've had one heated response. But here's what, we've decided not to post it in its entirety, but we will give you this much: "You need to learn the art of taking as much as you give. Until you do that, don't denigrate a blog you conveniently used to your purposes in the past."

Our response was: "Don't you think this (the rest of the comment) is a bit over the top? Trini's response was more tongue-in-cheek than bashing and we really don't give a rat's .... what anyone thinks of this site, once they send constructive criticism of either the site or the media.

"If we post your comment it would continue the personal tit for tat so we've decided not to. But feel free to send legitimate comments about people or this site."

Sunday, January 11, 2009


This is one of the funniest comments we have had in a very long time, from Trini Media.

"While I have used this blog several times to post comments, I'll say this honestly, I don't like this blog at all. Of course, I can take a number and join the line of dozens of others, but I'd rather form my own line, because unlike those petty media workers who can't take criticism, my reasons are entirely different.

"While I respect your right to be critical of the often worthless, terrible, ridiculous and unlearned media personnel we have in this country (imagine TV6 started their Saturday night newscast with a story from Parliament, which ended before 4 pm the day prior -- what idiot made that call?), their names and faces are out there for all to see. They must face public scrutiny and when they write "too-too", they lose credibility. They're in the open so we know who "too-too" their pants. If or when they libel someone, they are sued because everyone knows who did it.

"This blog, however, assumes the right of media critic. And while the country needs it more than we think we know, you, the critics, are faceless, nameless and I'd rather say, gutless too. By all means say that Fabian Pierre comes across like a little boy reading news to big people; say Otto Carrington's voice-training is long overdue; say what you will about CNMG too, but tell us who you are.

"What I find even more appalling is that people then write their comments maligning others without fear of libel and without having to use their own name. So perhaps Fabian is bashing Desha, Shelly is bashing Golda, Naette is bashing Samantha. Who knows if Curtis Williams at CNMG is bashing Rosemarie Sant at CNC3, and if Roger in turn is bashing Joel Villafana? You see what I mean, all these pseudonyms, nobody knows who is who so it's open game. No balance, no accuracy, no fairness, no principles of journalism that you fight so hard for.

"So, let me do my part. I am Curtis Sampson Golda Rosemarie Samantha Desha Roger Astil Otto Naette Pierre. That's my complete first name alone. My middle name of course is McKnight Anna Richard Sasha Mohammed and my surname is Odeka-Clarke-Sant-John-Lee-Dass-Rambhajan. I think Fabian is a little boy trying to read big people news. I think Shelly is damn cute and is fantastic at her game (close second to Francesca). I think Rosemarie and Roger Sant are insecure because if you look back they implement everything you ever say on this site, including the fact that Rosemarie has stopped reading scripts and Roger has indeed given Astil a break now and then. I wonder if they give salary increases that easily? Nope, or else so many wouldn't have left. I think the Lee sisters are good readers but that Naette comes across like a diva. I think Samantha needs to tone it down and her bubble head sports anchor needs to relax himself and understand that he only just come and needs to learn to present news in a way that would appeal to viewers. I think Sampson has made a fantastic come-back and continues to prove himself to be a great asset to -- shall we say it -- yes, Sabga and them who own the damn station. I think IETV has a great newscast but that CNC3 still ranks on top. I think TV6's news judgement is as good as my three-year-old son trying to pick a World Cup team for the final game. I think Sasha Mohammed got what she asked for, i.e. the dislike of all her media colleagues because she felt she was God to them.

"I think Anna Ramdass's relationship with Omatie Lyder makes everyone in the Express sick. I think people like Marcia Hope and the Morales Spanish speaking person at TV6, have no place in the media. I think Desha Rambhajan is actually a very visually-appealing presenter and does a good job (whenever CNMG chooses to use her). I also think Charlene Ramdhanie is a fantastic presenter. I think Robert Clarke is an ace in his field. I think CNC3 needs to stop being cheap and keep their people after losing Odeka, Beekhee, Braveboy, Kent and countless others in the past (whatever become of that miserable girl called Kimberly Mackan?). We know that Hema left to work with Jack Warner. BIG MONEY!! Hint. Hint. Rosemarie, Roger, Sabga??!!

"There you are. I expressed my views. Maybe I rubbed some badly, I praised some, so you can call me fair, balanced and impartial. But am I? Oh, I almost forgot, I have to give my true name. It's Shelly Dass....I mean Dass. I lied, it's Fabian Pierre. Let me be honest, I'm really Samantha John. Nope, it's me, Golda Lee. Need I say more?
(I still think it's the stupid decision by TV6 to start their Saturday night newscast with Parliament that prompted all this. Conrad Enill said it, the worse in the world -- except for a few!)"

Well Trini, we really don't care who you are, just feel free to send constructive comments on the TT media.


Alvin Fitzpatrick, et al are suddenly "Lawers", according to the Trinidad Guardian.
Where are the sub-editors?


Here's a response from King Arthur.

"Well King Arthur I hope you do not have a problem with nice broadcast voices, because that is clearly lacking in the media these days.

"And Roshan while I agree that you should drop that annoying "uh" at the end of your words and name it appears one of the CNC3 sharks is out to break you. How many resignations has this organisation suffered again? It looks like over 100 already... is it?

"King Arthur" don't you find it utterly depressing that the T&T media cannot boast of too many broadcast voices in the news media? Don't you think there are too many voices out there in the news industry that's just suited for print media? Some of the voices hit you like your ears being dragged against a grater.
Did somebody say Samuel McKnight?"


Thursday, January 8, 2009


Andre Bagoo of the Newsday has an interesting story on the belt-tightening style of certain government ministers, amid calls from their boss, PM Manning for the rest of the country to do without certain luxuries.
Clearly a case of 'Do as I say but not as I do'.
And all this amid Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira telling the country that government is considering even more expenditure cuts because of the global financial crisis.


How do you say...?

"Media Watch,

"Is it still the case that people are getting broadcasting jobs in the Trinidad media because "he have a good voice"? Being illiterate does not mean that one has to be a Sampson Nanton or Samuel McKnight or Otto Carrington or some of the other jokers on TV6 (did I hear Sasha Mohammed?) and C (where is dead-pan Curtis Williams?).

"Roshan(uh) Sookram(uh) is a splendid example of these two phenomena. He seems to "have a good voice" and he appears to be functionally illiterate. The word, Mr. Sookram(uh) is ARCHAIC not ARKIK. No one is impressed by the added syllable after every consonant at the end of a word. Former Pointe-a-Pierre Member of Parliament for the United National Congress, Gideon(uh) Hanoomansingh(uh) was the trendsetter with this, followed by Satish Mahabeeerrrr and Tony Frazzzer. Fraser is however an excellent, seasoned journalist who has already made his mark.

"Roshan(uh) has some potential as a reporter and will some day make it as a professional. But he has to drop the bad(uh) habit(uh) and also do a little more reading(uh).
I am sure Mrs. Sant(uh) does not like how her name sounds with the added syllable, especially around Christmas time."

"King Arthur"


Here's an interesting observation by one of our readers.

"On 7 Jan 2009 TV6 news presenter Diane Baldeo made a boo boo that tripped tiltedly off the tongue when she reported that gunmen attacked a Mexican television station with "high profile" rifles; that should be "high-powered" rifles."

"Mirthrandir The Laughing Wizard"


There were so many interesting things to point out in those stories on Ms Salandy's funeral.
Both C News and TV6 began their newscasts with the funeral, but CNC 3 chose to bury (no pun intended) the story down at position #3 or #4 in their rundown.
TV6's Leeron Brumell told us Ms Salandy's championship belts are "now vacant". What does that mean? Is that a boxing term for when someone dies? Please enlighten us.

When Shelly Dass finally introduced the story from Sampson Nanton she had to pause for a while because it seemed the story was not ready.
And we finally got a stand-up from the man himself, but Sampson, what kinda dudes man posing is that? You standing there in the church yard with your very dark shades on talking and walking towards the camera, then whipping the shades off mid-sentence. Steups! Have you ever seen Anderson Cooper, Lyse Doucet or Katie Couric wearing shades while doing a stand-up? Well guess what? That's because it's a no-no. The reporter looks better squinting into the sunlight than wearing shades because it hides their eyes from the viewer and makes them look shady (again, no pun intended).

Then after you showed shots of Ms Salandy's body being lowered into the grave at the Siparia Public Cemetary (that word was scrolling across the screen for the entire newscast), you then went back to shots of people viewing her body inside the church, with a closing shot of the closed casket inside the church. Why do that wrong side kinda thing? So in the viewers' mind you dug up the casket and placed it back inside the church for effect? Steups!
For something like this, chronology works best.

And while we are on the subject of death in stories, Sharmilla Persad of TV6's story on the baby's body was very confusing. At first we were told the baby was left for dead, then we were told a dog was eating the baby's body. So of course we were totally confused because the word 'body' implies that a person is dead. Only when we saw the shot of the Forensic Sciences Centre did we know for sure that the child had died.
Ms Persad, the term 'left for dead' implies the person was severely attacked/beaten but survived (see this story as an example). Don't you have a producer to check these simple things? We are sure you confused the majority of your viewers.

Then the graphic over Shelly Dass-Clarke's shoulder on that story on the Arima student read "Student Found Dead", but in Melissa Williams' story we were told that the teachers assisted the young lady and took her to the hospital, and while she was being treated she was pronounced dead. So when exactly did she die?


We heard an interesting story on TV6 on Tuesday evening...Diane Baldeo told us that the police had solved the first murder of 2009, that of Curtis Moses of Upper 'Tumpuna' Road in Tunapuna.
We don't know who wrote the story because it was a voice over, but it sounded really dumb.
When you think of a murder being solved, you think of months of police work interviewing witnesses and scouring the streets for suspects while collecting evidence.
But in the story we were told that the police held the suspect (a relative of the dead man) shortly after the incident.
That's what you call solving? Someone in the crowd probably pointed out the suspect, or he/she was still on spot when the police arrived. Steups!
Double steups! if that was a press release from the Police Headquarters (although we did not hear that story anywhere else).

Also on Tuesday we caught Giselle McIntyre of IE News primping with a huge blue/purple-rimmed circular mirror just minutes before the news began at 6:30. Not your fault Giselle, and we are certain you dealt with the idiot who punched you up looking less than 100% professional.

We also caught (well kinda) Diane Baldeo adjusting her hair during stories. She began the newscast with her unkempt/desperately in need of a haircut-hair cascading over her shoulders. But by the time she returned from Marcia Hope's story, the ends of her hair were tucked away behind her shoulders.
Thanks for small mercies, and kudos for getting a haircut by Thursday.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Tamar Watson's (young woman injured in the accident which took Ms Salandy's life) mom also weighed in on the Guardian's headline "Salandy Knocked Out".
"The subdued mom adds that while some people are kind, others can be cruel. There was a headline in the Guardian that disgusted me. How could they say that Jizelle was knocked out? She was not 'knocked out'! She died! They have no respect for the family who reading that rubbish," said Watson."

And here are a few more comments from the Guardian's website:
"Who approved the front page headline for Monday, 5th January 2009? "Jizelle Knocked Out"? Was this an attempt at a joke? A young woman was killed Mr. Wilson. You, as Editor-in-Chief should be sacked after you apologise to Ms. Salandy's family and the nation. Shame on the Trinidad Guardian! And you wonder why no one respects the media."

"Fire the cretin who came (up) with that callously, insensitive front-page headline. Giselle's not "knocked out" - she's DEAD."

"You have to be kidding me. Ugh. Way to be totally ice cold with that headline, Guardian. Seriously, what were you guys even -thinking- when you put up that headline? Don't you have an editor or something who could have looked this over? Heck, even a three year old with A.D.D. could have checked it and determined that a title like that was out of place. FOR SHAME. And, knowing how these papers work, I'm very certain that an apology is coming....on page 8, tucked away in some tiny space where nobody is going to notice Guardian owning up to its foul up."

"Boxing star dies as car slams into killer pillar... Jizelle knocked out. Who ever came up with that headline is a very insensitive, uncouth, disrespectful idiot. I do hope the guardian does post up an editorial apologising to her family and fans."

Well if they do post an apology or an editorial to address this matter please let us know.


The Guardian reported on the hundreds of people who streamed past the body of Ms Salandy at the public viewing on Tuesday afternoon in San Fernando, as did the Express, as well as the Newsday which also carried additional photographs.
In that Newsday photo we see at least two video cameramen, but perhaps they work with really obscure tv stations which do not have late evening newscasts.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


More about media coverage of Ms Salandy's death.

"When all other newscasts, radio and television were raging with news of Salandy whose body was on display for the public on Tuesday, TV6 carried some other story on Jizelle way down the back of their news, done by Marcia Hope.

"And Marcia, you had an interesting focus in your piece about the regret of the man who gave Jizelle the keys to the car she met her death in --- why didn't you let that be the emphasis of your story? Don't you realise everyone else missed that? Good effort though.

"There you go again TV6, in your regional round up, there was a caption that read Chavez sends AIDS to, was it Gaza? Don't quite remember, but wouldn't that line be better understood if you just left it as "AID", huh?

"And to the person who asked about TV stations not bringing news on Jizelle's fatal accident on Sunday (the day she died) TV6 did bring a breaking news story on it.

"Ahhhh, Roger, Roger, Roger -- dear Roger Sant over at CNC3, do you need a break again, you said this country's first "OlymPrick" medalist was awarded today by Minister Gary Hunt" and some other. Dear oh dear, I like that one"


C News at 9pm did not have any video on the family of Ms Salandy or the public viewing her body in San Fernando. That took place since 4pm. What was the problem? Instead they had some interviews from her hometown with people who influenced her over the years and other people singing and clapping. (That actually could have been recorded on Monday night).
Neither did we see anything on the viewing of the body on TV6 in their 10pm newscast.


This particular subject seems to have generated more questions than answers.

"RE - "Herself unto herself"

"I also found it very strange that a reporter (Anna Ramdass) was allowed to give her extensive first person view in the Express about this police raid on her house, and then do the follow up interviews herself.
I recall last year (perhaps before since I'm rarely in the country and rely on the internet news) that several reporters/photographers/cameramen were either robbed or some victims of crime, and it was reported as news items in their respective news stations / papers etc. Neither did TV6's Sasha Mohammed take up the issue of kidnapping as her pet subject when her brother was kidnapped two years ago. In fact, none of these reporters gave the first person account or follow up "war on crime" like Ms Ramdass seems to be doing (in her case it's a "war on police brutality').

"Now interestingly this entire episode is quite fishy...Ms Ramdass is certainly not a controversial reporter (her work which I have read in limited portions is quite basic, standard he say/he responded reports.)
She's not, as I said, any major reporter in any way. Yet the Express is giving her a free rein to write as she pleases and the papers even wrote an editorial on the matter. I have seen, though, that it has not even attempted to put anyone other than Ms Ramdass on the story, not even its crime reporters, to attempt to get the police side. The Express seems to be suggesting (by defining Ms Ramdass as a "POLITICAL" reporter), that the entire thing is politically motivated (and inferring it's the Government behind this entire thing).

"That is just wrong. Ms Ramdass's work I am certain will never attract that kind of reaction from anyone. She's too insignificant as a reporter for anyone, much less the government, to want to send a message to. Which leads me to the other issue.
Firstly anyone checked the background of this reporter? Is it true that her unnaturally close, personal friendship with a certain Express editor has ensured this type of biased reporting on this issue that is compromising the Express's credibility?

"These are the issues that must be fleshed out before one adopts that type of self coverage. And it's sad that the Express failed to realise this. How now, will they recover from this?"

"Concerned reader who wants ALL THE FACTS"

Ms Ramdass, we would love to hear from you or your editor.


Hmmmmm. We can't add anything to this one.

"This is a response to the reader who asked who the morons are that chose the Guardian's Monday headline regarding Jizelle Salandy's death. The morons were Francis Joseph (who was the editor on duty) and Anthony Wilson (who had the last say).

"I for one was outraged when I saw that front page headline. The Guardian should be ashamed and I don't even know why people continue to read that bogus newspaper."

Well Mr Joseph and Mr Wilson, we await your defense.


Here's an addition to the discussion.

"Dear "AD" I find it terribly hard to believe that Robert Clarke is in fact Trini"... I believe he used to post as CLJ which he later changed to CJ and was totally in favour of anything Shelly did.

"Those days I remember "Trini" making fun of how Shelly had to referee between Jack Warner and Sports Minister Gary Hunt when she brought them on her "Big Story" programme. CLJ or CJ came in defense of her, and the bloggers of this forum can pull back that exchange if they can find it, to see the comments on that programme.

"If "Trini" is Robert, then he took turns with others at trouncing on his now wife, Shelly Dass Clarke.



Well PW, as we recall, "Trini forever" didn't exactly trounce the then Ms Dass over the interview. Here's what was said: "Oh my God!!! I love it. Shelly Dass is the best. She let them run away enough for good tv...but told them sternly (and funnily) "ok gentlemen, I said ok..hold on!!) Jack Warner kept quipping, Hunt kept provoking, Shelly in the middle....hilarious!"


Here's a question for the photographer from the Express who visited Express reporter Anna Ramdass' home.

"Did you notice Express January 5 2009 pg 11 photo captioned Disarray, purporting to be a bedroom that was ransacked by gunmen at the home of Express reporter Anna Ramdass? Unless Ms. Ramdass is a food addict, the room is filled with kitchen appliances e.g. stove, microwave, bowls, utensils, a kitchen counter, bottles and jars etc. I might be fooled into thinking that ....duh... it might be a kitchen instead?!!"

"Mirthrandir The Laughing Wizard"


The heading says it all.


"A few observations:

"1) Is the late Ms. Salandy's first name Jizelle or Giselle? The Express and Guardian spell ii Jizelle; the Newsday spells it Giselle. I even saw a story where Ms. Salandy was called Jizelle in the body of the story, but Giselle in the photo caption. Why can't our reporters get these basic facts right? After all, this was a national hero, an accomplished athlete widely reported on before her death. How can we still be getting her name wrong???

"Also, the Guardian headline was incredibly insensitive. I've seen editors lose their jobs for that type of insensitivity. I can't believe that this type of garbage still passes for journalism in T&T. It's a disgrace. New year, new site, same ole rubbish...

"2) I visited the CNMG website after 'Trini' commented on it and found it to be really visually engaging (good photography, visuals, good use of white space etc.). The site is also the most accessible of all the Trini news sites I've visited. Sadly, the reporting was poor. I also glanced at the presenter bios and have to wonder: Is CNMG a 'friends and family' company? I saw that the Lee ladies are sisters, and I also saw two ladies with the surname Briggs who resembled each other. Are they also related? Also, some of the bios were shockingly infantile. The impression I left with is that this was a group of interns having fun at taxpayers' expense. If memory serves me correctly, the government has spent something like TT$135+ million on CNMG's operations so far? Amazing...

"I also wonder -- and I don't know if it has been debated here before -- about the government owning a media company and a major broadcaster. Do we need state-run media at this point in our country's development? Is there really a case for government owning media today? There is frequent outcry over big corporations owning media companies and of media concentration in too few hands. I think government-owned media are even more dangerous given the risk of these being used for propaganda. How aggressively and objectively can/does CNMG report on government matters? Given Manning's tantrum at a radio station a short while ago, I would doubt that CNMG can do anything but toe the line. Is this acceptable? Are CNMG's journalists credible? I see many (useful) comments on this blog about how to present news in a professional manner and so on, but can we trust the very veracity of the reports on government matters when the source is state-funded? Just some thoughts...

"3) The Anna Ramdass interview -- I agree that this story raises serious questions about self-interest vs the public interest. I sympathise with Ms. Ramdass's plight, but these types of police abuses have been happening for as long as I can remember. In fact, I always wondered why it is the media never took up the challenge of defending people in depressed areas who are subjected to this type of police harassment (and in some cases, brutality) on a regular basis. Why is it that because it is a reporter and Valsayn resident that all of a sudden we feel a need to investigate citizens' rights? Is this by accident? No, the fact is T&T media are generally biased against the powerless. Think about how crazy this is: the media, which exist to check abuses of power by the powerful, often tacitly support such abuses. Then when it happens to one of their own they seek public sympathy.
Trinidad nice yes..."


Thanks Mike for the observations. You beat us to the question of the spelling of Ms Salandy's first name.


Here are some high remarks for Nazma Muller of the Express.


"I want to commend Nazma Muller for her brave and insightful interview with an anonymous drug dealer. It's about time someone tried to find out what the problem is, rather than just complaining about it."


We also understand I95's Marcia Braveboy did an interview with a former gang member that's been getting extra airplay.
Kudos to both of you for giving your readers and listeners some insight into those worlds.


This reader of the Guardian posted this comment on the lack of day-time television coverage on Sunday of Jizelle Salandy's death.

"In a country with eight TV stations not one all day Sunday gave you any news on the tragic death of our Boxing Icon, what a waste; these TV stations are nothing more than DVD players transmitting American junk. The OJT reporters were either looking for free drinks somewhere or just did not know what is real news, and the lone TV station which boasts of having 100 per cent local content also had nothing to say.

"We had to wait until the 7pm news to get any information. It was a total shame, those DVD players that call themselves TV stations, are a total waste. The Media Association should hide their face because their members were a total failure and the TTPBA because of cheapness to hire professional(s) or pay their reporters must also hide in shame."

"Rawlins Boodan"

Monday, January 5, 2009


Maybe the Trinidad Guardian has an arrangement with the UK Guardian to copy everything (down to web page design) they print, but it would be nice if the Trinidad Guardian editors or copy and pasters would tell us where an article was first published.

Case in point: "Scotland bids fond farewell to Latapy", published in the Saturday edition. The story sounded suspiciously foreign: "But Scottish football’s purists will have cause for a heavy heart when the little Trinidadian departs these shores (Scotland) for the last time in the next couple of weeks."; and again: "A hero in his native country, not to mention a two-time winner of the Portuguese SuperLiga,...".
So we did some checking and found that the story had been published word for word on Friday January 2nd in the UK Guardian, under the heading "Scotland bids fond farewell to the talents of Latapy".

The only difference between the two stories is the photo. Why? Well as one person commented on the UK Guardian's website: "Are you having a laugh?!? Yet again the Guardians (sic) contempt for Scottish football is displayed for all to see - that's a picture of Didier Agathe not Russell Latapy, even I know that & I'm a jambo!"

Come on TT Guardian. How hard is it to let your readers know where a story was first published and not palm it off as original work? It's done all the time at reputable newspapers the world over.


This reader is just as disturbed as we are about the disparity in height of some presenters.

"CNC3 didn't start the height equality thing, photo-shopping the statuesque Odeka O'Neil down to the height of her vertically challenged colleagues. When Francesca Hawkins was at TV6, she appeared at the same seating level of her towering male announcer, whose name escapes me now (Nigel?).

"I would like to see Odeka, Francesca, C News' diminutive Desha Rambhajan and Charlene Ramdhanie appear on a panel discussion lineup with NCC's hulking morning presenter, just to see the glaring disparities in height!"

"Mirthrandir The Laughing Wizard"


It seems that every tv reporter is their own producer and editor. Otherwise some of the presentation mistakes that are uttered on air would not be allowed to pass.
Take for example Miss Nadine Hackett of IETV. On Monday evening, Miss Hackett told her audience that Jizelle Salandy was a "roled" model. How that passed the editor we don't know.
Then in his story on Miss Salandy, Robin Morais said "...the young pugilist...". OK Robin. Kudos for using a big word for boxer. You have probably been waiting a long time to use that word on air. But do you think 90% of your audience figured out what you were talking about? They probably said to themselves, "A young what? But I thought she was a boxer!?"

Then Melissa Wong pronounced the shortlisted male DPP candidate's name as Roger "Gaspurd". Steups. Again, do you have a deaf editor?
And we can't quite recall who did the story on Riana Pariag, the young woman who was kidnapped (it was really forgettable), but the main impression of that story was that there seemed to be no indication that the body of Devika Lalman had been found.
Why do we say that? Well when we saw the same story on CNC 3, C News and TV6, the first thing they said was that Miss Lalman's body had been found, and all the stories included soundbites from the dead girl's sister. They also included secondary soundbites from Miss Pariag's mother.
But the IE story focussed solely on Miss Pariag's mother and did not carry any soundbites from Miss Lalman's sister, and there seemed no obvious clue that Miss Lalman's body had been found. Please correct us if we are wrong.

Otto Carrington of CNC 3, why did your cameraman ask the young woman from St Jude's home to pose with her boxing gloves in her school uniform and pretend that she was sparring with that hanging thing boxers practice with (do you Otto know the name of it?)?
The shot looked so staged, and especially since we caught the young woman glancing at the camera as if she was awaiting more instructions from the cameraman. Maybe he should take up movie directing.
And on the same issue, Vinod Narwani, please ask your editor to be more careful as the soundbites from Buxo Potts and Harry Ragoonanan were mixed up. Your intro to Buxo's soundbite was this: "So what will become of her belts?" Yet the soundbite that comes up is that of Mr Ragoonanan telling us Jizelle had a half glass of champagne.
Then you gave an intro to that soundbite, but Mr Potts came up telling us about the belts.
And your colleague James Saunders sounded only fractionally slower for his piece on foreign football, but unfortunately he said something about "fort round clashes".

Staying with sport...the game of media musical chairs has begun as Kent Fuentes (formerly of CNC 3's sports desk) is now reporting for C News. He's spreading his wings out from under Roger Sant. Well Kent make sure you ask Charlene Ramdhanie for some pointers on how to sound less staccato. Your story (on St Jude's?) wasn't bad, but every sentence sounded like a story by itself. Miss Ramdhanie had the same problem some years ago, but it seems that she's learned to read with a more conversational tone.
But then again we haven't seen or heard Miss Ramdhanie in a while. Is she still at C News? Anyway Kent you get the drift.
So Roger Sant who is left at your sports desk? Just Astil Renn? Wow, you and Mrs Sant need to do some hard recruiting, and fast.

As an aside, can anyone remember when Laura (her name was pronounced Abjornsen) by either Miss Maharaj at IE (or was it Golda Lee at C News?) was the weather presenter at TTT? Now she's got a big post as the Communications Director at Caribbean Airlines.
So there's hope yet for Eric Mackie, Ean Wallace and Damian Salandy?


It's strange and interesting at the same time that the editors at the Express gave Anna Ramdass the task of interviewing Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal on the issue of the police searches of private homes without warrants.
This comes on the heels of Ms Ramdass' home being searched by police last week.

We can't say that there is anything blatantly wrong with it, but on seeing the story it just smacked of himself doing a story on himself using the company's resources (of course with permission) in a roundabout sort of way.
Mind you, in Miss Ramdass' story there is no actual reference to the police raid on her home. We just have various quotes from Miss Seetahal and her book, titled 'Commonwealth Caribbean Practice and Procedure' on the general issue: "Senior Counsel and Independent Senator Dana Seetahal has said police must present a search warrant obtained from a magistrate or justice of the peace before searching anyone's premises. Speaking to the Express yesterday Seetahal...explained the process."

One of the persons who commented on the story on the Express website had this to say: "Ms Seetahal this thing been happening before you were born. Why only now you decide to speak out? I guess is because it is an Express reporter."

Did other reporters do stories similar to incidents that happened to them? Did Sasha Mohammed suddenly take up the plight of the kidnapped when her brother was abducted? We do recall that when Vaughn Salandy passed away some years ago suddenly there was a lot of interest in how suicides are reported.

Hmmmmmmm. What are your thoughts?


We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
A reader of the Guardian posted this comment to their website on the headline about Jizelle's death.

"Who are the morons who came up with and approved that atrocious headline about Jizelle being 'knocked out' ??!?!? Are there no editors, no one with sense or sensitivity enough to know that that headline is completely inappropriate?! What on earth are you all thinking?!? So many people are hurt with the news of Jizelle's passing and apparently all the Guardian could think about was coming up with a crass and inappropriate one-liner masquerading as a headline? I am so disgusted with the Guardian this morning - you all are an embarrassment! Jizelle Salandy deserved better than that!
"Rest in peace, Jizelle, God bless you!"

In truth...who are the morons? Feel free to let us know. We promise not to reveal our sources.


The 'discussion' continues. Feel free to refute.


"Thanks PW for recognising that constructive criticism is what this terrific blog is about. 'Trini' seems to realise that when he's bashing TV6 (I see he has revealed he is a 'man') but does not have the same rules for other stations.
But then again, that's very understandable, since we've been reliably informed by a Gayelle worker that 'Trini' is really Robert Clarke. The husband of Ms Dass and the rated reporter of a station nobody watches.
(On hearing this we did tune in...we didn't stick around to find out if his work met the standards this blog upholds). But that loyalty explains why he's so intent on defending Ms Dass. Your call and right, but it doesn't mean everybody else is immune to her numerous flaws.

"And 'Kay Hernandez'. Really. Come on Shelly, get a better pseudonym. Anyway, again, to the bloggers, keep up the great work in 2009."


I'm calling names because it's time that you silly media workers are unmasked on this blog. If you want to use the blog to unfairly criticize your competition because of envy or whatever, then do so with your real names. But stop trying to mask as readers and followers of the all are really transparent.
Make it your new year's resolution to keep it real in every sense of the word.
Again, Martine, keep up the great work. You, at least, are credible."

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Some advice for one of TV6's producers.

"Patrice Manradge over at TV6 your story on the Red Cross Society on Saturday night was too too long. It went on and on without stop. Just like CNMG's Desha Rambhajan's classical 'unfinishing' pieces. Only that CNMG engineers are smarter than TV6's it seems, they very often cut her stories on their own accord.

"I can see Fabien Pierre was literally falling asleep on your story when the camera went back to him. Aren't you supposed to be a producer at TV6 Patrice? If as producer you can do this, what do you expect of your reporting team?

"And Fabien it is nice to see you taking the criticisms in good light and have decided to seem less cocky on set."



It's fortunate that the Guardian decided to update its online edition to reflect the latest news on the death of Jizelle Salandy.
C News also updated their website to reflect the latest details.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Of course there must be different versions of the various murders, or we would not be talking about media in Trinidad.

Denyse Renne and Peter Christopher of the Sunday Express tell us: "The victims have been identified as Curtis Garth, Brenton Greene, Adrian Findley and State witness Fulton King...Police have launched a man-hunt for Garth's killer, having gotten a description from eyewitnesses...Around 10 a.m., Garth, who is also known as "Garlic", was inside the San Juan Market, when he reportedly snatched a pair of sneakers and ran off. He was pursued and beaten about the body. Garth, 44, of Rambajan Street, Aranjuez,...".

According to the Guardian, the victim's last name is "Grant", his address was "Rambaju Street", he was accused of stealing celery, the incident occurred at 9:30am and his killer was arrested shortly after the incident.
They add that "When the Sunday Express visited the scene, it was business as usual for vendors and customers." Hopefully this means the information should be accurate, but we are not sure which version we should accept.

Miss Renne and Mr Christopher also tell us of the second victim, Brenton/Brent Greene: "Residents said they heard a gunshot and later found Greene, of St Nicholas Street, Carenage, dead in the car." According to the Guardian, it's just plain Nicholas Street, while the Guardian gives us "Schuller" Street as the venue of the murder, but the Express says it's "Schullere" Street.
Who read the street sign correctly?

Miss Renne tells us the third murder victim was "Fulton" King, as against the Guardian's "Sultan" King, and the fourth victim is "Adrian" Findley as against the Guardian's "Sherman".

Indarjit Seuraj of the Newsday meanwhile tells us the murder victims are Curtis "Grant", "Brent" Green, "Sultan" King and the fourth victim is unidentified. He adds that Grant (who was beaten to death in the market) was from Rambhaju Trace, however the murder took place at 8:30am instead of 9:30, and that Ann Marie Matamoro is the victim's cousin, while the Guardian identifies her as his sister.
In the second incident, Mr Seuraj also places the Carenage killing at "Schuller" Street and the victim lived at "St Nicholas" Street.


It's unfortunate that the killing spree has resumed so soon into the new year, but let's hope the reporters and their editors and producers don't repeat last year's position of just doing a daily body count.

It's interesting that two reporters contributed to this particular story in the Saturday Guardian, yet one of the key details of one of the killings is left out: where it took place. By the process of deduction, we are assuming that it's the San Juan market, but the reporters Leah Sorias and Tabhiry Men Kau Ra don't tell us for sure. We are told that "Police reports state that Grant, of Rambaju Street in Aranguez, San Juan, was beaten to death...It was said Grant had stolen the bundles of celery earlier from a garden in Aranguez, and was caught by the owner. He was confronted and beaten about the head with a piece of wood. He tried to escape the beating, but collapsed and died between two vending stalls. The killing occurred at about 9.30 am, in full view of customers and vendors. Officers of San Juan/Laventille Municipal Police were called in and arrested a suspect."
That's a good enough clue, ent? Why do your readers have to play guessing games with your story?

The other thing about that story that's a bit strange is the juxtaposition of information in the paragraphs.
The above quotation was in paragraph two, and paragraph three reads: "Annmarie Matamoro, Grant’s sister, admitted to police that her brother was a known drug addict...The second murder victim was 27-year-old Brent Greene, of Nicholas Street, Carenage. Reports stated that...".

(Paragraph 4): "Investigations are continuing. About 30 minutes after that shooting, 19-year-old Sultan “Beads” King, of Chafford Courts, Port-of-Spain, was shot to death...".

(Paragraph 5): "Relatives said the teen was a witness in the killing of Kwamie “Butters” Julien, who was shot at Harpe Place, Observatory Street in September, 2007... In another incident, Sherman Findley was at building No 2 Almond Drive, Morvant,...".

Why break the reader's train of thought by juxtaposing two incidents in the same paragraph, when the ensuing information could have very well fit in the same paragraph? Why couldn't the line "Investigations are continuing" fit at the end of paragraph three? None of the paragraphs are so inordinately long that the information had to be broken up like that.
Is that a writing style of the paper or of the particular reporters/editor?

Another thing that struck us was this line in paragraph four: "The killing took place in full view of a CCTV camera."
So bandits and their relatives don't read newspapers? Is it inconceivable that other bandits (who did not earlier know of the location of the CCTV camera) who may be planning robberies/nefarious activities in that area will now be tempted to tamper with the CCTV camera to hide their identities?
We have dealt with this issue before, courtesy of TV6's Fabian Pierre.


"PW" has a response for "Trini" on this discussion.

"Trini you need to relax. This is a media blog, stop expecting a smooth ride for all, it's not going to happen. No one attacks you, why sweat your stuff for others...this is a New Year, take it easy for you and others. Don't sweat the small stuff.

"Happy New Year to you."


Editors' note: The poster is "PW" not "PH". The error is regretted.


Some more kudos for Miss Persad.

"Congratulations Sharmilla Persad over at TV6 on your improvement over the last few months. The last time I saw you did a stand up, you looked very presentable too. As a fan I am asking though that you follow your co-worker Keisha David and relieve yourself of some pounds and yes, a little more vibrancy in the presenting.

"But overall, continue striving for excellence as you have been doing.

"To the poster who complained about this blog being about constructive criticism, please, get with it, this is a media blog, you clearly do not understand the nature of blogs, especially the "Watch Dog Blogs" which this one is, if you are expecting only positive comments on here.

"Keep it real please."



Here's another one.

"Dear AD,
I'm Kay. It's clear you have some problems with Ms Dass. You claim to know her. I do too. I actually met her at a hospital. She's a really nice person. Her personality doesn't seem to match what you describe. But then again, I'm sure there are a lot of people who know you AD, who don't like you either. That's life. Get over it. Find a hobby. Maybe you AD should spend less time searching the poor girl, and more time trying to make yourself a better person."

"Kay Hernandez"


The 'discussion' on this topic continues.

"OK "AD" or whoever you are: There's a lot of medication out there, and good doctors for people who suffer from paranoia, or paranoid schizophrenia. It's treatable, really. I suggest you maybe see someone for your own good. Your obsession with Shelly Dass is unhealthy. This blog, from what I know is involved with constructive criticism toward improving the media. See a counsellor. Your grouse with her is clearly personal.

"On another note...I'm not sure I like the new Guardian newspaper website. Maybe it's just something new, but I would like to see something a little more dynamic, visually appealing. Speaking of websites however, CNMG's website is really good. I like it. Their set too, has been looking nice. And while I have to admit, as a viewer, I love the girls reading sports lately, as a guy, I just wonder if they're into sport, or just reading it to entice viewers (and me). But like I say, I'm not complaining."



Here's another comment on the new-look Guardian.

"Someone said the new Guardian website is "very impressive." How so? I mean, seriously, given the eyesore they had up before wouldn't anything they produced be a step up? The new site may be better looking than those of the Express and Newsday, but it is poorly designed and a weak news and online experience.

"I'm especially disappointed given that the Guardian offended us with that former disgrace of a web site for going on 8 years. And after all that, this is what we get? Gee, thanks for the suspense, Guardian. One would think that with a parent company like ANSA McAL you would at least have had the resources to commit to a proper site design. But that's like asking you guys to do proper journalism -- wishful thinking...

"After toying with a Washington Post template in the Beta version that leaked out earlier this year, the Guardian has instead gone for a look closer to that of Proof of this: the logo with all lower-case letters. It resembles the UK Guardian's typography. But therein lies a big problem. The UK Guardian's masthead on the print edition is all lower-case. So that paper's website remains true to its branding, font and all.

"The print edition of the TT Guardian uses a different font and the "G" in the logo is uppercase. So the TT Guardian's website, in its eagerness to ape the UK Guardian's, is off-brand. But does anyone care? Does anyone there even stop to think about things like branding? Ask any serious web designer and he would tell you that capturing the brand is one of the key elements of any design brief. Geez, we can't even get basic stuff right.

"Happy New Year all..."


Friday, January 2, 2009


Here's a response from the original "poster".

"It's strange that all these people responding to the Wiki-post are so angry about alleged character assassination. Where were all your protests when Denzil Ramdass was being murdered (along with Fabien Pierre) for praising TV6? You must be consistent to be credible, and NONE of you have proven your consistency nor credibility.

"The fact is the Wikipedia profile of Ms Dass is now changed, supporting my view that she did it herself. So if I need to get a life, you all need to get real, and realise that we know Ms Dass can send in many responses in her favour on her own, using fake names. The fact remains she is an amateur and only rated in Ansa McAl's company because she fits the profile. Her journalism skills leave much to be desired, and I googled her and found other people on several other blog sites expressing the same opinion (including considerable annoyance over her nasal voice and her ridiculous batting of the eyes).

"Please, people, real credible news anchors remain Colleen Holder (wherever she is I don't know), Francesca Hawkins, Dominic Kalipersad, Andy Johnson...those folks who know their stuff. So sorry Shelly for offending you with the truth, but maybe your new year's resolution could be to take constructive criticism and seek to improve rather that responding in a purile manner."



As the new year begins, we'd like to say congrats to Sharmilla Persad of TV6 who has shown a marked improvement in her voice presentation. We know we have hit you really hard in the past, but that's just par for the course. You can always do better, and sometimes people need a little nudge to propel them to where they should be.
Keep it up.
Your colleague Yolanda (with the Spanish accent) has also shown some improvement in her presentation, although sometimes the heavy accent is a bit distracting. But perhaps voicing that piece on Latin America suits her, makes it seem more authentic?
Anyway, keep it up as well.

On the other hand, sports reporter James Saunders needs to tone it down a bit. We realise you are going for the high-energy feel, but we are sure not even the Energiser Bunny would sound like you do if he had a voice.
On Wednesday evening (December 31st) you gave a round-up of stories, but it was really difficult to pay attention to what you were saying as you were reading waaaaaaay too fast! Slow down! We understand what you are trying to do, but there's also a way not to do it. Please experiment with different speeds and tones to get the effect you are looking for instead of just rushing through the script. This makes it very difficult for the viewer to hear what you are saying and in the end you would have wasted your time and your editor's time because the viewer would have either complained throughout the piece and not hear a word you said, or worse, switched stations.

And finally, Samantha John of TV6 is being missed. One reader told us they would rather look at/listen to Sammy Jo at 7pm rather than Fabian Pierre because he's boring (not our word). Our word is cocky.
Mr Pierre, some of your counterparts including (from CNC 3) Miss Hawkins, Mrs Dass-Clarke, Mr Sant, Mrs O'Neil-Seaton (who all used to sit at your 7pm desk at one time or other) and your boss Mr Kalipersad have loads more experience than you do when it comes to presenting news, yet we never get that cocky, I-know-it-all-you-better-look-at-me-I-am-trying-so-hard-to-be-a-cool-presenter attitude from them. We don't even get that from newcomers Miss Maharaj over at IETV, or the Lee sisters at CNMG, or even former model (who has every right to expect that people should look at him) turned sportscaster Robert Dumas.
The only person we would expect that type of attitude from is Paolo Kernahan of Gayelle, based on his off-beat personality and the nature of his newscasts (including Skews).
We realise you probably think you've hit the media jackpot by moving from midday news to the big lights at 7pm, but as we've advised your colleague James Saunders, tone it down a bit.

By the way Mrs Dass-Clarke, you are not off the hook, as we hope for 2009 that you will no longer, in the words of another blogger, "toss your hair, bat your eyes, and make a lot of (useless) hand gestures (with pen in hand)."

We also hope to see less media musical chairs this year. Reporters hopping from one station/newspaper to the next then trying to high-tail it back to their original place of abode. Neil Beekhee (formerly of CNC 3) did not last long at C News (he actually didn't make much of an impact either); so where is he now? Hema Ramkissoon is no longer at CNC 3. Where is she now?
Managers, we know the talent pool in the local media is limited, but if you offer training and palatable salaries and working conditions to journalists, the musical chairs will be kept to a minimum. You also need to rein in producers/editors who feel the need to put undue pressure on good journalists.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Here's the first comment on the new shape of the online Guardian.

"Hey Martine,

"The new look online Guardian is very impressive. Too bad the quality of the paper is still at an all time low.
I hope the good folks over there at the Guardian are not only superficially revamping their image, but also focusing on finally beating the Express or Newsday (i.e. by better journalism). Anyway...seeing as we have this new look, would it even matter if the Guardian has no stories to place on the website?
I just confirmed that Kyle Jeremiah (who covers politics) left the Guardian. That makes what ....100 resignations in one year?

"We have seen by-lines from Carol Matroo, Indarjit Seuraj, Ms Urvashi Tiwarie (think that's her first name), Jada Loutoo, Anthony Milne, Siewdath Persad and even Cordielle Street, also of the Guardian's sister station CNC3. (We won't even go into how many resignations they have had recently).

"Staff retention that so hard? Oh and I haven't been seeing Ms Geisha Kowlessar's name for a while. No one I know can seem to confirm whether she left or not. The Guardian is still lucky to have veterans like Francis Joseph and Gail Alexander on its payroll - they should be able to whip up some copy for the new site.