Category Archives: News Media

Who was charged for photographing their ballot? Who paid them: DLP or BLP?

Barbados Election Corruption

File under “Disappearing news stories in Barbados”

by passin thru

Early afternoon on February 21, 2013 – Election Day – the news media in Barbados was full of stories of vote buying triggered by the arrest of a voter for using a cell phone to photograph their marked ballot. The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation called their original story “Arrested for photographing ballot” but that’s the last we heard of the arrest from the news media.

We see all sorts of news stories and editorials criticising the concept of vote buying, but no specifics with names and details of the event. It looks like the powers that be are allowing general stories about the practice but no specific proof can be shown the public. That’s because it is bad for business if the party that bought the vote is revealed. What if it’s the guvment? Woaloss!

You can still see the original CBC news because Barbados Free Press copied it into their own story Cash for votes scandal in Barbados election: BLP, DLP… or both? Good move, BFP!

Voters take photos of their ballot so they can prove how they marked their “X” to the person who is paying them for voting a certain way. It’s a crime because it totally destroys democracy. Some of the election contests are so close that only a few votes purchased can make the difference. This time around one of our Members of Parliament was elected by a mere 10 votes over the rival. A few more close contests like that and a few more votes bought and the BLP would be forming the government now… or maybe the votes were bought and the DLP bought more?

You see how destructive it all is?

Vote buying is destructive not only because it corruptly changes the results of democratic elections, but because it undermines public confidence in the democratic system, in our government and ultimately in our country.

We know one thing: a voter was arrested – but we were never told their name!

Will this be another one of those disappearing news stories that Barbados is so famous for? Patriotic Bajans of all political colours cannot, must not, let this happen!

Who was charged for photographing their ballot? What is their name?

When do they appear in court?

When can Bajans hear the evidence against them?

This is much too important for Bajans to let the news and the political parties let this story fade away. We can’t depend upon the news media or the political class.

Bajans should demand to know the truth.

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

London Evening Standard fakes news photo of Hans and Eva Rausing in Barbados

Breaking original story: Please credit Barbados Free Press

London Evening Standard’s fake news photo!

News article: Barbados lifestyle is drugs, parties, polo, sex… and more drugs!

According to the London Evening Standard, our island home Barbados is nothing but a nest of wild parties, drugs and illicit sex that is somehow responsible for the death of Eva Rausing.

And then while writer Jane Mulkerrins expands little bits of information into a major story titled “Dark side of paradise… the death of Eva Rausing puts the spotlight on Barbados” the paper couldn’t find a photo of the Rausings in Barbados.

The motto of The London Evening Standard: “No photo? No problem! We’ll fake one!”

So they just PhotoShopped a picture of Hans and Eva and stuck it on a Barbados beach background.

Nowhere in the news article or on the photo does it indicate that this news photo is a fiction. It’s titled: “Tight circle: Hans and Eva Rausing as well as the Kemeneys and Kidds have houses on Barbados”

The real AP photo!

The real photo was taken by the Associated Press and shows the Rausings at Winfield House, London.

Hmmmmmmm…. I wonder what else London Evening Standard faked without telling its readers?

24 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, News Media

Police target citizen journalists

The above video makes some good points about how police in the USA are targeting citizen journalists with illegal arrest and even acts of unprovoked violence. Dangerous business for individual freedoms – great for a police state.

The irony of the video is that it is put together by RT TV – Russia Today Television – owned by the Russian Government, and it of course doesn’t mention how Mr. Putin and the other big-ups from the KGB have for almost a hundred years targeted and murdered journalists as casually as one would order a cup of coffee. Nice touch for RT TV to make the piece about US police while ignoring the KGB or whatever they are called today.

But, it’s still interesting and worthwhile viewing.

A further point found on RT TV’s Wikipedia entry: “The 2012 Russian Federal Budget allocated 11 billion rubles (US$334 million) to RT’s parent company ANO TV-Novosti.”

Also of interest: Media Roots: The Establishment vs. Citizen Journalism

Thanks to an old friend for suggesting this video.

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados News & Media, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, News Media, Police

Jdid lets fly at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

We meant to publish this article by our favourite snowbound Bajan, Jdid, but somehow it kept slipping down on the list. Better late than never…

“Wha kinda Chinee foolishness this is CBC showing tonight? Ya cann even undastan wha duh saying. Chupse!”

This has been bugging me for a while. Having been away from living in Barbados for so long, for me it’s always difficult to judge various bajan institutions without the added bias of my years living abroad somehow working its way into my analysis.

I can sometimes find myself criticizing stuff because its not like what I have grown accustomed to, living in a so-called first world country, which really isn’t fair to Barbados. So given that I know that I have a bias I usually keep most of my thoughts to myself and grit and bear it through terrible customer service or try not to comment on some of the convoluted bureaucratic situations I have found myself in in Barbados and just chalk it up to well this is how it is in Barbados.

However coming home at least once or so every year or two over the past 20 years (and recently I think I’ve made about 7 trips in 3 ½ years now) and watching a certain institution deteriorate I believe in all honesty and without bias I can say that the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) TV 8 station is absolutely terrible…

… keep reading CBC Barbados at Jdid’s Doan Mind Me blog.

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Filed under Barbados, News Media

Cowardly Barbados Advocate fires another journalist to please a politician

Rawle Titus fired from Grenada Advocate

When Tourism Minister Noel Lynch threatened to withdraw all government advertising from the Barbados Advocate unless the paper fired columnist Adrian Loveridge, the editor and senior management said “Yes, Massa – whatever you want Massa” and dumped Loveridge.

Now those cowards at Fontabelle are at it again…

Grenada, Barbados: The Fallout over Journalist’s Firing

by Matthew Hunte

As another regional journalist pays the price for standing by his story, bloggers are wondering about the state of press freedom in the Caribbean. Rawle Titus -veteran journalist and president of the Media Workers Association of Grenada since 2008- was dismissed from his post as editor of the Grenada Advocate after he refused to retract or apologize for a front-page story in the March 9th edition of the newspaper headlined “Prime Minister Makes Fresh Moves.” (The Grenada Advocate is owned and published by the Advocate Publishers (2000) Inc, based in Fontabelle, St. Michael, Barbados.)

According to the story, leader of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Prime Minister of Grenada, Tillman Thomas, held a caucus where candidates for the upcoming elections were selected, without informing senior members of the now fractious party.

Government press secretary (and former journalist) Richard Simon wrote to the management in Barbados twice, seeking a retraction for what were deemed to be inaccuracies. After the 2nd letter, Titus was dismissed by General Manager Sandra Clarke, effective March 30th, 2012.

According to the MWAG, the Advocate was pressured into firing Titus and added:

We have growing concerns about increasing incidents that will suggest that those guarantees are coming under attack. This latest incident follows a series of other developments we have been monitoring in the past.

… continue reading this post at GlobalVoices: Grenada, Barbados: The Fallout over Journalist’s Firing

Hat tip to journalist Gerard Best for the video of Rawle Titus

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

Trinidad: Police storm newspaper offices, journalist’s home

Snapshots from the battle for press freedom

Police seize Andre Bagoo’s computers, phones, flash drives

Nine police officers raided the Newsday offices and journalist Andre Bagoo’s home on Wednesday – seizing at least four computers, two mobile phones and several external storage drives. The police say they are looking for evidence of Bagoo’s sources for his December 20, 2011 story about the row between Integrity chairman Ken Gordon and deputy chairman Gladys Gafoor.

Of course, now that the police have EVERYTHING on Bagoo’s computers they will have a look at EVERYTHING, won’t they? Emails, love letters, shopping lists, contacts list, financial records, photos, sources for every story Bagoo has ever written – little things like that.

The latest attack in the Trinidad police campaign to muzzle a free press comes two months after a similar raid on TV6 last December.

The lesson is that if the Trinidad news media won’t self regulate (as the Guardian did causing journalist Afra Raymond to resign in disgust) then the Trinidad & Tobago police will teach the Trini press to know their place.

We’ve had our own problems here in Barbados with the police strong-arming journalists, seizing their cameras and arresting journalists for photographing accident scenes and corrupt police officers. As a society we must be vigilant and aggressive about preserving the independence and freedom of the press. History has too many examples of what happens when citizens drop their guard.

Photo courtesy of Newsday: Journalist Andre Bagoo, centre in white shirt, surrounded by officers of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau (ACIB) as they search his computer in an attempt to get him to reveal the source of information in a report he wrote on the Integrity Commission.

Further Reading

Newsday Statement

Newsday:  Shame!

Newsday: Newsday raid shocks AG

Trinidad Express: Police storm ‘Newsday’ offices in PoS

Trinidad Express: Cops want interviews with CCN directors

Trinidad Express: Newspaper stands by journalist not to reveal sources

Guardian: Tribunal to probe Gafoor

Newsday Statement, February 10, 2012

NEWSDAY condemns in the strongest possible language, yesterday’s raid by officers of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau (ACIB) on our Newsroom at 23A Chacon Street, Port- of-Spain and at the private residence in Belmont of this newspaper’s senior investigative parliamentary and political reporter, Andre Bagoo.

The police officers led by Senior Superintendent Solomon Koon Koon, executed a warrant and searched Mr Bagoo’s desk in our newsroom, went through his office computer, all documents on his desk, including parliamentary papers and other information used in the course of his duties.

After two hours they left our Chacon Street newsroom, taking with them two flash drives, one Newsday cellphone issued to Mr Bagoo, his personal cellphone and Newsday’s computer hard drive on which Mr Bagoo has stored confidential information relating to his duties. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Caribbean Media, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, News Media, Police, Trinidad and Tobago

The Guardian affair: a breach of basic media ethics

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!

Media Integrity

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

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Trinidad and Tobago