Daily Archives: April 6, 2008

Nation News Covers Up For Queen Elizabeth Hospital In Radioactive Iodine Scandal

Back on March 23, 2008, Barbados Free Press took exception to the Nation News coverage of an important health story: the Queen Elizabeth Hospital had run out of radioactive iodine used to treat cancer patients… and that Barbados cancer patients had been without treatment for several months. (Nation News March 23, 2008)

Our story Your Daily Dose Of Stories That Would Cause Heads To Roll In Most Other Countries… highlighted that the Nation News reporters had failed to demand that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital account for their statement that “technical difficulties” at the hospital caused the QEH to run out of the iodine. Doctors interviewed by the paper said that pure and simple, the hospital had not paid the bills to the suppliers and, naturally, the supplies stopped coming.

The was no outrage in the Nation News coverage, no demands of the Minister of Health or individual hospital board members to account – and worst of all they let the position of the hospital stand that nobody was really at fault.

Dozens of cancer victims were denied medicine for months and in true Bajan fashion, the Nation News participates in the sham that no individual is at fault.

Disgusting.

Now the Nation News continues with the cover-up and an idiotic statement by the hospital spokes person that it was just “a mix up”.

Months of no cancer treatment for citizens of Barbados. Will any deaths or long-term health complications result from this “mix-up”? The Nation News doesn’t care enough to ask that or any other probing questions.

No statement or investigation by the Minister of Health, and no reporters asking.

In the original Nation News story we were told that no medicine had been available for months. In the latest pablum, the paper says the problem lasted for “weeks” which is a LIE.

What really happened? What steps have been taken to ensure it never happens again? Who is at fault? Did any cancer patients die for lack of treatment? Will there be any long term deaths due to the “mix-up”?

A real newspaper with real journalists would be all over this story.

Welcome to Barbados.

Further Reading

April 6, 2008 – Nation News: QEH Patients Get Iodine After Mix-Up

March 23, 2008 – Nation News: Cancer Relief

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Health, News Media

Brass Tacks Radio Discussing Barbados Blogs – Carl Moore: “Barbados Journalism Has Been Floundering For Decades”

Journalist Ricky Singh… “The local media gave a free ride to the governing party…”

The Brass Tacks radio show is now over. Here are our notes written while listening to the show…

Listen in on Brass Tacks Right Now!

International listeners can hear the show at http://www.vob929.com

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Journalists Carl Moore, David Ellis, Ricky Singh, CBC’s Head of News Richard Cox, The Nation associate editor Eric Smith, Barbados Advocate journalist Nicholas Cox and others are discussing how blogs are ruining journalism!

Have a listen folks… they are hilarious!

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SINGH… some Barbados journalists play handsy-pansy with government politicians.

David Ellis for some reason isn’t mentioning the following…

Cowardly Voice Of Barbados Radio Promises To Never Again Ask How Politicians Become Overnight Millionaires

Poor Carl Moore and the boys are apoplectic that citizens with computers have a voice without gatekeepers. Whoaloss!

Carl Moore made a comment that the blogs are taking advertising revenues from the newspapers because the newspapers are losing public confidence. (paraphrase)

The journalists have not mentioned the words “Corruption in Government”.

Their whole discussion is a sham because they are dancing all around the real issues!

A citizen is taking them to task for their ignoring the ethics of Attorney General David Simmons becoming the Chief Justice. Ricky Singh is making excuses. Sounds pathetic.

David Ellis is picking up that Barbados journalism has dropped the ball on discussing the separation of powers in government.

Interesting that all these issues would not be discussed right now on the air without the blogs having raised them.

Ricky Singh now talking about journalists and “self-censorship”

12:30pm – Just before the news break, David Ellis says that he doesn’t want to discuss the blogs anymore, and when they return after the news they will talk about how technology is impacting the news.

That will be tough to do without discussing the blogs!

Here we are able to listen to, discuss and analyse their radio show and the traditional Barbados news media can’t respond until probably tomorrow.

So go ahead Mr. Singh and Mr. Ellis… discuss technology and news without discussing the blogs. Continue reading

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

The Amistad – When One Branch Of The Family Tree Used To Own The Other…

With the Amistad in town, a few of us who are café au lait (or “misto” for our loyal readers at Starbucks) might have a different perspective than some other folks… or maybe not. Everyone looks at the Amistad with their own eyes, but in our home the ship’s visit is a catalyst that makes us talk not only about the history of these fields, but about where we as individuals and as a family come from. Even one of our family who always says (or pretends to say) “skin colour don’t matter” finally admitted today that yes, skin colour still matters on this rock.

Not the way it used to, and not as some might think – but it still matters to some.

It is no secret that we have some relatives in New York, and when the girls get together whether in Bridgetown or Brooklyn, do you know what the sisters do first thing? Out come the arms and they put them side by side to see who’s lighter or darker on this visit. Little sister from NYC is always lighter in the winter, but darker in the summer because she works outside.

When they compare skin tones I always ask them why they do it. The answer is always an evasion or question about don’t I have something to do somewhere else – but they always do it first thing when they haven’t seen each other for a while.

I say “What does it matter?” and they laugh and say that it matters to them. Every time.

The sisters only do it when they’ve been apart for a while and only when they first meet. After the first meeting it doesn’t happen again on that trip.

And just like the girls getting together causes them to think about their skin tones, the visit of the Amistad causes us to think about some of the history and family connections that we might not have considered for some time.

I was mightily pleased to read Wendy Burke’s excellent article Drums Beat For Amistad in the Nation News, because she and some of the people she quotes see a purpose in the Amistad’s visit and mission that goes far beyond simply remembering the past. For the greatest value in the Amistad is not that it makes us examine the entire truth about the history of Atlantic slavery – although it does that well and so it should.

The greatest value in the Amistad is that it reminds us that this evil of slavery continues in many forms worldwide to this day.

When I see the Amistad, I think of the millions who remain enslaved in Mauritania, Côte d’Ivoire, Pakistan, Brazil and the gulags of China and North Korea.

Think of those wretched souls when you visit the Amistad, and then put a few extra dollars in the box so she can continue to fight like the warship that she really is.

*** Thanks to our friend Light Skinned-ed Girl for the photos of her great, great, great grandmothers on her mum and dad’s sides.

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Race, Slavery