You Can’t Get Much More Like Propaganda Than This, Folks!
The Government of Barbados – Barbados Tourism Authority took out a paid advertisement in the prestigious magazine, Foreign Affairs Journal, published by the Council on Foreign Relations. The feature piece on Barbados quite clearly states that it is a purchased advertisement, a “sponsored publication” – yet the second largest circulation newspaper in Barbados tells Bajans that this glowing article in a widely-respected upscale magazine is just regular journalism.
Foreign Affairs readers are well aware that this “feature” article on Barbados was purchased because it says so on every page in the article – but Bajans aren’t being told the truth by their trusted news media. Instead, Bajans are told that our economic prospects are bright because one of the most respected international journals says so!
In fact, Foreign Affairs Journal hasn’t mentioned the word “Barbados” in any article for over seven years – since a 2001 article on tax havens. So our government bought an article, and now it is being held up to the citizens as hope, progress and an independent outside indicator that Barbados has a bright economic future.
What rubbish. What lies. What government propaganda by a newspaper.
It seems that the paid feature in Foreign Affairs Journal had less to do with attracting upscale investors to Barbados than making the voters feel good about the Thompson Government’s performance and leadership.
Last April, Barbados contracted with Strategic Media services to run an underground campaign to create a “brand” out of our nation. That is all well and good – but it is unethical and deceitful for the government and the news media to hold up a government advertising campaign as “independent journalism”.
What rubbish. What lies. What government propaganda by a newspaper…
Here is the (pdf) paid article Foreign Affairs Journal: Barbados: A New Approach To Excellence
Here is the global media company that is running the advertising campaign: Strategic Media
Here is the article as published in the Barbados Advocate. Read it, then read the Foreign Affairs paid advertisement and tell us if you feel deceived and abused by the Barbados Advocate…
Barbados featured as an economic success
Web Posted – Tue Jul 15 2008
THE success story that Barbados is, has been given prominence in Foreign Affairs Journal, one of the prestigious American bi-monthly magazines.
The country which is noted for its economic and political stability, enabling infrastructure, its high living standards and one of the leading actors pushing for greater Caribbean integration, is featured in the publication under the banner “Barbados – A New Approach to Excellence”.
The human resource element, the attractiveness of the country as a tourist destination, and opportunities for the discerning investor, form the core of the assessment outlined by the magazine.
Tourism Minister, Richard Sealy speaks at length about the island’s tourism industry and how nationals in key markets where the majority of visitors to Barbados originate, can add to the growth of the tourism numbers in Barbados.
The magazine also highlights the opportunities Barbados offers investors.
The survey on the island which last January changed a government with little or no fuss, makes the point up front that human resources, traditionally the countrys most valued asset, could be enhanced in an exciting new approach to promoting the island.
It quoted Mr. Sealy, as explaining that rather than having a handful of individuals run a campaign strategy, “Barbados could tap into a vast human resource pool to promote the Caribbean island nation”.
In simple terms, the basic idea consisted of taking a page from the success formulas of social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace, and applying it to real life by engaging the extensive Barbadian Diaspora.
“By serving as personal ambassadors for their home country, Barbadians abroad are in an ideal position to pass the word about the beauty and attractiveness of Barbados within their own communities,” according to the publication.
“There are more Barbadians living outside of Barbados than here and many of them reside in the very countries from where we want to achieve better tourist arrivals,” the Minister was quoted as saying, with reference to the target markets of the East Coast of the USA, in Canada and in the UK.
“We want to leverage that resource much better. Tourism must be seen as being part and parcel of the whole national life and the national well being,” Sealy stated while noting they were serious about community tourism and want to see these examples become the rule and not the example.
“Many visitors equate Barbados with the word paradise,” said Foreign Affairs.
“For Sealy, this welcome association is not limited to tourism, but can be equally applied to the country’s financial services and investment climate,” it notes.
Travel and tourism in Barbados generated almost Bds$2 billion in revenue in 2007, having grown four per cent despite rising fuel and airline cost. Foreign Affairs Journal makes the point that this “is mostly due to the fact that Barbados attracts high-end clientele, a popular destination for the rich and the famous”.
Nevertheless, it went on, tourism provides employment, directly and indirectly, for 66 000 people, almost 50 per cent of the country’s population.
“The new Barbados,’ Sealy said, “will see exactly what we are saying right now: that we are making tourism everyone’s business”.
In the area of investment, the USA Magazine pointed out that there are many such opportunities for the discerning investor who wants to be associated with a quality destination.
One of the most recent is the Government’s call for an expansion and improvement of the island’s marina infrastructure.
This is in line with the country’s location in the Atlantic Ocean and being one of the first stops for yacht crossing the Atlantic.
Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. Marion Williams said that when investors set up businesses here they rely on a cadre of well trained professionals. She noted in the magazine that this highly skilled excellence equally extends into the area of accounting, finance and wealth management.
Read the original article online here