Local Media Houses Can Do Better Opines Retired UK Journalist

al Austin, retired journalist

Hal Austin, retired journalist

The following is a response to  BU question by retired journalist Hal Austin formerly of the UK Financial Times –Do you have a view on the role a local newspaper should play as far as community journalism s concerned? Is local media filling that role? Barbados Underground was motivated to ask the question because for the most part local media houses are news takers and lack the strategic management to Centres of Excellence in the community they serve – Barbados Underground

David, There is a clear role for local newspapers, to inform local readers, and articulate their concerns and to publish stories that bind the community together.

This may range from reports of the local school fete to how the member of parliament is doing, to fires, crimes and crises at the local hospital. The local paper is the eyes, ears and mouth of the community. In bigger societies, they are not, and cannot pretend to be, national newspapers.

If by your question you imply local newspapers in Barbados, I say no. Even though I hate criticising hard-working journalists, I dismiss the Advocate as a poor imitation of what it was years ago; the Nation I believe can be vastly improved, plus it has a political agenda, or at least reads like it (what we call news bias); and it does not fully understand the craft of producing news.

One online publication, which is meant to be a newspaper, leaves the same story on the home page for weeks. They seem not to understand the trade they are in – that they are in NEWS reporting. There is nothing new about a stale old story.

Then of course you sometimes get three or four stories on the same subject illustrated with the same picture. That shows lack of creative thinking. Then again, they all fall in to a consensual interpretation of events, because they all share the same or similar backgrounds. Just look at how often they report nonsense from Donville Inniss or Owen Arthur. In Britain, for example, the Daily Mail is a different beast to the Guardian.

Then local newspaper editors must learn to pay their contributors; you get what you pay for. If you want citizen journalists, you cannot complain if you get citizen journalism.

Finally, in local terms, there is a lack of training and it shows, from ‘balance’ when writing stories to digging out stories that fit the old doctrine: if a dog bites a man, it is not a story; but if a man bites a dog, it is a story.

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33 Comments on “Local Media Houses Can Do Better Opines Retired UK Journalist”

  1. David February 14, 2017 at 4:28 AM #

    @Hal

    Are you suggesting when those dogs mauled the old woman to death that it was not news?

    https://barbadosunderground.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/beware-of-the-dog/

    Like

  2. Hal Austin February 14, 2017 at 4:47 AM #

    No David. It should not be interpreted literally. In that case, as I have said before, there is a prima facie case of negligent manslaughter and the dog’s owner should be charged. Man bites dog means the unusual is a story, but dog bites man means it must be unusual to be a story.
    In other words, a Barbadian politicians being incompetent is not a story, but a competent politician is, because it is so unusual.

    Like

  3. pieceuhderockyeahright February 14, 2017 at 4:58 AM #

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    No. What Mr Austin is suggest is that these media house like reporting what is in the grand theme of things what is normal

    @ Mr Austin

    After a while, the lacklustre the mundane the bland and the superlatively unspectacular has become the norm at these papers

    Content cannot be driven by persons lacking any substantive knowledge of anything and then you have the dog muzzles who comprise editors like Carl Moore and the de facto owners the lawyers or Extra Alleyne the former absconder with client funds back in the day. Remembrance

    Like

  4. pieceuhderockyeahright February 14, 2017 at 5:00 AM #

    ** have become not has become

    Like

  5. David February 14, 2017 at 5:11 AM #

    @Hal and PUDRYR

    Thanks, it was a provocative question.

    Like

  6. Well Well & Consequences February 14, 2017 at 7:18 AM #

    “One online publication, which is meant to be a newspaper, leaves the same story on the home page for weeks. They seem not to understand the trade they are in – that they are in NEWS reporting. There is nothing new about a stale old story.”

    That one needs to realize that stale news is no news and political bias on his part cannot even begin to describe what he really does…since it’s integral to his maintaining the corruption levels on the island for personal gain. So it’s safe to say that even after 2 decades he still does not understand that the first trade he is in, insurance, is supposed to pay out money. There should be then no surprise that he does not understand that newspapers, journals, etc…should be updated daily in their entirety, at least that is what happens in the real world.

    But a little bird said to me recently that because of his first business interest that victimizes injured people, letters are being prepared with information to every regional government to warn them of his current nasty activities in Barbados and particularly to the smaller islands like Nevis etc where he is planning to do business, of his penchant for victimizing not only the injured, but anyone particularly policyholders. I am more than happy to share this information and will share more as it becomes available.

    Now if there were any newspapers and journalists and government ministers with backbone on the island, it would not now reach this level of karmic payback.

    There should be no libel laws in place that are so backward that they muzzle journalists and prevent them from doing their jobs.

    Maybe when it happens, he can report it in his stale news online newspaper. He sure as hell wont be able to sue those doing their civic duty for any libel though, not how it’s being done. Apparently, I am told, he has an ultimatum that he knows nothing about..lol

    Hal…it’s tiresome, but just like everything else on the island, no one understands or care to understand the roles they are supposed to play to keep the country or anything else transitioning smoothly.

    Until they do, there will be incessant complaints, which should really be incessant exposures.

    Like

  7. Alvin Cummins February 14, 2017 at 8:55 AM #

    David and Hal,
    A newspaper is as good as its contributors. Persons who cover the news, and persons who comment will have their obvious biases and differences of opinion. A newspaper is as good as its reporters, and will obviously be a mirror of the society. Today there is less attention being paid to news papers, because the social media have taken over. The days when persons were motivated to act on a story in a newspaper, are over. If it is on social media, it reaches more people and becomes a greater motivator.Trump (Bannon)knows this and that is why he uses Twitter so much, and gets so much attention.

    Like

  8. Violet C Beckles CUP February 14, 2017 at 8:57 AM #

    Local Media is on the payroll of DBLP Government no long story needed, check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Alvin Cummins February 14, 2017 at 8:59 AM #

    Hal,
    to reinforce my point, every day I can get information on my What’s App, complete with photographs, immediately, long before a newspaper reporter gets it. And it can be disseminated to a greater number of people in the same time.

    Like

  10. millertheanunnaki February 14, 2017 at 9:52 AM #

    @ Alvin CumminsFebruary 14, 2017 at 8:59 AM
    “…to reinforce my point, every day I can get information on my What’s App, complete with photographs, immediately, long before a newspaper reporter gets it. And it can be disseminated to a greater number of people in the same time.”

    So how come you have not yet received the “news” that the Guv of the CB who has been unceremoniously fired under the most despicable conditions is about to spill his guts about the lies and deceit perpetrated by the pathological liars in your dear loving party?

    After all A C, this is the man whom you described as the greatest economist in the World for putting the IMF chief in her place.

    As a man of similar disposition, just look into the bulging eyes of the man at the centre of the ongoing bedlam and tell us what you see if not the villainous Quixotic reflection of a raging madman.

    Now why would a septuagenarian so much despised by his work colleagues and ‘dismissed’ by his BoD be so actively enthused to remain in a job which he has failed so miserably at?
    What is he so keen to cover up? Is it the hiding place of the missing $300 million in foreign reserves?

    Is this treatment of total discard and abject disgrace the Guv’s termination package encased in a gratuity payment as his hubristic reward for being a faithful servant to Dolus?

    “Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat”.( Those whom God wishes to destroy he first drives mad.”)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. sidboyce February 14, 2017 at 10:02 AM #

    Holding the UK press up as an example, with the exception of the Guardian and the Independent (if it still exists), is like comparing a nearly rotten apple to a totally rotten one.

    Despite the wrongs of the Murdoch papers regarding the phone hacking scandal, the Murdoch empire and all it’s actors are soundly back in place to carry on their misdeeds.
    When I describe Britain as a Murdochracy I am not far wrong.

    Another lot that has us in a choke hold is Saudi Arabia.

    US Congress debating a law to allow Americans to sue the Saudi government over 9-11, Saudis said if it was passed they would pull their $700bn investment in the US, President has a word in their ear after saying he would veto the legislation. New President wants to block entry to US of a number of countries but excluding people from the one country that is the birth place of what he says is the danger, i.e the next Bin Laden would be allowed in.

    The UK foreign Secretary mentioned Saudi Arabia as one proxy to the war in Syria and was immediately slapped down by the Prime Minister – one only wonders his fate if he had mentioned Yemen.

    The German secret service report linking terror in Europe to Saudi Arabia was disowned by the German Chancellor.

    Meantime we are still waiting for an American apology for the shooting down of the A330 over the gulf going way back and BTW I haven seen any compensation claims by the victims of that act of incompetence – I can’t understand how defence radar operators could identify a A330 climbing away from them as a hostile aircraft diving straight for them.

    Like

  12. Well Well & Consequences February 14, 2017 at 10:28 AM #

    “So how come you have not yet received the “news” that the Guv of the CB who has been unceremoniously fired under the most despicable conditions is about to spill his guts about the lies and deceit perpetrated by the pathological liars in your dear loving party?”

    Pimps and yardfowls get what they deserve, thrown on the garbage heap or to the wolves…lol

    Worrell should tell all, expose each corrupt thing the ministers had him do, he got nothing to lose and could always sic a judge on them.

    Like

  13. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right - INRI February 14, 2017 at 11:33 AM #

    I am a simple ole man bereft of all these flowery wrds and without any knowledge of things international

    Let me ask the author of this blog this.

    Do you know the name of the police officer who was part of the investigations on the purported wiretapping of the former Prime Minister Owen Arthur and Fumbles?

    The one that died?

    Do you recall seeing any independent investigative journalism per this matter?

    If you were to repeat these words. “…“We have reviewed the information in the possession of the commission surrounding the rampant reports of phone tapping. The information provides irrefutable evidence of illegal phone tapping, but also paints a picture of circular communications and an unwillingness of persons in authority to take responsibility for dealing with this matter,” …” to the average dimwitted bajan, would you get a response?

    You understand the uphill battle that you are seeking to put on the plates of the sheeple?

    Like

  14. David February 14, 2017 at 11:38 AM #

    What is Roy Morris upto these days PUDRYR.

    Like

  15. Well Well & Consequences February 14, 2017 at 11:49 AM #

    I believe I put both these posts on the wrong link, meant to post them here….it took me all of 2 seconds to find this information, just imagine if journalists in Barbados actually did their jobs.

    Courtroom 7 Master Deborah Holder, BSS, Master of the High Court

    CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
    Ti m e No. Case No.
    9:30 a.m 1 CV0006/2011 Donville Inniss v. Richard G. Ishmael

    Ah wonder what this was all about yesterday…case management is pretrial….

    I thought all these scum were partners and close bosom buddies of each other as well as the deceased Thompson…lol

    …..the information is out there in the courts and other places, the journalists do not do their jobs, imagine if they did, the ministers with their uppity selves would be afraid to be corrupt, the business people with their uppity selves would be afraid to run scams on the treasury, the Insurance Executives with their uppity selves would be afraid to bribe politicians and steal from policyholders and others.

    If Barbados had journalists who did their jobs. ..journalists are supposed to be the keepers of the countries gates, knowing everything going on and reporting without bias or favor.

    They could learn a thing or 2 from US journalists who now have the trump administration ready to jump out of their own skins….with a Justice Department and FBI probe about to start.

    Carl Moore should be ashamed to call himself a journalist, the closest the island ever came to having a real journalist is Timothy Slinger and we all know how the scum governments treat him when they do not want their criminal activities exposed….even if it comes out of the supreme court and is part of the public record….

    …..but Dumbville did not reckon on me searching for something else and finding this trial between him and Ishmael, what can they do, maybe they will settle it so I dont get the urge to pull some files a year from now to see what went down……lol

    Like

  16. Hants February 14, 2017 at 12:00 PM #

    BARBADOS IS FACING a serious financial crisis that must be resolved within the next 90 days in order to avoid a financial calamity

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/93536/owen-90-days#sthash.DiuVt0QK.dpuf

    Like

  17. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right - INRI February 14, 2017 at 12:04 PM #

    @ The Honourable Blogmaster

    You would know that better than I would

    Like

  18. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right - INRI February 14, 2017 at 12:10 PM #

    I am disappointed, very disappointed but here is what I propose to do with that disappointment.

    She is scum and lacks the skills to lead us where we have to go.

    For even in the very simplest of acts this is indicative of what level of lowness she can sink to

    That itself should be a clear indication to you, at least, if you were who you once were.

    But there is one cause that we supposedly fight for and which if HE WHO LETS THE SUN RISE EVERY DAY SO DESIRETH will come to fruition.

    So sad

    Like

  19. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right - INRI February 14, 2017 at 1:50 PM #

    @ Well Well & Consequences

    Thank you for asking me to find this.

    It allowed me to see something else which, though i suspected it, it was not what I expected

    THis one is slightly different to accomodate the red on red background for item 5

    You will also note that the count is less than the 7,000 previous users.

    Do not be dismayed by that.

    What it shows is

    (a).that one’s fight is noted

    (b).the level to which she will go to broach no dissent

    (c).her co-conspirators

    Just have to up the stakes thats all.

    I hope that you are watching and others are also watching and understanding how wicked these people are

    THis is NOT A GAME

    Like

  20. Well Well & Consequences February 14, 2017 at 3:08 PM #

    Thanks darling Piece.

    Like

  21. Hal Austin February 14, 2017 at 3:20 PM #

    Alvin,

    I am glad you are not the CEO of a media organisation. Stick to what you are good at.

    Like

  22. Simple Simon February 16, 2017 at 11:02 AM #

    @Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right – INRI February 14, 2017 at 11:33 AM “Do you know the name of the police officer who was part of the investigations on the purported wiretapping of the former Prime Minister Owen Arthur and Fumbles? The one that died?”

    If you know the name of the purported wiretapping policemen why don’t you tell us?

    And if you know what he died from tell us that as well.

    Like

  23. Simple Simon February 16, 2017 at 11:16 AM #

    @Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right – INRI February 14, 2017 at 1:50 PM “Things to stop help voter bribing in 2018”

    Why do you want to stop voter bribing? What if it is time for me to be offered and to accept my bribe?

    In 8 elections here and a good many elsewhere i have NEVER been offered a bribe. And I don’t know anybody else either who has been offered a bribe, no pumps back in the 1960’s no tablets now, no board memberships, no place for the children or grandchildren in Harrison College or Queen’s College, no government contracts, no NOTHING.

    Who are these people who offer bribes?

    Who are these people who receive bribes?

    What if the majority of voters are like as I (and everybody else that I know) am.

    What if the overwhelming majority of voters are not offered bribes because the politicians know that we cannot be bribed.

    What if you Piece are barking up the wrong tree?

    What if Barbados is a meritocracy?

    Like

  24. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right - INRI February 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM #

    @ Simple

    Your response, rather questions, here are simply disingenuous.

    let me put it to you, as a woman who knows of, or can acquire information about the identities of the criminals who periodically are permitted to enter QEH, and shoot up other gang members, patients who are in hospital care recovering from non fatal wounds, you are being am provocative yes?

    I shall be brief and “surgical” to respond to you assuredly sarcastic questions knowing full well that you, nor none of your family, can’t be so simple and stupid.

    Let me use your simplistic syllogisms to make a point

    “I, Simple Simon, do NOT HAVE AIDS”

    “I Simple Simon, DO NOT HAVE ANY FRIENDS OR FAMILY THAT HAVE AIDS”

    “Therefore, irrespective of the fact that my colleagues treat Minister *** at the Lady Meade centre and that he receives *** ART at that outlet via a proxy called ***, I simple simon state that there is nothing called AIDS.

    I WILL NOW APPEND, in similar ingrunt vein of my pronouncement at 11.16 .am. that AIDS, like Global Warming, is a hoax because “I Simple Simon have never been bribed, nor have my friends and family been bribed”

    Furthermore, since i wok the skeleton shift at the Hospital, and did not get home in time to see the news where both My Prime Minister Fumbles the Sleeping Giant and my attorney General Adriel Nitwit say on TV that bribes were the order of the day, I do verily state that there are no bribes in Barbados

    And yes your question “…What if the majority of voters are like as I (and everybody else that I know) am…?” if de ole man answer it, AS IT MERITS BEING ANSWERED, de Honourable Blogmaster going ban me…

    Wunna see why we in Barbados are so effing lost?

    Steupseee

    Like

  25. Simple Simon February 16, 2017 at 12:52 PM #

    @Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right – INRI February 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM “let me put it to you, as a woman who knows of, or can acquire information about the identities of the criminals who periodically are permitted to enter QEH, and shoot up other gang members, patients who are in hospital care recovering from non fatal wounds, you are being am provocative yes?”

    Yes I am being provocative.

    And “no” I can’t acquire information about about the identities of criminals who enter the QEH. I am not a nurse or other medical professional. What if you add 1 to the unemployment numbers? That’s me.

    Like

  26. Simple Simon February 16, 2017 at 12:53 PM #

    But my question still stands

    What if Barbados is a meritocracy?

    And another is like unto it.

    What if Barbados is NOT a meritocracy?

    Like

  27. Simple Simon February 16, 2017 at 12:55 PM #

    And my most pressing question.

    What if we do not want Barbados to be a meritocracy?

    Like

  28. Simple Simon February 16, 2017 at 12:58 PM #

    And I do believe that HIV/AIDS is real. How do you think that I got through many, many decades of the HIV/AIDs epidemic alive and in good health?

    With regards to HIV/AIDS I am a true believer.

    Like

  29. Simple Simon February 16, 2017 at 1:02 PM #

    And no I will never closely associate with Minister ***

    Like

  30. Hal Austin February 17, 2017 at 4:16 PM #

    Now Ames has been charged the local press should be on to the attorney general and the RBPF regarding his assets and any likely charges in Britain.
    If a business person commits suspected fraud in the UK, it is highly unlikely that when he comes to Barbados he will not do similarly.

    Like

  31. David February 17, 2017 at 4:23 PM #

    @Hal

    Although not on all four the decision to deal with Del Maestro confirms this government is not partial to transaction with persons who have run afoul of regulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right - INRI February 17, 2017 at 4:51 PM #

    In fact Honourable Blogmaster such skullduggery is seen to be an asset and desirable because then it is openly known that they are dealing with a “where is my cut” character and such is a prerequisite for “doing business in Bulbados”

    Like

  33. Hal Austin February 17, 2017 at 6:13 PM #

    I have warned before of the creeping powers of the RSS, guided by the Americans and Canadians, with the Brits in the background.
    This is the real pending threat to our democracy. We must debate the RSS and its cross-border role. There is too much secrecy surrounding this dark horse.

    Like

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