Daily Archives: March 3, 2008

Owen Arthur Thinks It Still Means Something When He Speaks


Ex-Prime Minister Stumbles Into Newspaper Office Because Reporters Don’t Come To Him Anymore*

My, my, my…. How things change.

See the photo of the former Prime Minister of Barbados above? He’s sitting in the offices of the Nation Newspaper begging to be heard. (And yes, our own Shona “enhanced” the photo a bit – but it does look so natural, doesn’t it!)

Now remind me, but wasn’t this the man who canceled all scheduled press conferences during his last few years in office?

Wasn’t this the man who insisted that his staff approve all photos?

Wasn’t this the man who would rail on a editors and journalists for printing contrary opinions? The man who killed freedom of the press in Barbados?

Wasn’t this the man who spiked a thousand news stories over the years – either directly or because the media was in such fear that they self-censored?

Down Angle Used

Savvy media watchers spot it right away: the Nation News used a “down angle” while photographing the former Prime Minister. It is all a subtle trick of perception and media technique, but it boils down to this: “up angles” are shot from below the subject’s face level (looking up at the subject) and are perceived by the viewer to show the subject as taller, more powerful, in control and with increased status.

You can also use an “up angle” to minimize height differences when you have a short person standing with tall people.

“Down angle” does just the opposite. When subjects are photographed from above their face level, it diminishes them in the viewer’s eye. They appear shorter, less powerful, less in control.

It is an old technique that probably goes way back to the birth of photography but first came to general public knowledge during the Kennedy vs. Nixon election. Nixon’s people complained that whenever possible the media used “up angle” on Kennedy and “down angle” on Nixon. Subsequent studies showed that Nixon’s people were right: the American press used “up angle” on Jack Kennedy almost two to one over Nixon.

The former Prime Minister knows all that, but he’s just not in a position to give those kind of orders any longer.

So he stumbled over to the offices of The Nation News – because he knew that they wouldn’t come to him anymore with such immediacy and interest.

Hey, Didn’t You Used To Be Owen Arthur?

What was that guy’s name again? Oh … o…

Oh yeah. Owen Arthur.

If you care, you can read what he told The Nation News in their article Warpath!

* Please note that the photo from the Nation News has been “enhanced” (some would say “corrected”) by our own Shona. Thanks, Love!


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