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."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org