The point of Maria Skinner’s letter appearing in the October 8 (page 9) edition of your paper is a valid one. Our local media have much too frequently seemed to callously abandon its responsibility to the general populace in favour of becoming Public Relations and/or propaganda organs for certain individuals is obvious.
While Skinner justifiably singled out the Nation as the main offender, none of our media houses has been immune from this sordidness. It brings into sharp focus the difference between the local journalists and editorial staffs and their counterparts in the US.
We may say a lot of disparaging things about America – and with some justification in many cases – but our local media could learn a lot from their counterparts up North. The US media is robust in terms of its investigative mandate and is not shy to call a spade a spade and expose an official if he is less than honest. Note the stories about “mendacious Mitt”! Not here!
We have notoriously mendacious characters right here in Bim, who far from being called out, have their every single move heralded in the paper whether it be a staged receipt of an award, a contrived presentation of a gift, a self-aggrandising show of setting up some dubious scheme, an irrelevant utterance of tiredness of very little national merit – and the list goes on and on and on. It has been truly nauseating to witness the propaganda machinations associated with some players at the Alexandra School being constantly aided and abetted by the local media.
Timidity, bias, lack of investigative intent, political connections/interference seem to characterise much of the media here. Our journalists seem to look for “handouts”, prepared texts, practiced words and surrender their obligation to be investigative; they seem to be content to be “receivers” of information instead of being “unearthers” and “revealers” of information; reactionary rather than pro-active.
Probably, it may be that our journalists are being stymied by their editorial boards, which have some agenda which subverts the populace’s need to know the truth.
In any event, it is sad what I have seen happening in the papers in this nation – sad, and extremely dangerous!
— Stephen Nicholls