Barbadian Journalists Should Declare Their Junkets And Gifts Whenever They Write An Article About China Or Taiwan
There was a scandal in automotive journalism a few years back when it was discovered that supposedly independent reviewers of automobiles had long been receiving gifts and benefits from automotive manufacturers. While there were at the time no hard rules about where the lines should be drawn, it was a certainty that when an automotive reviewer was found to be “test driving” a new Ford for two years straight that he had stepped over the line. As I recall, his wife was permanently “test driving” a new Mustang too!
Similarly, when Chevrolet flew New York City journalists and their wives and children to Hawaii for a two week “test drive” of a new model in the middle of a brutal NYC winter, one could naturally assume that it would be difficult for the journalists to pan the product. Years later, journalistic integrity by auto reviewers is still a hot topic. (one story here)
Similarly, legitimate travel journalists are not allowed to accept free junkets and any editor who wants to retain their job in the industry had better be asking for the receipts that should accompany a travel review. Any exceptions are declared.
As the end-users of the news media become more savvy, the oldstream Barbados media will be called upon to pay more attention to issues of journalistic transparency, accountability and ethical reporting…
… and the oldstream media had better respond or they will make a mockery of themselves.
Barbadian Journalists On A Free Junket To China
According to the Barbados Advocate, “a delegation of Barbadian journalists who are on a familiarisation tour in China ahead of an official visit of the Prime Minister, David Thompson next month…”
Leading the delegation of journalists, again according to the Barbados Advocate, is “Principal Political Advisor to the Prime Minister, Hartley Henry…” (Barbados Advocate story here)
I am not foolish enough to believe that Barbadian journalists or their organisations are paying for this trip to China. Nor do I believe that the government of Barbados paid for our journalists to go to China – although even if they did it should be declared to readers.
Nope, I believe that the government of Communist China paid for the trip and that it is all part of their massive effort to purchase the loyalty of smaller governments and media organisations. To buy silence and blindness about China’s human rights violations.
It was no coincidence that each year on the June 4th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre the Barbados newspapers are always full of positive stories about China. As we said in our article Barbados Media Forgets Anniversary – China’s Tiananmen Square Massacre…
“The (June 4th) Barbados Advocate article fairly gushes with celebration over the ongoing Communist Chinese “grants”, construction funds, scholarships and training programmes that Barbados has received over the years. This time, the Communists are giving us another 2 million dollars for some unspecified purpose…. all for purely altruistic, unselfish reasons, of course.
So we find it convenient to not mention the anniversary of the Chinese Communist massacre of teenagers on the same weekend as we grovel for another big cheque and some other handouts.
Probably just a coincidence that the Chinese arrived with a cheque on the anniversary.”
Barbados Citizens Deserve To Know Which Journalists Received Chinese Gifts & Travel
It is all about transparency. When a financial journalist reports on a company in which he owns stock, he declares his holdings so the public can judge for themselves.
When a Barbados journalist writes about China or Taiwan, the readers should be made aware of any potential conflicts of interest by the journalist and that includes free travel and gifts from the People’s Republic of China. Travel and gifts should be declared up front and printed with the journalist’s article in the news media.
Let us hear what journalists Carl Moore, David Ellis, Ricky Singh, CBC’s Head of News Richard Cox, Nation News associate editor Eric Smith and Barbados Advocate journalist Nicholas Cox have to say about free junkets to China and whether the oldstream media should be making their readers and viewers aware of the gifts and benefits that they and their comrades receive from the Communist Chinese.