23 October, 2009
No news at all. When the first item on tonight’s prime-time 7:00 pm news on Up-Beat Radio at 97.7 FM is a press release from the Department of Disaster Management office about a pretend operation after an “earthquake” you know there is no news at all happening in
Anguilla at this time. The reading of the press release on the ‘simulation’ went on and on and on. It was enough to make one sick of ‘disaster preparedness’. Those of you who engage in the futile and frustrating exercise of listening to the 7:00 pm Anguilla news on radio know what I mean. The uncritical reading out of the press releases that masquerade as ‘news’ go on, and on, and on. The one written by Elizabeth Klute must have been at least three or four pages long.
The second item on Up-Beat Radio’s news was a press release about telephone chargers. It seems that there are some new ‘energy efficient chargers’ being touted by some distributor. It was transparently some sort of marketing scheme. Is this what Up-Beat Radio nowadays considers a news item?
Then, the news-reader went over to the sports news. Thank Heavens, at least I don’t feel obliged to listen to sports news!
Shame on you, Ras B. None of that was news. This was other people using you and your station for self-promotion, touting and advertising of their wares and services.
Renford Kelsick on Radio Anguilla at 95.5 FM, on the same prime-time news, led off with Viceroy Hotel and a release from the Chief Minister’s office. It would appear that we are supposed to believe that the taxes paid to government by Viceroy makes the government more able to meet its commitments. It seems that, unlike many Anguillians, Viceroy has paid its customs duties. Has anyone looked closely at the MOA?
The Chief Minister was next quoted as saying that he was very excited about the number of Anguillians who will be employed at Viceroy Hotel for the upcoming tourism season. Has anyone checked how many of these employees are being hired only for the Christmas season? Viceroy is looking to hire some permanent employees, but most will only be needed for six to eight weeks. What an achievement! What do the employees do then?
Next item was Victor Banks making a statement on the purchase of Cinnamon Reef Hotel to be used as an educational institution by the government of
Anguilla. Apparently, government has used the Social Security Board’s funds to purchase the hotel from National Bank of Anguilla. In that way, they have been able to get around the British restrictions on borrowing. Ingenious! Very imaginative! According to the news, Victor claims that Social Security, National Bank, and the government will all be winners. In the interests of equal time, the Hon Hubert Hughes was next quoted as describing the same transaction as a “scandalous deal”. He complained about conflicts of interest among members of the Board of the Bank, Social Security, and government itself. My question is, will Anguillian contributors to Social Security be the winners? That is the question that Renford and Radio Anguilla did not dare to approach in their uncritical repeating of this ‘news’.
Renford concluded with the same press release as above from Elizabeth Klute on the simulation of an earthquake hitting
Anguilla. Can I ask everyone of a similar ilk for the future, please limit the self-promotion to one or two pages, in very large print! Personally, I cannot take page after page of press release being read out over the radio in place of news and analysis.
That was it? That was the news on the two premier radio stations in
Anguilla this evening? Tomorrow morning at 7:00 we have to listen to it all over again?
When will our radio stations recognize press releases for what they are? They are self-promotions produced by self-important persons trying to promote themselves or their organisations. You are supposed to be news outlets. We expect you to go beyond the releases, and to make some sort of investigation. That I am told is the difference between journalism and blogging!
Go for it.