I am a little concerned about persons boldly accusing the media of bias reporting. When it is not that, it is that there aren’t any investigative journalists.
I am even more annoyed that fellow practitioners of the media just allow these statements to slide.
Maybe they are true. Probably we allow ourselves to be used.
But another truth is that Barbados is an extremely small society and chances are whoever you are you know somebody who knows me and vice-versa.
We all have friends that we call on from time to time or when it is necessary to assist, bail out, cover up or even expose; and when the time is right we play that trump card.
It is clear, we like to use the media to make ourselves look good and it is only when the media shine light on us without the make-up of glory and well-doing that we get all upset and point the “bias and accusing” finger.
The truth of the matter is, there are lots of things that are left out of news reports depending on who the individual or entity is. So all the talk about unbiased and fair falls into the category of fallacy. It does not exist! And those of us bold enough or “inexperienced” are heroes — consider that only Sir Garfield Sobers is alive; he played the game of glorious uncertainties, this is not sport.
Our silent reality is that there are certain big shots we believe are worthy of being pulled down and then there are others we protect as if they are gods. Then there is the “small man” — there are occasions and circumstances in which we are to sympathise and even care for him.
The media in some quarters have been reduced to a stringed-puppet that either dances or sits quietly in a corner depending on which Government is in power or who their advertisers are.
In the last election there were moderators on the state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, who in my opinion said everything to influence and to show they supported the then and still ruling Democratic Labour Party. I was actually expecting to hear from that station “VOTE DLP!”
There is no denying it. Actually, one caller even put a case for one of the moderators to be appointed a Government senator.
But the reality is that whichever government is in power handles the CBC, if not as a propaganda machine, as a public relations agency. Both parties are guilty.
Every media practitioner knows that during the campaigning leading up to an election that there are some candidates who will call you to take a picture and write a story even if they spotted grass in an open lot in their constituency.
If they ascend the steps of Parliament, it is as if they have gone away until next election. This is where the issue gets sticky. If you have given good enough coverage or your spirits have met, as my grandmother would say, it is then that you have an “in” to that individual. He or she is your friend and there are certain things you might write or don’t write because remember, that is now your friend.
There are some politicians who don’t have any friends in the media because they are frighten for them or hate them and there are some members who are not friends with any politicians because they frighten for them or don’t like them either.
But we like to point the accusing finger and sometimes forget our transgressions and act as if people don’t have any feelings.
One of my teachers and later one of my editors always used to preach — “the spoken word cannot be retrieved with horses and chariots”.
That being said, we should treat each other fairly and with dignity.
Remember the story of King David who saw the naked beauty of Bathsheba and concluded he must have her — and he did. After impregnating her he made arrangements for her husband to sleep with her so the pregnancy might appear to be his doings. After Uriah refused, David then made arrangements for him to be killed — problem solved.
But David’s close friend Nathan put a similar scenario to the beloved King and asked his opinion on what should be done to the man and King David concluded angrily that the man who offended should be punished four-fold. It was then that his friend calmly stated, “you are the man”.
Before we seek to tear down and destroy, let us be bold enough to acknowledge “I am the man” or that we are no better than the man. email@example.com