“The government and police long ago lost any respect for, or fear of, the Barbados media.”
Barbados Police Officers Use Violence If Reporters Don’t Show Instant Obedience – A Legacy Of The Press Always Saying “Yes, Massa”
For at least a decade the Nation News and other Barbados media have bowed down to the government – ignoring well-proven stories of political corruption, censoring letters to the editor to remove facts and soften the impact, selectively covering stories to show the government in a better light, providing questions in advance and agreeing to restrict areas of enquiry during the few live “on air” interviews of government or police officials. When police or government demanded that a story be ignored or facts withheld, the editors were only too willing to say “Yes Massa”.
Whether this was done because of cowardness, laziness, a desire not to jeopardise revenues from government advertising – or a combination of factors, the net effect has been a weakening of freedom of the press and democracy in Barbados – and part of the blame lies with the Barbados media itself.
The government and police long ago lost any respect for, or fear of, the Barbados media. Likewise, even the ordinary citizens long ago lost faith in the Nation News as a defender of citizens’ rights and democracy or as a source for unbiased truth in reporting.
On Friday, May 25, 2007, three respected Barbados journalists were roughed up by police thugs as they were covering a story at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. As BFP said at the time…
“The police physical attack on the three journalists perfectly reflected the government’s policy and attitude towards a free Barbados news media. The government has long provided the example and leadership in this area. The police were merely following the government’s example.”
Barbados Bus Accident – Police Assault Journalists, Take Camera, Phone, Delete Photos
In the latest incident of assault, thugs from the Royal Barbados Police Force assaulted two Nation News journalists at the scene of the bus accident. According to a story in the Nation News, Senior Superintendent Leonard Broomes told reporter Rawle Culbard that he “could not take pictures of the scene” even though he was not within any cordoned off area.
Senior Police THUG Broomes and his henchmen then forcibly yanked the camera from Mr. Culbard’s neck and deleted the photos. Senior Police THUG Broomes then used force to take the cell phone from another Nation News staffer to erase any photos taken by the phone.
That, my friends, is assault by any definition.
What Law Did These Police Thugs Think They Were Enforcing When They Assaulted Journalists and Deleted Photos?
Once again, our police officers show that they and their political masters have no respect for the rule of law or citizens’ rights.
What is not prohibited by law is permitted by law, but taking a page from the government – the police hold themselves to be the law. Whatever an officer declares at the time is the law on Barbados – citizens’ rights and freedom of the press be damned.
Just listen to the contempt that the Senior Superintendent has for citizens, journalists and the rule of law. How confident the police thug is of the outcome of any complaint! How secure he is in the certainty that the police can do as they please in Barbados without having to worry about little things like “the law”…
“When I asked his name, (Police Superintendent) Broomes said to me that ‘you all always asking for names as if something will come out of it’.
… Nation News journalist Rawle Culbard describing what Police Senior Superintendent Broomes said after assaulting him.
Cowardly Yellow-Backed Nation News Refuses To File Criminal Assault Charges Against Police
What is the reaction of The Nation News to this latest assault by police?
Oh… They filed a COMPLAINT with the police!
Well, that should take care of everything.
Is Vivian-Anne Gittens, the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of The Nation News, cowardly, stupid or a little of both?
This is yet another clear case of assault against journalists by police thugs. It is time that criminal charges were laid against at least Senior Superintendent Broomes who was clearly operating outside the law and with total contempt for citizens’ rights and freedom of the press. Without sanctions against these police thugs, we can only expect things to get much worse.
If the publisher of The Nation News hasn’t the courage or integrity to stand up for her journalists then the concept of freedom of the press in Barbados is well and truly dead in the old media.
The Nation News: Photographer’s Pictures Deleted
Notes From The Margin: Joe’s River Tragedy – Nation Files A Complaint With Police