Tag Archives: Barbados News & Media

Vogue, Daily Mail, New York Magazine and other major publications credit Barbados Free Press

Welcome to our thousands of new visitors from around the world!

Barbados Free Press has been mentioned or credited over the years in stories by CNN, BBC, Forbes, USA Today, New York Times and a host of other newspapers and broadcasters from as far away as India and Australia – which is about as far away as you can get from this rock. Sometimes a mention brings a few more visitors and sometimes a whole lot more visitors. Our best day ever was 44,087 visitors to the blog while our best month ever was 442,381 visitors during the short month of February 2010 – a month that brought a ‘perfect storm’ of news stories and mentions not likely to be repeated…

‘Not likely to be repeated’ … at least that’s what we thought until a few hours ago.

Today the Daily Mail, Mail Online, New York Magazine, Vogue and other major publications are crediting Barbados Free Press as the source for their stories. Our thanks to mainstream journalism for properly crediting BFP.

Daily Mail: What, no bikini? Caribbean cutie Rihanna bathes in a sundress as she becomes the official face of Barbados.

New York Magazine: Who Cares About Nivea When Rihanna’s Got Barbados?

British Vogue: Flying the Flag – Rihanna is Face of Barbados, Tourism Ambassador

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

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?

Marcus

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

The Nation: Barbados’ newspaper of lies and political agendas

The Nation lied: “the letter” was an unsigned draft only seen by a few

Long time readers at BFP know the contempt with which we hold The Nation, and indeed the entire Bajan oldstream news media. The Nation has always been the lapdog for the Barbados Labour Party (for the last 20 years anyway) while the Barbados Advocate crawls on its belly for the Democratic Labour Party. The public broadcaster CBC, of course, sways like a cane in the wind according to the master of the day.

No matter their political leanings though, all of the news media generally protect the political and business elites when and where possible. Some of this protection is because individual journalists are frightened of government retaliation. Fair enough. The former editor of the Barbados Advocate, Reudon Eversley, explained this fear when he said that Owen Arthur and his lot attacked and bullied the press into submission. See Evil as Hell.

But it was the Barbados Advocate that fired columnist Adrian Loveridge at the behest of the then Minister of Tourism – so the Barbados Advocate cannot claim the high ground without acknowledging that they traded their integrity for government advertising revenues.

Then there is the matter of the non-reporting and covering-up of news stories that would be front page if they happened in the UK or the USA. If a Cabinet Minister was shown to be living on land that his government expropriated from a private owner, that would be NEWS in the United Kingdom. If the Health Minister was involved in the online porn industry and made money from websites featuring pregnant teenage mothers or women having sex with horses, do you think the Canadian or US news media would ignore the story? They sure would! But not the Barbados news media.

If the management of a hundred million dollar government contract was shown to be involved in bribes in another country, that would be news, right? Not in Barbados – at least not until the blogs reported the story for almost two weeks and forced the news media to mention it.

So when The Nation falsely reported that eleven members of the DLP Government affixed their signatures to a letter to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, and published bits and pieces out of context to give their readers the impression that the letter was something it was not – that was a calculated move to further a political agenda.

To whom the benefit?

That’s easy: the beneficiary of the fuss was the lapdog Nation’s master, The Barbados Labour Party and Owen S. Arthur.

Here’s what DLP Member of Parliament Ronald Jones has to say about The Nation…

THE Nation Publishing Co., in its edition of the Sunday Sun on December 11, 2011, published an article which purportedly carried contents of a letter written to the Prime Minister. Continue reading

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

Barbados Advocate rants about CBC funding – but loves government advertising!

The motto of the Barbados News Media:

“Never bite the hand that feeds us”

OH the irony!

The current Barbados Advocate editorial Another sacred cow? makes some good points about the primary value of the CBC as an instrument of government propaganda.

Left unsaid though is that the Barbados Advocate itself loves to suck off the government teet when it comes to printing those full colour, full page adverts for the government. During the BLP reign, it was The Nation that was the main beneficiary of government gifts, now the Advocate benefits from the DLP government.

In return for that government advertising revenue the Barbados Advocate will not cover certain news stories and keeps a respectful posture on others. Even if their editorial is bluster it’s good to see The Barbados Advocate at least recognizing the blogosphere as an antidote for the news media being used for government propaganda…

“It is not to our certain knowledge either that the Opposition is any more averse to state ownership. After all, it should take nothing less than a Damascene conversion for a party which has occupied the seat of government for an equal part of those years, suddenly to become convinced of the benefits of privatisation of the island’s lone television station.

Of course, the 800 pound gorilla in the room which both sides of the political divide are careful not to notice is the perceived propaganda value of CBC; a perception that may indeed be more apparent than real in this era of the blogosphere, social networks, and streaming technology over the Internet. We are not aware of any empirical studies which would lead to an assumption that CBC is a national leader in the supply or analysis of information, whether political or otherwise in the public interest. We are prepared to be corrected on this nevertheless.”

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, 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?

ELLIS ASSOCIATES INC PROPOSAL TO HARLEQUIN HOTELS & RESORTS SUBMISSION DATE: DECEMBER 20, 2009

OVERVIEW

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

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press

Acting Prime Minister urges journalists to follow code of ethics. DLP Government refuses to pass code of ethics for politicians.

UPDATED: July 2, 2011

In consideration of the ongoing breaking news story that the Barbados Minister of Health Donville Inniss still has connections to the online pornography industry, we’re running this previous story in hopes that ethical members of the DLP government will chide the Barbados news media into covering the Donville Inniss news – and especially start asking questions about where the money went. Is it money laundering when a Barbados corporation receives money in Europe? Did the Barbados corporation declare and pay taxes on the entire Donville Inniss porn websites revenue stream?

Original story as first published May 22, 2011…

Do as the DLP says, but not as they do…

The Democratic Labour Party promised Barbadians that they would declare a code of ethics for elected and appointed government officials “immediately upon election”.

That was three and a half years ago.

The DLP also promised to introduce Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information within 100 days of election. What a joke at our expense.

Now Acting PM Ronald Jones has the audacity to lecture the Barbados news media on ethics and the purpose of journalism. Continue reading

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

Freedom of Information, Integrity Legislation “Died with David Thompson. It was his promise…”

“Integrity Legislation? Freedom of Information? All that died with David Thompson. It was his promise and his agenda. The economy must be the priority…”

… said at a DLP gathering as reported by NeverMind Kurt

DLP Strategy: Everything must stand aside for the economy

Nation Newspaper layoffs directly related to politics!

by Nevermind Kurt

The promised Integrity and Freedom of Information legislation is dead, dead, dead. The Democratic Labour Party’s only problem is how to delay the legislation until the next election without being seen to delay the legislation.

The answer is to elevate the economy to the number one priority and to convince Bajans that there is no time and no room right now to work on the promised Integrity Legislation and FOI. It’s all about the economy, you see. We’re in a crisis that is worldwide. “All hands on deck for the economy” is the strategy to delay FOI and Integrity Legislation until after the next election.

It almost sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Another strategy being talked about by DLP folks is to delay the FOI and Integrity Legislation until very close to the election, and then when the BLP Opposition says one word against it, call the election over the Integrity Legislation and FOI. Harley Henry and his friends are devious but no fools.

Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Should news media cooperate with the Barbados government to delay publishing news?

Barbados Free Press intends to print any news “embargoed” by the government.

by Nevermind Kurt

Last Saturday, November 6, 2010 in the wee hours of the morning, Barbados Free Press was the first to publish the news that gas, diesel and kerosene prices would be raised the following Sunday at midnight. (See BFP’s Breaking: Barbados gasoline, diesel, kerosene prices up Sunday night)

That story actually originated from the normal press releases posted on the internet at the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) media section on Friday, November 5, 2010 at about 6pm. (The composite image from the press release is above.)

Although the BGIS posted the story online in their press release section on Friday evening, they “Embargoed” the news for two days until “7pm Sunday November 7” – meaning that news outlets were requested by government to not carry the story until 7pm Sunday.

The regular Barbados news media obeyed the government and did not carry the news to the people until Sunday evening – even though Barbados Free Press printed the news very early Saturday morning.

I’d like to make some observations about this “special understanding” or “working relationship” between the ‘professional’ Barbados news media and the government that results in the news media intentionally withholding news from the public for days. Continue reading

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

Something going very wrong at The Nation newspaper?

The Nation Newspaper is at it again:

“The sophisticated radiance class cruise ship Jewel of the Seas made its inaugural visit to the Bridgetown Port today docked with approximately 21 000 guests and 850 crew.”

21,000 passengers ???!!!

That is more than 3 times the size of Oasis Of The Seas, the world’s biggest cruise liner!

… above sent in by a Barbados Free Press reader. (give thanks!)

Do the truth and accurate reporting matter to The Nation Newspaper?

Just one day after we caught The Nation Newspaper publishing a fake photo of Grantley Adams International Airport, the newspaper is now reporting that 21,000 cruise ship passengers arrived in Bridgetown on Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas. (Nation News article Jewel brings 21,000 cruisers)

21,000 passengers must have been a tight fit in the cabins because the designed capacity of the Jewel of the Seas is 2,520 passengers and 842 crew – a fact I confirmed online from a few sources including the website of ship builder: Meyer Werft

My research expenditure was a few keystrokes and about 60 seconds.

Could it be that the best journalists and hardest working staff of The Nation Newspaper…

… are now working together at Barbados Today?

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Filed under Barbados, Caribbean Media, Consumer Issues, Freedom Of The Press, News Media

Nation Newspaper publishes computer game screenshot as real photo of airport!

(click photo for large)

Welcome to Flight Simulator’s version of of Grantley Adams International Airport! (ROTFLMBAO)

Oh this is fun! Did someone at The Nation have a little too much to drink when the article Jetblue boss wants airport upgrade was published just after midnight Friday morning?

Not only did the editor not notice that the “photograph” of Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) is a screen capture of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator computer game, they captioned the, ah, ‘photo’ as “Grantlay Adams International Airport”. I haven’t seen the dead-tree version of the paper this morning, but someone should have a look to see if the computer game “photo” made it to print.

Don’t they have a real photo of GAIA in the files at The Nation?

The Nation probably has hundreds of GAIA photos, but when it’s late at night and you’ve had a rum or three, going into the files isn’t as easy as just stealing something off the internet.

And here’s the really good part: I found the website of the Swedish chap who created the screen shot published by The Nation. It looks like the newspaper just went to Anders Svensson’s website, ripped off his copyright-protected art and used it without attribution. Continue reading

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

Two ways of reporting Standard & Poors’ Barbados downgrade

Happy Face reporting continues to undermine credibility of Barbados news media

Nation News says Barbados S&P rating “Going down”

Wall Street Journal says “brink of junk”

Reading about the same subject in the Wall Street Journal and The Nation makes for an interesting comparison.

There’s always an agenda in the news, but can you always see it? Continue reading

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

Bajan Reporter website crashes due to high traffic!

The popular Barbados online news site The Bajan Reporter has been down for at least eight hours after 6,000 unique visitors in 12 hours caused the server to crash.

We have three thoughts for our friend Ian Bourne, who writes and runs The Bajan Reporter…

1/ Congratulations! Achieving an effective rate of 12,000 unique visitors per day is a big deal. If you could keep it up that would be over 4 million visitors per year. That’s huge numbers for a website focused on a population base of less than three hundred thousand people.

2/ Ian, in our opinion the continuing success and exponential growth of The Bajan Reporter is due to your chosen mix of topics, your writing skills and your extensive contacts. When something happens you probably hear about it long before many of the other journalists in Barbados.

and…

3/ Time to get a new hosting service with enough capacity to handle your increased traffic.

Big Question: Will Ian Bourne be covering the Arch Cot Inquest?

Only one newspaper mentioned the October 18th start of the inquest into the 2007 deaths of five members of the Codrington family – killed when their home collapsed into a known cave. In short, Barbados cannot rely upon the oldstream news media to provide complete and accurate coverage of this important inquest.

Ian Bourne could do the job… but will he?

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Caribbean Media, Freedom Of The Press, News Media

Newsday Disaster: The future of Barbados internet news?

Newsday, the 10th ranking newspaper in the USA in terms of circulation, spent US$4 million revamping its website last October before going to a pay format of $5 a week for full access. (Newsday.com)

So after three months, how many paid subscribers does Newsday’s website enjoy?

35

That’s right: “Thirty-five” – as in about a bus-load of people heading into the city – producing gross revenues of US$175 per week on an investment of US$4 million. (New York Observer – After 3 months only 35 subscriptions for Newsday’s website)

I’m not sure what that means when the kind of talent you can hire for $4 million dollars produces that kind of results. They probably thought they had it all figured out. Undoubtedly they produced the projected growth charts with the little circles, lines and arrows to convince the bosses to invest big money – but how could they blow it so badly?

Perhaps it means that the internet is still a crap shoot for news organisations.

What does it mean for newspapers in Barbados? I guess it means that in a small market like this island, newspapers can’t expect any direct revenue generation from their web presence – at least nothing worth talking about.

Maybe that’s why The Nation’s web presence has shrunk to a fraction of what it was only two years ago with the paper’s website displaying only a handful of articles compared to the printed dead tree edition. Maybe they don’t see the internet as being worth it. Google searches seldom if ever return Nation online articles anymore because the newspaper’s website is set up to block search engines.

Similarly the Barbados Advocate publishes only a few articles online. The .jpg photos of the entire newspaper don’t really count because they are structured to prevent indexing by search engines. This means that the two largest newspapers have for the most part abandoned representing our country to the world on the internet. They leave this task and responsibility to other websites and the blogs.

Once again, I don’t know what it all means, but it’s something to think about as we hear rumours of another newspaper being born in Barbados.

Further Reading

Talk about synchronicity… as I finished writing this article I was Googling “freedom of the press” and I came across an old BFP article about the media by Sungoddess… Sungoddess Says “Let The Traditional Media Die… No Longer Serves The Interests Of The Common Man…”

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

Lies of Omission: Barbados Advocate article IDB “$400 Million Boost” doesn’t once mention word “Loan” !!!!

FREE MONEY!!!!

Oh Gawd, this is freaking hilarious!

The #1 government mouthpiece, The Barbados Advocate, does an entire article about the recent Inter-American Development Bank loan of US$200 million to Barbados and doesn’t once mention that it is a loan to be repaid. A loan that plunges the country further in debt.

Listen friends: I’m not debating whether we need it, should have taken it, whether it will be accounted for or properly spent…

I’m talking about the freaking Barbados News Media going through all sorts of linguistic athletics to avoid mentioning that this is debt.

Read the Barbados Advocate article. This is FREE MONEY, maybe grants. That’s the impression.

Freaking liars.

Go to The Barbados Advocate and read it online (link here)

But in case they remove the article like they usually do when they are caught, here it is in full.

Freaking liars!!!! Continue reading

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