Tag Archives: Freedom Of The Press

Central Banking Review: “Newspaper spat puts serious dent in credibility of Central Bank of Barbados”

central bank Barbados dispute

When the governor of the Central Bank of Barbados had his little hissy-fit against The Nation, do you think that he envisioned the worldwide condemnation his actions attracted?

Here’s the link for CentralBanking.com’s story, but you’ll need to sign up for a free trial to read the whole thing. We didn’t sign up but your choice might be different.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Business & Banking, Freedom Of The Press

Barbados Central Bank press release deceptive – What does ‘Weasel Words’ Worrell fear? What is the bank hiding?

That's Governor Worrell on the right... er, left!

That’s Governor Worrell on the right… er, left!

The Central Bank of Barbados just issued a new press release in an attempt to backpedal from Governor Worrell’s message last week that journalists from The Nation Newspaper are banned from future press conferences – but if anything the new weasel words press release makes things worse. As our friend Ian Bourne points out, the new press release does nothing to retract Worrell’s statement that Nation journalists are not welcome at bank media events.

Nope, that COWARDLY WEASEL-WORDED THUG Worrell still doesn’t want to face questions from Nation journalists.

Mr. Bourne goes much further too…

“The threats against Barbadian Journalism have only just started; it will get more strenuous as the DLP try to hold on for a third term and all of their beneficiaries seek to rally defences against real or imagined threats.”

Journalist Ian Bourne of The Bajan Reporter

Central Bank Sucks, Blows and Backpedals without a truthful admission and apology

No doubt the Central Bank’s new press release is in response to Bajans’ general disgust with Worrell’s and the bank’s thuggish attempt to muzzle a free press.

Here’s what Worrell originally said…

“Consequent upon the lack of professional integrity manifest in the Nation’s Front Page headline of Thursday, May 8, you should be aware that Nation/Sun staff will not be invited to any future Press conference or media event hosted by myself as Governor of the Central Bank,”

Central Bank Thug in Chief Dr. DeLisle Worrell in letter to all bank employees and The Nation Newspaper

Well, that sounds like a ban to us here at BFP. How about you dear readers?

Now Worrell is saying…   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Economy, Freedom Of The Press

Anna Druzhinina murder: Persaud appealing sentence, Barbados Court stonewalls journalist

BFP:

Zero Transparency or Accountability from Barbados courts…

One is not permitted to take notes or record in courts in Barbados, even public criminal proceedings. The press is gagged until after the trial is over. Then one cannot get any transcripts of the proceedings, motions, and findings.

Over a year later and I am still waiting on the High Court’s registrar’s office to provide me with DPP Leacock’s recommendations for sentencing of the two murderers of Anna Druzhinina, one in 2010 and one in 2012. They got manslaughter for hanging her.

So what is the definition of transparency?

Amy L. Beam, journalist and BFP contributor

Below article originally published on February 13, 2013…

Originally posted on Barbados Free Press:

Anna Druzhinina Murder

Censorship and a Travesty of Justice

By Amy L. Beam, Ed.D

As of today, I have waited over one month for the chief registrar in the court’s registrar’s office to provide me with the written statements of DPP Leacock in the sentencing recommendations for McCollin (2010) and Persaud (2012). In common parlance, this is known as stone-walling. Silence does not mean I’m finished with this issue.

Also, I was told at the court house that Persaud is appealing his sentencing.

So Barbados is a country with complete judicial secrecy. In the courtroom I was not allowed to have paper, pen, or recording devices. Now I have been refused ALL documents relating to both of the convicted men.

“The case is over, the verdicts and sentencing have been rendered, yet the documents are being kept secret. Does Barbados seal documents after a murder or manslaughter trial? Is the international community taking…

View original 67 more words

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Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Ian Bourne: Barbados Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite a “stinking coward”, “bullies local media, but cannot bear scrutiny”

Ian Bourne (L), Adriel Brathwaite

Ian Bourne (L), Adriel Brathwaite

The ongoing battle between the Attorney General and a tenacious Bajan journalist just entered a new level. The Bajan Reporter’s Ian Bourne published a news story calling Adriel Brathwaite a “stinking coward” and alleging that the Attorney General “bullies local media, but cannot bear scrutiny…”

And that’s just a start.

The lapdog local press will not ask the questions that Ian Bourne regularly puts to the political elites, and Bourne has again shown those same elites that they ignore his questions at their peril.

Freedom of the press belongs to those who have one… and by the looks of this, Ian Bourne certainly has his own press! Wuhloss!

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Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Politics

Barbados Nation News publishes child porn in quest for sales

barbados child porn arrests nation

“I hope the professional journalists of the Nation each do a couple of months in jail minimum.”

Police arrest publisher, editor and senior journalist – free on bail

Child porn is child porn, and the photo published on October 26, 2013 on the back page of the Saturday Sun of two children having sex in a classroom is child porn by any definition. The Nation staff knew that. Anybody would know that – but there was money to be made.

“gaffe /gaf/ an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder. “in my first few months at work I made some real gaffes” Synonyms: blunder, mistake, error, slip”

The Gleaner (Jamaica) called it ‘Barbadian Press Blunder‘, while Barbados Underground used the word ‘gaffe’ to describe the publishing of the child porn photo.

Make no mistake: what the Nation did was no ‘blunder’ or ‘gaffe’ – it was intentional. Publisher Vivian-Anne Gittens, Editor-in-Chief Roy Morris and journalist Sanka Price decided to sell lots of copies of the Saturday edition and they knew exactly how to do that. They made a decision. These ‘professional journalists’ went for the cash and now cloak themselves in the flag of freedom of the press.

The Gleaner editorial expressed ‘surprise’ that Bajan prosecutors would expend the energy to lay charges, saying “This newspaper endorses such (child pornography) laws. We, however, have serious reservation about the application of the law in relation to The Nation newspaper and its staff.”

Why the reservation? Would the Gleaner have had reservations is this blog had been charged after publishing the same photo or the video that was viral? When pigs fly! Continue reading

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press

Send us documents, articles: whatever you like! You can trust Barbados Free Press.

barbados-epa-secret

Some folks want to know the answers to these questions…

How can I post a news article on Barbados Free Press?

Easy! Just email the article to us here: barbadosfreepress@yahoo.com

OR… you can use our Contact Us form.

How can I get a letter or document to BFP?

We don’t reveal our mailing address because we’re an anonymous blog. You’ll have to scan or photograph the document and then email it to us.

If the document is too large to email, try using one of the free document posting services where you can upload the document and then send us the secret link – all anonymously.

Try: anonfiles.com  Wikipedia has an updated list of anonymous file sharing sites

Will Barbados Free Press keep my identity secret?

Of course we will keep your identity secret. You don’t even have to tell us who you are. We publish anonymously-written articles all the time.

We’ve kept writers’ identities secret at their request since we started in 2006. That’s a long time and nobody has a better track record – not even WikiLeaks!

Does Barbados Free Press keep records of emails and files sent to you?

No we don’t. Once we publish something, read your email or otherwise finish with what you send us, we delete everything securely. Only what is posted on BFP’s WordPress blog remains.

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves: How many travel writers will you jail?

Kenton Chance Wikileak

St. Vincent’s racist Prime Minister is on the record very upset that two BBC journalists ‘snuck’ into the country by telling Immigration authorities they were visiting as tourists when they were really working on a story about Harlequin and Dave Ames. Had the BBC journalists been filming a feel-good travel or investment article, Gonsalves wouldn’t have had a problem with them.

Too bad the BBC story was about how Harlequin collected hundreds of millions of pounds from British pensioners but only built a handful of promised holiday homes before running out of money.

Gonsalves threatened that Panorama tele-journalists Paul Kenyon and Mathew Hill committed crimes punishable by imprisonment.

No word on what PM Gonsalves thinks about Harlequin’s Ponzi scheme, but he is sure upset at the reporters for mentioning it!

How dare dem bloody reporters come snooping around and then expose the story of how SVG  and its politicians let a twice-bankrupt double glazing salesman get away with using the country to promote a pyramid scheme!

One problem though: does Prime Minister Gonsalves intend to apply the same rules to every travel journalist who comes to SVG as a tourist and then writes nice things about the island? Or is Gonsalves only concerned about the law when investigative journalists expose the truth?

If Prime Minister Gonsalves wants to put some journalists in jail he should start with every travel and finance writer who took a free trip from Harlequin and declared they were on holiday when they arrived in SVG. They are the ones who printed the flowery stories that set the trap for thousands of trusting Britons to lose their pensions. If any journalists deserve jail, it is that bunch.

Of course, it’s a good thing that the BBC journalists are of the white race because Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is probably going soft on them. You see, Ralph Gonsalves is a racist who dislikes mulattos and brown people – and said so.

Further Reading

I-Witness News Citing possible jail time, BBC reporters staying away from SVG

Cartoon: SVG journalist Kenton X. Chance with PM Gonsalves. See BFP’s More WikiLeaks hit the fan!

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Filed under Culture & Race Issues, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Race

Cuban journalist jailed for reporting Cholera Epidemic in Cuba

cuba journalist prison

Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias still in prison

Rumours of changes to the iron fisted ‘peoples’ government of Cuba are greatly exaggerated as we learn that a Cuban journalist languishes in prison for (gasp) reporting about cholera and dengue epidemics in Cuba.

Martinez’s ‘mistake’ was that he reported in June 2012 that Manzanillo officials were hiding a cholera epidemic from the public. (Hey… wouldn’t want to hurt the tourist business, would we?)

Every once in a while you think things are improving, but then you are dragged back to reality. The Cuban people must be free: and that doesn’t mean back to being a puppet of the USA or Russia or China. Freedom means: freedom for individuals and freedom for the country to determine their own paths. And for journalists to report on matters of public interest.

Feliz Navidad to Calixto Ramón Martínez Aria. We’ll say a prayer for you and your friend Alexander Roberto Fernández Rico.

Reprinted from wefightcensorship.org. Please go to their website to read the full article Radio Silence on Cholera Epidemic?

Radio Silence on Cholera Epidemic?

Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, a journalist who works for Hablemos Press, a Havana-based independent information centre, was arrested on 16 September 2012 after writing about cholera and dengue epidemics in Cuba. Two months later, he managed to call Hablemos Press from Havana’s Combinado del Este prison, defying an order by the prison authorities forbidding him to use the phone. During the call, which Hablemos Press recorded, he talked about the degrading conditions inside the prison. After the call, the Hablemos Press phone line was temporarily disconnected and Martínez was placed in solitary confinement. But the Combinado del Este’s political prisoners have managed to keep the outside world informed about his plight. Continue reading

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Filed under Cuba, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights

Afra Raymond: I will not be stopped!

“It is a wonder that you are continuing to write these articles Mr. Raymond. Have you received any pressure to stop? If only our Bajan journalists had your integrity and courage.”

Barbados Free Press reader WSD comments on Afra Raymond’s article CL Financial bailout “a major failure on any scale”

In response to a reader’s concern for his safety, journalist Afra Raymond replies:

Readers,

I am going to continue on my course, this is an epic crisis, being the single largest episode of corruption in our region’s history, so it is essential that the few of us keep on informing the public and agitating for Economic and Social Justice in this matter.

I am independent enough to maintain these efforts – no one is ever absolutely independent in our small societies – and it is a painful reflection in this, our 50th year of T&T’s Independence, that our leading institutions, academies and thinkers have remained resolutely silent in the face of this tidal wave of ‘commesse’ and ‘bobol’. It does make me wonder what was the ultimate purpose of all the sacrifice of our foreparents who struggled for liberation from colonialism, education and self-determination. What was that all for?

It is a disturbing measure of the depth of the corruption in all the western democracies that so few of the main players in this global meltdown have actually been imprisoned, but that is an issue for another column in this series.

My rallying call is -

SILENCE IS THE ENEMY OF PROGRESS!

Thanks for your support

Afra Raymond
www.afraraymond.com

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados Health Minister attacks journalist over questions about Minister’s porn business profiteering

Donville Inniss narrowly avoids defamation lawsuit with immediate retraction

Minister of Health Donville Inniss verbally attacked Barbadian journalist Ian Bourne last Friday before a public audience at the Unity Bar Lunchtime Lecture.

Minister Inniss falsely accused Bourne “You have a big blog site that is full of nasty (stories)” but then immediately withdrew the comment as a strategic move after having put Bourne down to the laughter of the stacked DLP audience. It was a dishonest move that lacked integrity, but it works in a room full of party supporters.

The audio recording of the event reveals that Inniss did not apologize, and he laughed derisively at the journalist along with many in the pro DLP audience. The derision has become the standard reply by Inniss and the DLP to defuse what should be, what would be, a major political scandal and a major news story in any nation with a free and determined news media.

If Mitt Romney had his name on ‘Orgasm.com’ or some of the other Inniss-related porn sites, can you imagine what the world’s news media would do?

In Barbados the news media is too cowardly or complicit to even mention the story despite the fact that the evidence is still available online to the public as well as the news media.

News blackout on the Donville Inniss porn business story

The recent defamation and derision by Minister Inniss stems from Ian Bourne’s private and respectful question to the Health Minister on July 7, 2011 about posts on Barbados Free Press exposing the Minister’s connections to online porn. (See links at end of story)

Mr. Bourne privately and respectfully asked Minister Inniss:

“Donville – I am sorry to disturb you but there are wild allegations as you may be aware of, concerning your alleged connection to a number of websites with pornographic connotations. EG: Youngntender.net, orgasm.com & nakednews.com among others. Can we do an Interview where the public has your side of the story? Please advise ASAP…”

Donville Inniss replied:

“come on Ian”

Mr. Bourne answered:

“What does this mean? Nothing wrong in dispelling rumours, it shows proactivity on your part to air your perspective on the matter…”

… For the entire story of Journalist Ian Bourne’s interaction with Health Minister Donville Inniss about the porno business connections, read Bajan Reporter’s piece: BARBADOS CABINET MINISTER ATTACKS “BAJAN REPORTER” AT DLP STRONGHOLD – MAKES FALSE ACCUSATION WITH NO APOLOGY!

Minister Donville Inniss refuses to talk about this subject – because he knows it is true.

Starting in 2011, Barbados Free Press published a series of articles showing the long term connections between Inniss and the online porn business. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Free Press republishes deleted Harlequin news story

Why was this Harlequin news story removed by Echo-news.co.uk ?

BFP readers supply over 30 copies of deleted Harlequin news story

As BFP reported yesterday, Echo’s news story ‘Wickford man at the centre of storm in the Caribbean property market‘ by investigative journalist Jon Austin was deleted from the internet the day after it was published in the dead-tree edition, and within hours of being posted online.

This deletion of internet content fits right in with our observation last week that articles critical of Harlequin are disappearing. In some cases entire websites have disappeared.

Barbados Free Press has received legal advice concerning our use of a news story originally published on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 by echo-news.co.uk on pages 14 and 15 of their dead tree edition, and on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 on the internet.

This is of vital interest to Bajans due to freedom of the press issues, and also of interest to those investors who have very legitimate questions about why so few units have been completed throughout the Harlequin projects list, why the construction is not following the schedules communicated earlier by Mr. David Ames and where and how investors’ money is being spent.

“There are also serious public questions about the Harlequin’s relationships with various officials and why certain governments have, among other unusual decisions, allowed Harlequin to get away with not filing financial statements as required by law for periods of up to four years.”

This is of special concern to Barbadians as our country has no Integrity Legislation, no Freedom of Information and no Conflicts of Interests rules for public officials: this despite 30 years of promises by various DLP and BLP governments.

There seems to be a concerted effort to prevent serious, in-depth public discussion about issues surrounding Harlequin, its operations, finances, and its relationships with politicians in various countries. That is bad for freedom of the press, transparency and accountability. It is also bad for democracy.

Our legal advice is that BFP is allowed to publish the Echo article in full to review and discuss the content, and the takedown. Especially in the absence of Integrity and transparency laws in Barbados, both the content of the news article and the circumstances of its removal from the internet are of vital public interest that supersedes any copyright issues.

BFP and our readers recognize that any allegations in the article are unproven, and we invite representatives from Harlequin to join in the discussion to correct or clarify any inaccuracies. If Harlequin so desires, BFP will publish any response or communications from the company with due respect and prominence as we have done before for Harlequin and others.

For discussion:

Why was this story removed by Echo-news.co.uk?

Are there any inaccuracies or omissions in the news story?

Readers, please feel free to use the comment section to discuss these questions and others that are of vital public interest.

Thank you!

Our sincere gratitude to the over 30 readers who sent us copies of the Echo-news.co.uk news article ‘Wickford man at the centre of storm in the Caribbean property market’

Here is the story. Class; discuss! …

Wickford man at the centre of storm in the Caribbean property market

Wednesday 11th July 2012
By Jon Austin

A SOUTH Essex businessman is at the centre of a political storm in the Caribbean where his firm is striving to develop a series of luxury holiday resorts.

The Harlequin group – run by David Ames from Brock Hill, Wickford – has become a political football in St Vincent, home to the company’s partially-open resort.

The Basildon-based firm is meant to be building six resorts in the Caribbean and one in Brazil.

In April, an Echo investigation revealed some of the 6,000 people who invested in the resorts wanted deposits refunded due to delays to some projects.

Now some investors have launched court claims in St Vincent in a bid to win back their cash.

At the same time staff, contractors and suppliers, working at Harlequin’s flagship Buccament Bay resort, are also taking action through the courts amid claims they haven’t been paid for several weeks.

The firm also hasn’t filed any accounts in St Vincent for the past four years, meaning investors cannot track what has happened to their cash, which has been sent overseas to build properties.

Harlequin Property in St Vincent, which owns Buccament Bay, could be struck off in the country if it fails to bring records up to date.

Mr Ames, 60, who said he was recently made a citizen of St Vincent and has the backing of the ruling Unity Labour Party, vehemently denied allegations staff were not being paid. The claims have been raised in the Vincentian parliament.

He said all resort staff were being paid on time and it was down to individual contractors to pay workers.

The business, which has a marketing office in Honeywood Road, Basildon, has so far built around 300 out of 1,120 units at Buccament Bay, with work yet to start in earnest on other resorts.

Opposition politicians from the New Democratic Party of St Vincent said at least eight claims – including some lodged by unpaid workers as well as investors – are going to court.

The party’s leader Arhnim Eustace called on the government to ensure payments were made to local contractors and employees.

He told the Echo: “I am aware a number of local contractors who say they have not been paid have filed cases in the court. This includes local contractors, workers and a supplier of vegetables.”

He said amounts claimed in cases varied, but at least one involved an alleged unpaid amount of £118,000. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption

Cowardly Barbados Advocate fires another journalist to please a politician

Rawle Titus fired from Grenada Advocate

When Tourism Minister Noel Lynch threatened to withdraw all government advertising from the Barbados Advocate unless the paper fired columnist Adrian Loveridge, the editor and senior management said “Yes, Massa – whatever you want Massa” and dumped Loveridge.

Now those cowards at Fontabelle are at it again…

Grenada, Barbados: The Fallout over Journalist’s Firing

by Matthew Hunte

As another regional journalist pays the price for standing by his story, bloggers are wondering about the state of press freedom in the Caribbean. Rawle Titus -veteran journalist and president of the Media Workers Association of Grenada since 2008- was dismissed from his post as editor of the Grenada Advocate after he refused to retract or apologize for a front-page story in the March 9th edition of the newspaper headlined “Prime Minister Makes Fresh Moves.” (The Grenada Advocate is owned and published by the Advocate Publishers (2000) Inc, based in Fontabelle, St. Michael, Barbados.)

According to the story, leader of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Prime Minister of Grenada, Tillman Thomas, held a caucus where candidates for the upcoming elections were selected, without informing senior members of the now fractious party.

Government press secretary (and former journalist) Richard Simon wrote to the management in Barbados twice, seeking a retraction for what were deemed to be inaccuracies. After the 2nd letter, Titus was dismissed by General Manager Sandra Clarke, effective March 30th, 2012.

According to the MWAG, the Advocate was pressured into firing Titus and added:

We have growing concerns about increasing incidents that will suggest that those guarantees are coming under attack. This latest incident follows a series of other developments we have been monitoring in the past.

… continue reading this post at GlobalVoices: Grenada, Barbados: The Fallout over Journalist’s Firing

Hat tip to journalist Gerard Best for the video of Rawle Titus

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Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Grenada, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Trinidad & Tobago government’s war on the news media

A timeline of events within the People’s Partnership period…

“I am seeing these events as a sinister pattern and we need to recognise that now.

by Afra Raymond

  • Fazeer Mohammed fired from CNMG.  Fazeer was the popular co-Host of the leading breakfast TV show ‘First Up’.  6th November 2010 – see FIRED!

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Filed under Barbados, Caribbean Media, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, Politics, Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad: Police storm newspaper offices, journalist’s home

Snapshots from the battle for press freedom

Police seize Andre Bagoo’s computers, phones, flash drives

Nine police officers raided the Newsday offices and journalist Andre Bagoo’s home on Wednesday – seizing at least four computers, two mobile phones and several external storage drives. The police say they are looking for evidence of Bagoo’s sources for his December 20, 2011 story about the row between Integrity chairman Ken Gordon and deputy chairman Gladys Gafoor.

Of course, now that the police have EVERYTHING on Bagoo’s computers they will have a look at EVERYTHING, won’t they? Emails, love letters, shopping lists, contacts list, financial records, photos, sources for every story Bagoo has ever written – little things like that.

The latest attack in the Trinidad police campaign to muzzle a free press comes two months after a similar raid on TV6 last December.

The lesson is that if the Trinidad news media won’t self regulate (as the Guardian did causing journalist Afra Raymond to resign in disgust) then the Trinidad & Tobago police will teach the Trini press to know their place.

We’ve had our own problems here in Barbados with the police strong-arming journalists, seizing their cameras and arresting journalists for photographing accident scenes and corrupt police officers. As a society we must be vigilant and aggressive about preserving the independence and freedom of the press. History has too many examples of what happens when citizens drop their guard.

Photo courtesy of Newsday: Journalist Andre Bagoo, centre in white shirt, surrounded by officers of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau (ACIB) as they search his computer in an attempt to get him to reveal the source of information in a report he wrote on the Integrity Commission.

Further Reading

Newsday Statement

Newsday:  Shame!

Newsday: Newsday raid shocks AG

Trinidad Express: Police storm ‘Newsday’ offices in PoS

Trinidad Express: Cops want interviews with CCN directors

Trinidad Express: Newspaper stands by journalist not to reveal sources

Guardian: Tribunal to probe Gafoor

Newsday Statement, February 10, 2012

NEWSDAY condemns in the strongest possible language, yesterday’s raid by officers of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau (ACIB) on our Newsroom at 23A Chacon Street, Port- of-Spain and at the private residence in Belmont of this newspaper’s senior investigative parliamentary and political reporter, Andre Bagoo.

The police officers led by Senior Superintendent Solomon Koon Koon, executed a warrant and searched Mr Bagoo’s desk in our newsroom, went through his office computer, all documents on his desk, including parliamentary papers and other information used in the course of his duties.

After two hours they left our Chacon Street newsroom, taking with them two flash drives, one Newsday cellphone issued to Mr Bagoo, his personal cellphone and Newsday’s computer hard drive on which Mr Bagoo has stored confidential information relating to his duties. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Caribbean Media, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, News Media, Police, Trinidad and Tobago

The Guardian affair: a breach of basic media ethics

Guardian Editor Anthony Wilson threatens Barbados Free Press

The following column by Afra Raymond was spawned by events associated with two of our recent stories. On December 30, 2011, Barbados Free Press published Afra’s piece Did former T&T Finance Minister break her oath over CLICO insider trading?

After it all hit the fan between The Guardian and Afra Raymond, BFP published our January 4, 2012 post: Afra Raymond resigns from Trinidad & Tobago Guardian: Paper wants politicians to preview articles.

That resignation story brought T&T Guardian editor Anthony Wilson to BFP. Mr. Wilson was not a happy camper. It sure was unexpected to see a news media professional so upset by a little old blog like BFP to the point where Mr. Wilson threatened us with legal action.

Hey… we’re just telling it like it happened. I guess we expected some of that “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” stuff from Mr. Wilson. Wuhloss! What a disappointment.

Here’s Afra Raymond’s latest in the saga. Let ‘er rip, Afra!

Media Integrity

by Afra Raymond

For those who are only now joining the story, this is a summary of what I feel are the vital issues here.  My commentary column on the former Minister of Finance, Karen Nunez-Tesheira, was sent to her for comment by the Guardian’s Acting Editor-in-Chief, Anthony Wilson.  That is a completely improper action, which is a breach of basic media ethics.  When I challenged that action as being surprising and unprecedented, Wilson responded that “…It is by no means unprecedented territory…”.  At which point I resigned as a Guardian columnist and this broad discussion started.

This is the opening paragraph of Anthony Wilson’s post on Judy Raymond’s FB page on Friday 6th January at 12.04pm –

…In response to Mr Raymond’s comment, let me say that I have NEVER before sent any commentary to any politician or anyone else, apart from our attorneys, for pre-publication vetting. I say that without fear of contradiction and also state that that is NOT the newspaper’s policy or practice. (For Mr Raymond to pursue this point after this denial would simply be compounding the defamation.)…

Quite apart from the unnecessary legal threats, since it was never my intention to defame anyone, we are now being told that this was a one-off decision to send my entire column for vetting.

Two questions arise –

Firstly – Why did Wilson seek to tell me, in relation to his decision, that “…It is by no means unprecedented territory…”?

Secondly, if we accept that his reversal is now the true state of things, there is another issue.  Why was this exceptional consideration shown to the former Minister of Finance?

That is the ‘sole and only issue’.

The three alibis which Wilson has been using on the internet need to be set aside at once –    Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Trinidad and Tobago

Afra Raymond resigns from Trinidad & Tobago Guardian: Paper wants politicians to preview articles

Afra Raymond targeted by CL Financial big-ups?

Barbados Free Press understands from an internal source that journalist Afra Raymond has resigned from writing for the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian after learning that the paper sends unpublished articles to politicians: apparently seeking to have the politicians pre-approve or vet opinion pieces before publication.

Afra Raymond is a T&T journalist whose effective work on the CL Financial scandal has continually exposed the unethical and illegal actions of many of the main players in the financial debacle. Much of Afra Raymond’s work is jointly published here at Barbados Free Press, at the Guardian, and at Mr. Raymond’s own website.

We have sent Mr. Raymond an email asking for confirmation and to clarify what we are hearing.

If it is true that the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian is sending unpublished articles to politicians for pre-approval, this would seriously undermine the credibility of the Guardian news organization. It would be a serious affront to journalistic integrity and independence.

We’ll update this story as we learn more.

Robert

35 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados Advocate rants about CBC funding – but loves government advertising!

The motto of the Barbados News Media:

“Never bite the hand that feeds us”

OH the irony!

The current Barbados Advocate editorial Another sacred cow? makes some good points about the primary value of the CBC as an instrument of government propaganda.

Left unsaid though is that the Barbados Advocate itself loves to suck off the government teet when it comes to printing those full colour, full page adverts for the government. During the BLP reign, it was The Nation that was the main beneficiary of government gifts, now the Advocate benefits from the DLP government.

In return for that government advertising revenue the Barbados Advocate will not cover certain news stories and keeps a respectful posture on others. Even if their editorial is bluster it’s good to see The Barbados Advocate at least recognizing the blogosphere as an antidote for the news media being used for government propaganda…

“It is not to our certain knowledge either that the Opposition is any more averse to state ownership. After all, it should take nothing less than a Damascene conversion for a party which has occupied the seat of government for an equal part of those years, suddenly to become convinced of the benefits of privatisation of the island’s lone television station.

Of course, the 800 pound gorilla in the room which both sides of the political divide are careful not to notice is the perceived propaganda value of CBC; a perception that may indeed be more apparent than real in this era of the blogosphere, social networks, and streaming technology over the Internet. We are not aware of any empirical studies which would lead to an assumption that CBC is a national leader in the supply or analysis of information, whether political or otherwise in the public interest. We are prepared to be corrected on this nevertheless.”

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Freedom Of The Press

Troublemakers in Barbados

UPDATED: June 1, 2012

With the firebombing of homes lately, we’ve put this article at the top for a day or two as Bajans consider what kind of a society we have, and what kind of a society we want. We at BFP do not count ourselves heroes in the grand scheme of things. There are some real Bajan heroes out there, and we honour a few of them in this post…

Where do the troublemakers go from here?

We have to take the next step. We have some ideas that we’ll share in the next few weeks, starting with this one: VOTE INDEPENDENT. Vote for anyone but a Bee or a Dee. We must disenfranchise the ones who for the past 20 years have lied to us and stolen our tax dollars. In truth, they stole our future. They are amateurs playing with other people’s money and consider it their right to skim off the top.

The next 10 years are going to be difficult ’bout hey, and if we’re a billion or two short with nothing to show for it, you can blame the BLP and the DLP.

Original post published October 19, 2011…

by BFP’s Anonymous Cowards

We at Barbados Free Press are anonymous cowards – and for good reason. We’ve seen what happens to the troublemakers on this small island who have the courage to stand up in public and criticize the political and business elites.

Death threats. Arson. Threats to pets and family members. Crops burned. Shots fired at a home. Cars keyed in the middle of the night. Jobs lost. Feces smeared on a business. Homes broken into. Home searched without warrant in the middle of the night. Woman arrested and vagina searched for a copy of the home rental contract. (Really!). Police question your child at school to pressure you.

Oh yeah, we’ve covered all these stories and more here at Barbados Free Press. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption