Daily Archives: March 12, 2007

Cuba and Citizen Journalism

As a simple follow-up to the previous article France Moves Towards Licencing Journalists, here is how the Cuban government deals with independent journalists.


Guillermo Fariñas is a Cuban independent journalist and a vocal crusader for free and unrestricted internet access in Cuba, including a 7 month long (!) hunger strike.

Fariñas told Reporters Without Borders: “I want all Cuban citizens to have the right to an Internet connection, but also for the independent press to be able to report on the government’s activities, and if I must be a martyr for Internet access, so be it.”

From: Reporters Without Borders


Hey folks,

We are still experiencing some troubles with the system today. Please rest assured, we are working on it.



Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

France Moves Towards Licencing Journalists

It should come as no surprise that we here at BFP see the rise of citizen journalism as one of the most powerful developments of the global information age. The ability to immediately disseminate information from the ground-up as opposed to waiting for it to filter downwards through the mechanisms of the elite is THE most important safeguard available to freedom and democracy. Facts are checked and rechecked. Corruptions are exposed. Those in power are held accountable.

France Moves To Outlaw Citizen Journalism

The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.   Read the full article here

The implementation by a western government of ‘journalistic licencing’ presents a direct threat to the freedom of its citizenry. The people’s greatest asset is their ability to freely publish and promulgate ideas and information. The tools of the information age have allowed us to do this on a scale never dreamed of before, and they must be protected. As one of us is fond of saying, “Freedom of the press belongs only to those who have one, and now we ALL have one.”

We missed this story when it was first reported, but thanks to reader Jose Marti for pointing us towards it.


Filed under Barbados, Blogging, News Media

Cricket World Cup Hotel Bookings A Disaster – DOWN From Last Year!

Barbados Hotels Were Supposed To Be So Full That The Government Hired Cruise Ships To Handle The Overflow!

Oh Oh!

The president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association has revealed that Barbados hotel bookings are DOWN when compared to last year. Alvin Jemmott told The Nation News that current hotel bookings are mid-60 percent, compared with the national yearly average of 69 percent.

So let me get this straight…

Without the Cricket World Cup, hotel bookings usually run at 69% capacity – like they did last year, but with the CWC hotel bookings are running 65% or so…

We are spending a gazillion* dollars to host Cricket World Cup – not to mention US$15 million to hire a cruise ship for the “hotel overflow” – and hotel occupancy is DOWN 5% from a regular year?

That isn’t “disappointing” or “falling short”

That is a disaster.

Hear that swishing in the air? It is the sound a falling sandbag that is going to smack Bajan taxpayers right in the head (and wallet) the day after the stadium empties for the final time.

* Gazillion

The figure of a “gazillion” dollars as the cost of hosting Cricket World Cup is as accurate as any costing figures released by government. Guaranteed!

From The Nation News…

Hotel Bookings Fall Short

BARBADOS still has available rooms for Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007.

With the official opening of CWC 2007 set for this evening in Jamaica, hotel bookings for Barbados are still below expectation.

This according to Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) president Alvin Jemmott, who said: “We were hoping for better accommodation [numbers] and they have not materialised.”

In fact, he pointed out during a recent interview with the SUNDAY SUN that bookings were slower than anticipated, and even slower than last year.

Jemmott noted that local hotel bookings were mid-60 per cent, compared with the 80 per cent officials were hoping for.

This also compares with the national yearly average for hotel bookings in Barbados, which stand at 69 per cent.

He cited two reasons for the shortfall, the first being the way games were scheduled…

… continue reading about this disaster at The Nation News (link here)


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

Karel McIntosh Talks About The Power Of Caribbean Blogs

The lovely (and intelligent!) Karel McIntosh has written a well thought-out article discussing the growing influence and power of Caribbean blogs …

Bloggers expect answers to questions, and real, two-way communication, not just spin. Noted Jamaican writer, Geoffrey Philp argues that blogging “challenges the elitism that pervades the Caribbean and is a great experiment in the democratisation of data”. According to Philp, blogging provides the kind of freedom that many gatekeepers – who want to control the flow of information throughout the Caribbean – detest and shun.

Read the entire article here: Social Media in the Caribbean : A Focus on Blogging



Filed under Barbados, Blogging, News Media