Sunday, September 6, 2009


The Newsday and the Express have as their lead story on Sunday September 6th that the Uff Commission of Inquiry into Udecott being postponed until further notice.
Alas the Guardian's lead story on Sunday is that big spenders should be targetted in the national budget to be presented on Monday.


It's been a while, but it's nice to be able to give kudos where they are due.

"The Media Association offers its heartiest congratulations to Keith Smith on the occasion of his being honoured with a national award. Keith Smith has become a national institution who is treasured for his wit and his down-to earth wisdom. Over the years, he has conducted in his newspaper column a seemingly offhand but shrewd and searching examination of the different threads that make up the fabric of everyday life in Trinidad and Tobago.

"It is to be noted, however, that Smith has always been scornful of the pretensions of novice journalists who hankered to offer their opinions on events in the news. He has always insisted that that was a privilege that had to be earned, and the price to be paid was years of soldiering in the trenches of reporting.

"This is the second time in two years that a veteran journalist has been recognised in this way, and Matt hopes that this is a sign that the contribution of professional journalists in leading and shaping public opinion is being increasingly understood and appreciated."

And here's a look at the story in the Express of September 1st.

Well a few months back it seemed as if the prime minister was the one shaping public opinion and that MATT was on the defensive, but that's another discussion.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The Guardian's Dixie Ann Dickson recently wrote a story about a Trinidadian taking a trek to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
The most interesting things about the story are the comments from four readers posted at the bottom of the page. We didn't say it. Take a look.

Dixie Ann et al, take note.


Here's a comment on the reappearance of Colleen Holder (formerly of TV6) on C News, from MT.

"Where has this girl been hiding? After a long absence, Colleen Holder suddenly shows up on C for the summit and now is on the early morning news on C. You were missed. But what's up with the specs? Don't recall seeing those when she was at TV Six."

We really didn't think it was retirement anyway. No one retires that early in their career.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Joel Julien of the Express, maybe you and your sub editor(s) can help us finish this sentence from your story titled "Inside job suspected as guard robbed of $15,000": "This robbery comes on the heels of other robberies in recent months where persons who just left the commercial bank with large amounts of money."
Yes? And?


Here's an interesting article in the Express of May 6th titled "Lewdness, vulgarity on radio".
Former House Speaker turned radio talk show host Nizam Mohammed is berating his fellow talkers by saying ""Society is getting addicted to bacchanal and radio presenters must make an effort to avoid spreading careless remarks and indulge in idle conversations,"".
The story adds that "He noted that too many talk show hosts were uninformed and callers take their cue from presenters to malign and slander."

You know yourselves. Take note.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


It's interesting that we have to ad-dress this issue again with the same presenter, but here goes.

On the morning of Friday May 1st around 10 o'clock, we noticed on CNMG that there was a recorded programme. It looked like a press conference in some foreign location, based on the nature of the questions asked and the responses.
One of the persons asking questions was Nicola Barriteau of C News. Nicola you will have to forgive us because we did not hear a thing you said as we were too distracted by your outfit. You remember don't you? A purple sleeveless top and orange jewellery. The top was cut so low in front that we are sure the people at the head table also had no clue what you were asking.

Now you could easily say that you went to a party and a press conference was arranged in the midst of it and you couldn't pass up an opportunity to ask questions. Maybe so, but when you are inappropriately dressed for an assignment, the best thing to do is give someone your list of questions and ask them to ask the questions for you. Your cameraman would have still got the responses, without subjecting the viewing audience to your ample, almost bare chest.

But if you say you went to the assignment knowing full well that you were going to be identifying yourself as working for CNMG, then we have to take issue with that. There is a correct way to dress for assignments, and you were dressed incorrectly. Period. Yes it may have been an entertainment piece, but you have to remember that you have an audience. Old people. Little children. Middle aged men and women. Not everyone would take kindly to seeing you so exposed.

Another thing, we understand that the assignment may have been a one-camera shoot, so your cameraman had to pan the camera back and forth between you and the head table. We have no problem with that at the recording stage, but we find it difficult to believe that you arrived at the station with that tape just minutes before it went to air, so there was no way an editor could have put some cutaways over those bits. You probably had many dizzy viewers after about five minutes.
Why didn't you get an editor to cover those panned parts?

And later at 10.30, we saw you most appropriately dressed for the live hosting of the opening of the interchange. What a difference. You probably knew about that assignment weeks in advance?

And by the way Roger Dwarika of C News, the interchange is not in Port of Spain.
And did you stick your hand in a socket before you went to that assignment? Your hair stood on sculpted end for the entire thing. Remind yourself everyday before you apply a ton of hair gel and before you leave home that you do not work for MTV or Synergy.


The Express newspaper has been ordered to pay damages to Dr Krishna Persad in a successful defamation action he filed against the newspaper.
As part of her judgement, Justice Carol Gobin ruled that:

"“With the recognition of the importance of the court reporters in our system comes a corresponding obligation of responsible journalism which in the sphere of court reporting means a duty to get it right,” Gobin ruled.

"“This was not a case where it is suggested that there was a mistake on the part of the reporter about the outcome of the matter which was the result of his own misunderstanding of legal technicalities. It was a case where the reporter chose to rely on a confidential source who plainly got it wrong.”

"“Once it became clear that he had been misinformed, I consider that there was an obligation not only to the claimant but to the public as well to correct the report. “I have also taken into account the defendant’s conduct in their flagrant disregard for the procedures and findings of the Media Complaints Authority,” the judge said."


The Media Association has issued this press release in regard to World Press Freedom Day.

"May 1st, 2009

"As we celebrate World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd, the Media Association points out that under the threat of job losses in the economic downturn, it is not only media workers who stand to lose. Many media houses in developed countries have already cut staff or closed down as a result of the worldwide recession. The same has happened in this country, where a much smaller market supports a large number of print and electronic media houses.

"But in that event, the loss would be felt not only by their staff, but also by the public, as closures would also reduce the number and diversity of opinions and issues covered by the local media. Those media owned by major conglomerates are the most likely to survive, but this may lead to the over-representation of corporate or political interests, an outcome which is not for the best in a developing democracy.

"Cost-cutting efforts may also lead to misguided decisions when reducing staff numbers. In today’s world, where a barrage of information is readily available from numerous sources, experienced journalists are needed more than ever to sift through the raw data and make sense of it for their viewers, listeners and readers.

"The local media must also adapt to today’s rapidly evolving technology and the changing needs and expectations of their consumers if they are to remain relevant and viable. This is not a matter for media workers alone, but also for managers and owners, who need to be aware of these changes and to provide the financial and managerial support they require.

"Another challenge faced by media workers is that of dealing with politicians, the police and sometimes members of the public who may not understand the role of the media. In the past year there have been direct and indirect threats to the media from politicians who ought to know better.

"But the freedom of the press is not only commemorated on a special day but enshrined in the Constitution, whose framers recognised the importance of a free press in discovering the facts and reporting even inconvenient truths."

Friday, May 1, 2009


Here's another comment on what seems like sour grapes from TV6, this time from Trini Media.

"When you cannot reach the grapes, then the next thing to do is describe the grapes as sour. It appears that this is included somewhere in TV6's core values. Firstly, they announce to their viewers that they couldn't get the grapes, by stating in a news item after the prime minister's visit to The Big Story on CNC3, that the company tried several times to get the prime minister and failed. Now, another news story, "the grapes are sour".

"Indeed those who managed to get the grapes and eat them, must be sour too. So CNC3, as TV6 would have us believe, is also sour -- a lackey of the Government. There are so many things wrong with this picture, that I don't know where to begin other than to simply ask, has CNN ever run a news story calling the BBC sour and a lackey of the Government for getting an exclusive with President Obama? Has NBC ever found CNN or President Obama sour for the same reasons?

"Last time I checked, the prime minister, like any other leader in the world, has the right and privilege to choose which station he wants to give an exclusive to. President Obama has the same right -- didn't he choose to have a media conference at the Hilton for ONLY the media travelling with him? I didn't hear TV6 criticising President Obama for favouring anyone or calling any of the media houses at the media conference lackeys of the US Government.

"I think that somewhere between the ambitions of Fabian Pierre and the shame of Dominic Kalipersad, TV6 felt the only way to deal with the facts -- that CNC3 pulled off something TV6 didn't or couldn't -- was to play the role of victim. Well here's a lesson in real journalism: the only way you win viewers and earn respect is by your news product. You think CNC3 beat you, get up and do something better. Get a bigger scoop and stop wasting time, space and energy crying victimisation.

"Saying the prime minister is practising favouritism, does not make it so. Saying CNC3 is a lackey of the Government, does not make it so. Saying the grapes are sour, does not make them so. You want credibility, then stop crying and do something better. Since when journalism was defined as criticising another station that scooped you? Is that in the public interest? In fact, has it not occurred to anyone making these stupid decisions, that your loyal viewers don't even have time to watch CNC3 because they are glued to TV6, and by announcing all of this to them, you actually create such interest that they, "Just Switch"? Where's the simple logic?

"Finally, who can forget that TV6 lost their best personnel in the Natalie Williams era? Where are Rosemarie and Roger Sant, Shelly Dass, Sampson Nanton and Eric Mackie? Does it occur to anyone that they are among the last of all the TV6 walkouts that are still today actively involved in television news (Charlene Ramdhanie of C News is the only other)? Where are they? CNC3! TV6 on the other hand, has a newsroom full of neophytes, with not one of them, apart from Sharon Hamilton-Cudjoe, having more than three or four years' experience in television journalism.

"So don't cry if the prime minister and anyone else chooses experience over immaturity. TV6 may be around longer than the others, but when you compare TV6's newsroom to CNC3's, TV6 has a lot of catching-up to do."