Daily Archives: January 10, 2007

Welcome To The Sentinel: New Paper For Barbados – Eastern Caribbean

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Barbados Free Press Was Part Of The Marketing Study

From The Nation News…

A NEW WEEKLY NEWSPAPER, The Sentinel, will be launched here on Friday, January 19. Publisher Trevor Thorpe said the newspaper would focus on bringing background to the major stories of the week.

“It is an initiative of a number of Barbadians who have been living in the United States for many years who have an affiliation with the New York Times . . . . It will be more than your regular newspaper. We will also be bringing online news as it happens,” Thorpe said.

During a Press conference yesterday at Grand Barbados Hotel, Thorpe said the publication had no political affiliation and would concentrate on highlighting community news, technology news, lifestyle and sports, as well as regional and international news with special sections targeting young people.

He added that investors also planned to launch The Sentinel in most of the Eastern Caribbean islands. (Original Nation News article link here)

Good Luck To The Sentinel!

The establishment of a Barbados newspaper that intends to bring professional investigative reporting to the island is a bold and important venture that deserves the support of every Barbadian.

While the publishers and writers of The Sentinel still face the draconian libel laws that the Barbados elites keep in place to protect them while they feed at the Piggy Trough – this news organization has the potential to shake the establishment to it’s foundations. We understand that the investors are not without legal resources and that the paper will be pushing right up to the line whenever journalistic integrity calls for it.

Yes folks – in the developing mood of citizens’ disgust over piggy gorging and the lack of accountability, the Government of Barbados and other protected elites might not be as quick to pull the libel law trigger…

… because that gun is threatening to backfire.

The Mood Of The Country Is Changing

With each passing day, Barbados citizens are less willing to tolerate the continuing abuses of power by a government and a judiciary that seem to work in lockstep more often than not. The mood of the country is changing and this is no secret anywhere on the island.

The investors and publishers of The Sentinel are no fools: they are not publishing their new paper for the good of their health. This is a well-planned venture with an internet business model that promises to be profitable in short order. Barbados is hungry for a different sort of news reporting and The Sentinel intends to capitalize upon this.

The Sentinel’s Website Will Bring The News As It Happens

Although The Sentinel will initially be publishing a dead tree (paper) version only once a week, they will be a major daily presence on the internet from day one. The Sentinel intends to deliver news as it happens via their website – as opposed to the websites of The Nation and Barbados Advocate, which are for the most part online versions of yesterday’s paper.

We predict that The Sentinel’s website will attract major traffic (and thus advertising revenues) within a few days of it’s launch. Whether those visitor counts and advertising revenues continue is up to the publishers, editors and writers of The Sentinel.

A Little Birdie Tells Us…

Prior to the decision to launch their news organization, the publishers and investors of The Sentinel conducted an extensive market study to see how Barbados would accept their offering. Like we said, the investors aren’t starting their paper for the good of their health.

We understand that the results of that market study showed that if The Sentinel was to be just another Nation News or Barbados Advocate, it would fail. We also understand that the modest success of our amateur-run Barbados Free Press figured prominently in The Sentinel’s market study.

While we are delighted to have provided whatever small inspiration that we did, the folks at The Sentinel should remember (and probably do realize) that the Barbados Free Press is only a symptom of important changes that are taking place in the consciousness of Barbadians.

If the publishers and writers are true to their journalistic integrity and to Barbados, our citizens will embrace The Sentinel. If the paper becomes just another Nation or Advocate excuse-for-advertising rag, it will fail.

Good luck, folks!

Photo: Editor of the island’s latest newspaper The Sentinel, Trevor Thorpe (centre) talking about the publication. He is flanked by editorial board members Judy Maughan (left) and Cyril Bryan.

Photo courtesy of The Nation News. Fair trade for seeing our BMW story the other day and sending a reporter out to take similar photos to those published in The Barbados Free Press. 😉

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Filed under Barbados, News Media, Politics & Corruption