Tag Archives: Barbados Journalism

Bajan Reporter oversteps criticism of Barbados news media

Journalist Ian Bourne

Journalist Ian Bourne of the Bajan Reporter breaks many news stories and covers subjects and perspectives that the old school news media can’t or won’t touch. He’s been inside the professional news industry and knows about the agendas, ethical trade-offs and outright prostitution of the Barbados news media to the political and monied elites.

Ian has been severely handled by news media employers when he refused to look the other way about unethical activities. It takes integrity, courage and dedication to stand for something when you know it will cost you your job. All respect to Ian.

So Ian has the knowledge and the right to criticize the Bajan news media – but this time we’re wondering if he’s off the mark a bit. Not entirely off the mark as you’ll see, but stretching it.

In the Bajan Reporter’s new article Elements of Barbados Media seek to muzzle Bajan Reporter; other segments use story without Permission Mr. Bourne is upset that he asked the Prime Minister a question at a press conference, and other journalists and media used the PM’s answer without attributing the question to Ian and the Bajan Reporter.

I’m not a professional journalist, never claimed to be, but I can’t remember ever reading a CNN, CBC or BBC story where it mentioned something like “President Obama answered a question by a rival news network reporter and said…” In other words, BBC doesn’t say “CNN asked a question and we’re reporting the answer given by the President.”

So Ian is off the mark in thinking that the Barbados Advocate and the Nation should say which rival reporter asked the question. That’s what I think.

Justified criticism of the Barbados oldstream news media

Ian’s latest article makes many good points about the oldstream news media stealing his stories, quotes and ideas (and they do that all the time!). He also makes a good point that the regular news media tries to squeeze out Bajan Reporter and other independents at press conferences.

He’s off the mark though when he says the news media should be crediting him for asking a question where the answer is heard by everyone attending a press conference.

Professional journalists – please tell us about the rules and typical practice…

Should The Nation and the Barbados Advocate have told their readers that Prime Minister Stuart was responding to a question from Ian Bourne of Bajan Reporter?



Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press

Conan O’Brien, David Ellis, Harlequin Hotels – About manufacturing public perceptions for secret payments

Bajan Journalist David Ellis took secret payments from Harlequin

Once again former CBC news anchor Ian Bourne (photo right) is slamming the news media – this time for manufacturing public perceptions. We at BFP publicly disagree with Bourne on many issues but we’ll have to agree with his post Late Night Talk Show Host Conan O’Brien exposes ‘canned news’ media – for it is all “canned”. (The video Ian links to is well worth your time. We laughed at first… then we became angry.)

We’ve never for a moment doubted Ian’s integrity to bringing the truth as he sees it to the public. The “as he sees it” is important because Ian makes no pretense: what he reports is reported as coming to you from Ian Bourne and the Bajan Reporter.

Right or wrong, wild or conservative… or unsure – it’s likely that Bourne will let you know the credibility of his sources, how sure he is of what he is reporting and most important: what is opinion and what is fact backed by research and sources. He might report something even if the sources are weak, but he’ll let you know that the sources are weak.

What more can we ask from our news reporters?

We at BFP have said time and time again – “Don’t believe a word we say. Do your own research. Test us. Confront us. Check our sources and the facts where you can and where you can’t – express doubt about our reporting, our motives, our sources.”

You see, we’re not the CBC, ABC, NBC, BBC or CNN. We encourage our readers to call us liars, well-meaning idiots or fools. We want folks to think for themselves. Quite often we are so wrong about something and our readers slap us upside the head and publicly call us out. We let those comments stand, for as we’ve said from day one: this isn’t our blog… Barbados Free Press is owned by the readers.

We have our agendas and we wear them on our sleeves: Integrity Legislation, expose corruption, do what we can for the environment, empower the ordinary Bajan to speak the truth without fear. Ridicule the corrupt and the elites who forgot the ordinary Bajan. Preserve individual freedoms and rights. Resist fascism in all forms. Get pissed on Friday afternoon and laid on Saturday night.

And we tell our readers to question us, our sources, our motives, our agendas, our writings and opinions.

That’s what BFP is all about. We have no credibility. We’re anonymous for God’s sake! But if we had public credibility as real journalists, as a real news outlet, and we sought to capitalize on that credibility and took secret payments… what then?

Ian Bourne and BFP: Fans of David Ellis

Let it be known that Ian Bourne is a fan of Bajan journalist David Ellis (Photo left). That is obvious from the article at Bajan Reporter Barbados lacks proper teeth to prevent future Madoff’s. We at Barbados Free Press are also fans of Davie Ellis. We’ve supported Mr. Ellis publicly on many occasions.

But we’ve come across something that causes us some concern. It appears that David Ellis was taking money from Harlequin to spin the news in Harlequin’s favour at the same time that he was broadcasting news to the public.

Secret money…

Folks: if I run a radio station and I do commercials for Toyota automobiles or KFC, my listeners know that when I do car reviews or say I like KFC fried chicken (and I do!) that Toyota and KFC cut cheques to me every month. That’s okay if folks know about that.

But Harlequin Hotels paid David Ellis to spin the news and we didn’t know about those secret payments. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that.

What say all?



Harlequin Hotels and Resorts is a new company embarking on an ambitious programme of resort development at a time of deep economic recession in the UK and other of the source markets for tourism in Barbados and the Caribbean. It is therefore presented with a task of presenting itself as a viable and credible entity in an environment of some doubt about the capacity of previous firms to complete projects in Barbados because of the inability to access credit.

ELLIS ASSOCIATES INC. proposes to assist in minimizing these risks and enhancing the Harlequin image in Barbados and the wider Caribbean market. The immediate requirement is to create an environment that’s receptive to the establishment of its proposed resort at Merricks in St. Phillip, and to demonstrate that it has the capability to deliver across the Caribbean region in a timely and efficient manner. The key messages ought to be Harlequin’s contribution to job creation, its impact on the generating of foreign exchange and its role as a good corporate citizen and partner in the community. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press

China gives Barbados journalists “Hard-to-resist treats, free trips, all expenses paid… and flattery”

To The Nation, Barbados Advocate, Barbados Today: How much of your content is paid for by China?

As part of its efforts to influence global opinion about China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gives hard-to-resist treats to media workers in the Caribbean. In exchange for its generosity, the CCP hopes to get coverage of China in line with its propaganda.

“Interviews with participants indicate that success has been mixed, but that certain basic propaganda goals were achieved.”

Since around 2007, journalists and editors from these small island nations are fêted with official tours to China where they are greeted and banqueted, given tours and lectures, and patiently educated on the “peculiar characteristics” of modern China’s political and social system.

They are taught that China is a multi-party state, not a one-party dictatorship; that the current regime is authentically Chinese, rather than a foreign import; that the domestic media are very patriotic, not that they are state-controlled; and that the CCP is doing its utmost to distribute the country’s wealth in the most equitable fashion, not that it is rife with corruption. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Did Owen Arthur move on Mottley because PM Thompson was about to die?

The Nation covered up their own reporter’s question

“On the evening of October 18th at BLP’s HQ in Roebuck St, a reporter from the Daily Nation posed a very interesting question to newly-blooded Opposition Leader Owen Arthur of the BLP…

If then Prime Minister David Thompson was not in a severe state of illness, would Arthur and the other 4 BLP MP’s have decided that now is a good chance to change who is holding Opposition Leader post? (Prime Minister Thompson died just 5 days after the making of this video…)”

Read the whole story and see the video of Owen Arthur’s reply at The Bajan Reporter story: Nation Newspaper of Barbados ignores crucial query from their own staffer to new Opposition Leader, Owen Arthur – WHY?


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

Idiots at Nation Newspaper still publishing computer game image as real photo

The next time The Nation talks about professional journalism, show the editor this article

Once again the professional editors and journalists at The Nation published a screen shot of a computer game as a real photo to illustrate a story about Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport. (Nation News: Cheaper GAIA)

Not only that, the Nation stole the copyrighted photo from a Swedish website and is using it without owner’s permission. We mentioned The Nation’s previous use of the same photo in our article Nation Newspaper publishes computer game screenshot as real photo of airport!

Come on guys! Send the kid out to the airport to take a few shots and use those as your file photos. The Nation really hasn’t been the same since a group of core staff quit and went to Barbados Today. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, News Media

Nicholas Cox asks “Where’s the professionalism?” but leaves out his own profession

In his latest column at the Barbados Advocate, Mr. Cox is aghast (and rightly so) that Barbados police officers, lawyers, and bus drivers – people we should be able to depend on to do the right thing – are being hauled before the courts for wrongdoing up to and including rape, kidnapping, major thefts and driving in a dangerous manner.

His article “Where’s the professionalism?” is a worthy read and he makes many good points.

But except as an afterthought Mr. Cox leaves out his own profession of journalism, so we’ll have to ask all the Barbados journalists… not “Where’s the professionalism?” but…

Where’s the investigative journalism?

Can someone list for me the last three pieces of true investigative journalism in Barbados? Didn’t think so!

Where’s the professionalism?

10/20/2009 By Nicholas Cox

Police officers being hauled before the courts for crimes like kidnapping and rape; a Transport Board bus driver facing charges for driving in a manner that was dangerous to the public; an attorney-at-law facing jail time for allegedly defrauding a client.

These are all worrying examples of the lack of professionalism that is becoming more common in Barbados. It seems that very few people take pride in a job well done. This is frustrating in every day situations, but apathy at work becomes especially concerning when innocent lives are at stake.

The expected response to this type of criticism will be that the type of behaviour mentioned above is not representative of people working in any profession, but yet another example of a few bad apples spoiling the bunch. However, it appears that the rot is well underway…

… continue reading at the Barbados Advocate Where’s the professionalism?


Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, News Media

CBC Employee writes about Richard Cox

Richard Cox was a tough man who, over the past forty years in Journalism, caused many admirers and detractors to come to light both here and overseas.

As a young Journalist he was sharp, fearless and brazen and one remembers well when challenged by one of his “bosses” to desist from “drinking on the job” his retort (“Why should you tell me stop drinking … does anybody tell you stop bulling?”) landed him a suspension from work.

For 22 of the last 40 years he ingratiated himself into a metro pole country, acquiring many of the trappings associated with first world living; however, on return to his native land he seemed to have found difficulty maintaining a balance between a lifestyle and work style more akin to living in a metropolis with that of a third world developing nation which calls for leadership by example rather than by decree.

He was never afraid to function in any capacity and this was may be brooked on his oft used expression: “This is not rocket science … this is easy … if I can do it you can do it too.” On closer examination, though, he often opted out of the challenge of performing in such capacities for any given length of time and so measurement of his capabilities may be skewed if one uses the criteria of “consistently good performances” but an accurate performance appraised would always speak well of his capability based on singular achievements derived from one time performances.

Against this background, Mr. Cox held two very personal and interesting opinions –  (1) He thought that he needed few friends in life and in fact he held the belief that if one really needed a friend he should get a dog and (2) he also held firm to advice given to him by his doctor in Canada that one should stay away from stressful situations in life.

He was very well read and in the absence of any children of his own he was wont to pass on much of this knowledge to those with whom he came into relatively close contact or those willing to engage him in argument; and he love an argument.

Of late, however, he was often accused of “unfair intellectual tactics” of introducing false facts coupled with “personal exploits” which could not be challenged before retreating to what he considered to be his “lair” at work to prepare for the next mental battle.

Richard Cox enjoyed being seen as a mentor for young people but equally enjoyed having it recognized that he also possessed the power to “pull the rug from under your feet” and I think it’s safe to say this demonstration of power and authority encouraged those who wanted to get ahead quickly “to carry to him tales which should have stayed at school.”

The late dreamer should be considered as “a work in progress on which time has elapsed on a malfunctioning clock.”


Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Freedom Of The Press