The Bajan news media is practically giddy about Matt Lauer broadcasting the Today Show from Sandy Lane – and why not? Who can complain about the excellent news media exposure in the American market?
Every little bit helps in this tough economy, but as usual we at BFP will make some observations and ask some questions that might make some of the folks at the Barbados Tourism Authority a bit uncomfortable…
First off, the Nation News report sounds as if the Today Show just dropped out of the sky and chose Barbados. That’s possible, I suppose, but more likely it took some work, lobbying and negotiation by the BTA and others to bring the show here.
And money. We, meaning Barbados, undoubtedly paid to have the show here. NBC had a production team on the island preparing for two weeks and it would be a good guess to say that they probably didn’t pay for their accommodation, meals or transportation on the island. Their air tickets were probably paid for too.
This was an expensive undertaking by the BTA and any thinking person probably realizes that. We’re not saying that it wasn’t a good use of promotional funds – it was probably a great use of promotional funds. Probably… depending on the cost – but we’d like to point out that Bajan citizens have no right to know how much it cost. Therefore, we can never make an informed judgment about the spending of public money.
And that’s the way the elites like it.
It is also difficult to assess the success of events like this. How do we know that the efforts yielded tourists or investors? It’s very difficult to quantify the success of such publicity, to put a cost on each new tourist that arrives as a result of this broadcast. But that’s life – especially on this island where there is no accountability or transparency by government agencies.
Once again, we’re not putting a downer on the effort – we’re just saying that the government treats us like mushrooms when there’s no need for it. (You know: kept in the dark and fed cow manure.)
Last but not least: How about that new Bajan flag seen by the entire USA. That is a “humdinger” as they say in Michigan. I wonder who gave the go ahead on that?
Maybe I’ll put in a freedom of information request to discover the cost of the flag and who designed and requested it for the Today Show.
Oops. Forgot… we have no Freedom of Information Act.
Oh well, what does it matter then how much was spent on anything because we can’t know the truth or do anything about it if we believed it was necessary?
Welcome to paradise, NBC folks. Enjoy!