Guardian Editor Anthony Wilson threatens Barbados Free Press
The following column by Afra Raymond was spawned by events associated with two of our recent stories. On December 30, 2011, Barbados Free Press published Afra’s piece Did former T&T Finance Minister break her oath over CLICO insider trading?
After it all hit the fan between The Guardian and Afra Raymond, BFP published our January 4, 2012 post: Afra Raymond resigns from Trinidad & Tobago Guardian: Paper wants politicians to preview articles.
That resignation story brought T&T Guardian editor Anthony Wilson to BFP. Mr. Wilson was not a happy camper. It sure was unexpected to see a news media professional so upset by a little old blog like BFP to the point where Mr. Wilson threatened us with legal action.
Hey… we’re just telling it like it happened. I guess we expected some of that “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” stuff from Mr. Wilson. Wuhloss! What a disappointment.
Here’s Afra Raymond’s latest in the saga. Let ‘er rip, Afra!
by Afra Raymond
For those who are only now joining the story, this is a summary of what I feel are the vital issues here. My commentary column on the former Minister of Finance, Karen Nunez-Tesheira, was sent to her for comment by the Guardian’s Acting Editor-in-Chief, Anthony Wilson. That is a completely improper action, which is a breach of basic media ethics. When I challenged that action as being surprising and unprecedented, Wilson responded that “…It is by no means unprecedented territory…”. At which point I resigned as a Guardian columnist and this broad discussion started.
This is the opening paragraph of Anthony Wilson’s post on Judy Raymond’s FB page on Friday 6th January at 12.04pm –
“…In response to Mr Raymond’s comment, let me say that I have NEVER before sent any commentary to any politician or anyone else, apart from our attorneys, for pre-publication vetting. I say that without fear of contradiction and also state that that is NOT the newspaper’s policy or practice. (For Mr Raymond to pursue this point after this denial would simply be compounding the defamation.)…”
Quite apart from the unnecessary legal threats, since it was never my intention to defame anyone, we are now being told that this was a one-off decision to send my entire column for vetting.
Two questions arise –
Firstly – Why did Wilson seek to tell me, in relation to his decision, that “…It is by no means unprecedented territory…”?
Secondly, if we accept that his reversal is now the true state of things, there is another issue. Why was this exceptional consideration shown to the former Minister of Finance?
That is the ‘sole and only issue’.
The three alibis which Wilson has been using on the internet need to be set aside at once – Continue reading