Thursday, April 30, 2009


We don't usually comment on the nature of stories outside of the journalistic side, but this one caught our eyes and we just had to comment.

The Newsday of Thursday April 30th has a photo of two members of the Under 17 national football team hoofing it to the Priority Bus Route after they were released from quarantine at Jack Warner's hotel in Macoya.

So, on top of losing their three matches in Mexico and failing to qualify for the World Championships in Nigeria, as well as fearing they might contract swine flu in Mexico and being quarantined on their return to Trinidad, those boys had to put their bags on their heads and find public transport (according to the write up by Roger Jacob) to get home after representing their country on the international stage? Steups!
Mr Warner, that not good enough!

In the Newsday story written by Carol Matroo, we are told "CONCACAF president Jack Warner yesterday said the youngsters and the technical team were being well taken care of." Well medically yes, but nothing else apparently. So none of the technical staff found it fit to arrange transport for these guys to get home? Steups!

Mr Warner, hopefully your communications people will advise you that actions speak louder than words.


Here's a response to dh/Trini.

"Trini this is one time I could not agree with you, Dominic Kalipersad did the right thing by instructing Fabian to do that story (which it appears Dominic wrote himself).

"It is clear that the PNM has its claws deep into the CNC newsroom, maybe a strategy for countering TV6's Sasha Mohammed's UNC exclusives. But this is no reason for a Government to send out exclusive releases, or to pick and choose. The Government is not a privately owned company; what the opposition can get away with they can't---even though they are both public property. Kudos to TV6 for exposing that ridiculous action by the Government and Dominic do stay on top of their case.

"And there is nothing wrong with a media house complaining about rejected or turned down requests by the Prime Minister for an interview. After all didn't the PM say he does not give exclusives? So did he catch the Obama syndrome too? In that case, that's a good thing and we hope his next exclusive on another issue will be with another media house. That's the intelligent way in which US President Barack Obama does it. If all the exclusives are done on one medium then this will become suspect.

"So Rosemarie did you make a pact with the PNM for exclusives? Can you tell us what it is?

"Some things in life become very obvious...

"Your Observant


Here's a comment on what we originally said was sour grapes by TV6, but has been expanded by dh to include other media houses.

"Isn't TV6's obsession with CNC3's "exclusives" with the prime minister a bit petty? Fabian Pierre and Dominic Kalipersad dedicated an entire story to CNC's exclusives with Manning, whining that Manning never responded to their letters, and then crying that they weren't invited to the prime minister's breakfast meeting. Hilarious. TV6, did it ever occur to you to pick up the phone and call the day before the breakfast meeting to find out what was taking place, and if you could get access to the event? You all must have known it was going to take place? Lazy really.

"In any event, you don't hear CNC3 complaining about all Sasha Mohammed's "exclusive interviews" with the UNC or Tim Gopeesingh, do you? More than that though, no one has any right, in any station to pick sides, or point fingers, and pretend to be self-righteous or "independent". CNC3's Francesca Hawkins, didn't she work "closely" as well with the UNC and the minister of Energy with the UNC? And isn't TV6's former head of news Maxie Cuffie now working for the PNM Gov't? Aren't Rose and Roger good friends with Jack Warner? And wasn't Shelly friends with Howard Chin Lee? And didn't Shelly, Roger and his boss/wife Mrs Rosemarie Sant all come from TV6 in the first place?
No one can point fingers. It's all incestuous or in-breeding.

"By the way, seeing more of Gizelle "Y2K" Legall on CNC3. Is she gradually being phased on? Replacement for Francesca? Francesca has been a reader since God was a baby. Gizelle's advantage is that she seems to be some kind of reporter, doing stories for news. Francesca, hope they give you a good retirement package after all those years reading. How come you never went deeper, or became a credible reporter? Gizelle, do something about that hair. This is not Y2K, or BET, or MTV. Keep trying though. One day you'll get there. Gerard Lampow (of TV6), you are hilarious. Aren't you the play whe fella? Or Lotto? This "amazing mumford" look has got to go! A for effort though.

"Trini..watching it all on the web!
"*PS, CNC3 your website, or lack thereof, SUCKS. CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP."


Here's a question for Juhel Browne of the Express: what part of Tobago is that place you call Landate?
In your story published in the Express of April 30th, titled "Max knocks UNC", you seem to suggest in paragraph 11 that Landate is an actual place on the map.
"Rowley himself won a legal suit against the Integrity Commission for its investigation into allegations that he had been involved in the removal of materials from the Scarborough Hospital project to a private housing development in Landate, Tobago, owned by his wife, Sharon."

Hmmmm. So we did a little research to see whether any other local journalist thought Landate was an actual place, and can you believe we found the exact paragraph in a story you did back in January titled "Rowley knocks 'donkey logic' boasts".
In paragraph 10 you wrote: "Rowley himself won a legal suit against the Integrity Commission, for its investigation into allegations that he had been involved in the removal of materials from the Scarborough Hospital project to a private housing development in Landate, Tobago, owned by his wife, Sharon."

Sound familiar? Copy and paste is ok Juhel, if the information is correct. What happened to your sub editors, then and now?

BTW, the Landate development is situated in Mason Hall.


During the 4pm news on I95 FM on Wednesday April 29th, Marlan Hopkinson introduced a story from the BBC on the preparation for the third stage of the five-phase voting process in India.
He introduced the reporter as what sounded like "Karisha Vidarie", but when the report began, we immediately recognized that the reporter was in fact Karishma Vaswani, and that her report was specifically tailored to a television audience.

16 seconds into the report, she says "As you can see, people here live on top of one another...". Well we were listening to the radio, so we couldn't see. Just that one phrase did it for us.

Marlan we can't blame you since you were probably just reading the script that was presented to you (and we hope you will correct us if you did in fact pull that clip), so we will have to throw the blame on whoever recorded that clip, whether off the BBC's website or off the television. You could have edited out that part about seeing the people.
All your listeners probably let out a collective Steups!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Here's a comment from Inshan Ishmael of IBN TV on the Privy Council ruling on the Trinity Cross. Read the story in the Newsday, Express, and the Guardian.

"I just hope that the Media takes note that this was one of the very first times that a Muslim and Hindu group came together to fight an issue on this level.

"Also on another note, I am no longer affiliated with the Islamic Relief Centre, I started the organisation and left because of my position in IBN Channel 8..I just pray that the local print media especially will recognise the Muslim's involvement in this great achievement and we are not relegated to one or two words as per the norm, except where terrorism is concerned."

"Inshan Ishmael"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Here's a comment on Miss Dass' interview with the PM, from John M.

"1) It appears that Shelly Dass was caught a bit off guard - and not in a position to handle the PM in a face to face - who could blame her - a quick check reveals that this interview was the first since his resumption of PM duties in 2001; Also, quite coincidentally a few of the only negative calls were accidentally cut off - I smell a 'soft ball rat'...

"2) It appears that the PM got 'Obamaized' - possibly he figured if the leader of 300 million folks (a good portion of whom despise him) and a world powerhouse could subject himself to all daily interviews - who is he?

"3) A sharp eye did not Miss the PM and the Managing Director of the Guardian 22-04-09 taking a picture "GREETINGS" PG. A4 - ......Hmmmmmm......smell a soft ball for the Exclusive."


First off we have to say kudos to Shelly Dass for getting that exclusive interview with the Prime Minister on The Big Story - his first one on one interview in several years (well if you count that staged interview with Anthony Wilson, Ria Taitt and Rosemarie Sant ahead of the last general election.)
Lots of back door plotting must have gone into this latest encounter.

At some points Shelly seemed uncomfortable, as if she was in awe of the PM and still couldn't believe he was sitting on her set. She played with her wedding ring quite a lot and slouched down over the desk. Mr Manning seemed to tower over her throughout the interview. At one point she asked him with a half smile "Mr Prime Minister, why are you doing this?", in response to a very aggressive caller. She also didn't sound sure about the website address for the Fifth Summit of the Americas; and she kept saying "I have to ask you this question...". Why tell him that? Because he clearly saw all the prepared questions ahead of the interview? Where was the element of surprise?

Well we knew Mr Manning was really running that interview when, in response to a question from Shelly about Mr Big, he said "There is a difference between information and evidence. (Pause) I say no more." and Shelly happily moved on to the next caller.

Well after the Big Story ended, Giselle Legall of Y2G fame read the 10pm news. She looked like a deer caught in headlights. We will say no more.

Overall we felt Mr Manning answered the questions that he was asked, but the interview was not hard-hitting enough.

Well at least one media house suffered a case of envy. During the TV6 news on Wednesday evening...while they did use soundbites from the PM on the CNC 3 set and they did put up the Courtesy graphic, they also put up a graphic telling viewers that they had been asking the PM for an interview since March. While they were probably trying to show that the PM was playing favourites, they only succeeded in announcing to the whole world that the PM outright blank them. Steups!
Whose decision was it to put up that graphic?


Here's Denzil again.

"Oh might I add, C's summit wrap could not touch TV6's summit wrap though. TV6's product was far superior to that of C boasting an excellently done set and an excellent format. C's was just plain bogus and boring."


Monday, April 20, 2009


WIN TV's Gideon Hanoomansingh's story on cocoa has made it to the CNN World Report, and the story is also running on their website.
Good on you Gideon. Not bad for a station that is almost defunct.

Your story seemed a little short though, and there were too many soundbites. It seemed as if you were trying to get in every point of view, and especially the technocrats. You said there are approximately 2000 cocoa farms in Trinidad, most of them small holdings, yet we found it strange that you did not interview at least one farmer to get his perspective of how the local cocoa industry is being affected by the world economic crisis.

Contrast Gideon's story to the one done by James Heer in Sao Tome. He told the story from the perspective of one farmer whose livelihood depends on cocoa, then he linked it to the economy of the country. Fantastic video work.


Here's an updated response from Denzil.

"Ok. Well that last post I had was a bit premature in the summit coverage. While most of it remains true, I have reassigned the positions on best summit coverage. C keeps their position in first place for THE BEST coverage of the summit. TV6 now stands at second place and CNC3 at third place. Why you may ask? The reason being that C News and the TV6 news both aired specials last night to wrap up their coverage of the VSOAs. C's summit wrap was anchored by Josanne Leonard (formerly of Gayelle, TV6 and CNC3) and TV6's summit wrap, by Leeron Brummel and Andy Johnson.

"Mr. Brummel did an excellent job anchoring the news section of their post summit analysis summarizing the events of the past three days. This young man has potential of becoming another anchorman like his colleague Fabian Pierre. CNC3, where was your post (summit) analysis??? Tonight on the Big Story?????

"Oh by the way, TV6 has relaunched their website, It's actually competition for C's website. TV6 can now be viewed online live and the day's big stories are posted so viewers can click on them to watch at any time of the day. So you guys can check it out if you wish."


Finally TV6 has a website that actually works. Of course this is the beta version, so they are still probably trying to work out the kinks.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Here's another comment on the coverage of the Summit of the Americas. Denzil you beat us to the observations about the new (old?) faces at C.

"Recent resignations at C: Desha Rambhajan, Naette Lee and Sherwin Long.
Recent hirings at C: Colleen Holder, Kaymar Jordan, Hema Ramkissoon???????

"I'm totally confused now. It is nice to see Colleen Holder gracing our screens once again, too bad she's not on TV6. It was also a pleasure to see Hema Ramkissoon on set at C as well. But are these ladies now employed at C?

"On to the coverage of the summit now, I must commend all three stations TV6, C and CNC3 on their extensive coverage. In my opinion however and it really does pain me to say this, I personally find C had the best coverage and TV6 and CNC3 may tie for second best. The only advantage that CNC3 had over TV6 is that they brought live pictures of reporter Sampson Nanton at the Hyatt Regency hotel. TV6 had the upper hand however in bringing live telephone interviews with selected persons such as Erica Williams Connell. Otherwise they had the same standard of coverage.

"Andy Johnson, Roger Sant, Kaymar Jordan and Colleen Holder must also be commended on their anchoring of the summit from their respective studios. Colleen, if you're reading this, I must say, I missed you and it would be great to see you back on television again, please don't let the summit be the only time."


Saturday, April 18, 2009


Here's the first comment on the summit coverage, from John M.

"Summit Coverage

"1) Can't our reporters read and do their research so that they can identify the leaders as they come in. You don't just stroll in and hope to make someone out.
2) CNC 3 Show us the same photo opportunity first at minutes to 12 and then 1:22 p.m. and tell us that is is live."

Monday, April 13, 2009


James Saunders of TV6, now we understand why we can't understand a word you say.
We saw you putting down a rap song at Mobs 2 at the youth gospel concert on Monday. Couldn't understand a word you said. That's the nature of rap music we surmise.
But then we heard you narrating a piece on the American stunt riders. Still couldn't understand a word you said. Is that the nature of reporting? Hmmm. How do we say this? YOU NEED TO SLOW DOWN.
Comprende? Verstehen sie? Comprenez-vous? Capisce?

Monday, April 6, 2009


The Boston Globe newspaper may be next on the chopping block.
"Leading US newspaper the Boston Globe faces closure in 30 days unless unions associated with it agree to cuts and savings worth $20m US dollars (£13m) demanded by owner the New York Times Company,...".

Here's the story on, The New York Times, and the UK Guardian.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Our apologies to Mr Fabien at Gayelle, we did not see your notice about the closure of your newsroom until it was brought to our attention by a reader.
Scroll down on the following page and take a look.
But we still think you were poorly dressed for your head honchos meeting.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


When we recently wrote about the closure of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado due to economic pressure, we really did not think we would have to address the issue of the closure of any media entity in Trinidad & Tobago so soon afterward.
Well it seems Gayelle's newsroom is the first to fall victim to the vagaries of the world economic system. They have now entered a "strategic alliance" with CNC 3, so while they have shut down their newsroom and sent home 16 persons, they will now be showing the CNC 3 newscast during the 7pm time slot.

On Wednesday evening, Samuel McKnight reported on the meeting that changed the fortunes of the company...we saw shots of CNC 3's well-dressed managers including Rosemarie Sant, Brandon Khan, Grenfell Kissoon and Cintra Achong meeting with Gayelle's man in charge Errol Fabien, who was wearing (what we Trinis would say) a 'ramphle up' baggy green t-shirt and washed out blue jeans. Steups! Come on Errol! These people come to pull you out of a hole and that's how you meet them? We know media people like to keep things casual, but you went a bit too far. If we had shown up for that meeting with you looking like that we would have told you to reschedule for when you could borrow a nice shirt and pants. Steups!

And with all that meeting and 'ole talking, no one saw it fit to add a few lines on your website informing your loyal viewers or curious visitors about the closure of the newsroom, or to remove the news page from your website touting "Live updates every hour Tonight at 7:00" with a photo of the former news team headed by Paolo Kernahan; that photo will now probably be replaced with a composite photo of the CNC 3 news team.

In the end it's sad that a community station which is (we hear) doing the great work that Gayelle is doing had to lose a significant number of staff members in such turbulent times. Will they really be absorbed into the newsroom of CNC 3? Have the skills of the junior reporters/cameramen/newsroom staff been elevated to such a stage that they will be able to easily find gainful employment not only at CNC 3, but at any media house in the country?
Where was the business community and the community at large when the news first broke that this was going to happen?

Only time will tell, but feel free to share your comments on the closure of the Gayelle newsroom: write to us at


With all the dry runs taking place in Trinidad ahead of the Summit of the Americas, we thought it would be nice to give a dry rundown of the television coverage that would make the local tv stations look as good as their foreign counterparts when the Summit begins.
When US President Barack Obama arrived in London for the G20 Summit, here's how the BBC reported it:

1. Opening billboard then straight to field anchor live near Downing Street, positioned where we could see Obama's motorcade over his shoulder; he gave the headlines then an introduction on the fact that Obama was in London and was about to come rolling down the street;

2. Field anchor continues talking over live shot of Obama & his wife Michelle greeting UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah outside Downing Street office;

3. Field anchor introduces packaged story on Obama's arrival in London aboard Air Force One the previous evening and an outline of the issues to be addressed in the summit;

4. Field anchor introduces packaged story on massive security detail required, including shots inside Scotland Yard's surveillance centre and an interview with the officer in charge of security for the Summit;

5. Field anchor introduces packaged interview with the European Union President on what European leaders hope to achieve;

6. Field anchor interviews a political analyst who is there with him;

7. Field anchor tosses to studio (split screen) where business reporter on set outlines the concerns of the Japanese President;

8. Business reporter tosses back to field anchor who tosses to studio anchor who gives the main headlines and one packaged story;

9. Split screen with studio anchor and field anchor; field anchor introduces his packaged one on one interview with the World Bank President;

10. Field anchor tells viewers they will get live coverage of an Obama/Brown press conference in two and a half hours and they should go to the BBC's website for full details on the summit, as well as a profile of all the countries attending;

11. Field anchor tosses to studio anchor who introduces two packaged stories;

12. Studio anchor tosses back to field anchor who tosses to field reporter who is standing outside Gordon Brown's office for a colour piece on the meeting between the Browns and the Obamas;

13. Split screen on both field anchor and reporter, then full shot of field anchor who again tells people to go to the website for full details, and he tosses to the weather presenter.

This was almost flawlessly done in 25 minutes. The only hiccups were that the first packaged story on security measures had to be interrupted when they went to the live shots of Obama arriving at Downing Street, and when they initially cued the reporter outside the Downing Street office, she was not ready, so they went back to her eventually.

And not once during that entire show did we hear the same reporter more than once.