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.


  1. Don,

    It's only *now* have you come to understand that almost the entirety of the thing we call "news" is merely the regurgitation of government press releases?

    That the rest of the "news" these days is *primarily* the on-air regurgitation, or simple unedited printing, of other people's press releases in a ceaseless attempt to either sell stuff (actually laudible, given the increasing repression of commerce) or to influence government to give them something for nothing (reprehensible, and not just if you have the stomach to call the en passant pillage of individual liberty "nothing").

    Governments have so much capricious power now, so much ability to destroy at random, to steal from one person and give to someone else -- money, resources, and time *stolen* from a putatively free citizenry in taxes, duties and superfluous regulation-- that the media, like some slavering over-muscled frisbee-whippet, will focus unto the expiration of its very reason on its statist master's hand until, finally, an exclusive "story" is heaved, far downfield, for the media to catch on a back-flip, prancing back with it to the masters hand again.

    All in hope of catching just one more "story" -- before the sun goes down on liberty once and for all.

  2. Mitch--the sad state of the "news" business being what it is is what makes your blog so much more important. Fortunately, you are doing the "lord's work"; keep it up.

  3. I feel sure that now we know the GOA has raped us of our monies at Social Security, the British Government must now make a move and take over the running of our country until we have elected a new government. The British Government can not look the other way anymore. Act now to save whatever we have left as a country.

  4. Where we don't have free advertising, we are inflicted with platitudes. Look at the editorial about crime in the current issue of The Anguillian. Our crusading editor writes, "Week after week, our police report a rising series of burglaries and robberies by youngsters in various parts of Anguilla, while still insisting that the crime level in Anguilla is low when compared with that of other neighbouring islands."

    Is Nat so blind as not to see that it has been he, himself, who popularised these kind of vacuous platitudes?


    Is this government sleazier than John Major's?

    Asked that question on the BBC News channel's Straight Talk with Andrew Neil, Martin Bell has no doubts. "I think this one is worse," he says.

    But that's not the end of it. The former independent MP thinks that the parties need to start looking towards their front benches if they're to properly cleanse the taint left from the expenses scandal:

    "But I do think it is going to require the assisted departure of all frontbenchers of both parties” he said.

    MORAL OF THE STORY: The skunk cannot be used as a mop!

    This coming election we will do our own cleaning, same as the British people.

    This message is especially to anonymous # 3.

    Signed : Anguillian

  6. How disgusting that this GOA has been allowed to use our Social Security money for any purpose except what it was intentioned for. The head of Social Security along with the ministers of government should be relieved of their positions without pay and investigated immediately. All monies taken from Social Security should be accounted for publicly and returned. We should know who got what and why.IT IS OUR MONEY, WHERE IS IT? WHO GOT IT? This has to be worse than the Turks and Caicos. The GOA should have no access to this money for any reason. Who can we turn to, to get our monies back? Why should we pay anymore Social Security until this mess is sorted? What a bad example for our youngsters the GOA is. FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

  7. Concerning the "news" of Anguilla. I remember a time when cable TV first came to Anguilla--I forget the American's name who started it. He planned on having a local access channel with local news, but was told that any news broadcast had to be approved verbatim by the government before it was broadcast. Is that still the case? If so, that would explain the reading of pages & pages of non-news: journalism does not exist in Anguilla. Government has it blindfolded and gagged. That is the reason for the gossip network, which frequently has 10 different versions of every story. Freedom of the press is not guaranteed in Anguilla.

  8. Agree with all you say, Don, except this part is not clear:

    Don, when you say, "That I am told is the difference between journalism and blogging," it's not clear if you are castigating yourself by lumping yourself in with what is clearly NOT "journalism" (not as defined by any educated person) in Anguilla, or if you are saying that you (as a blogger) are unlike PROFESSIONAL journalists, are not rigorous and do not need to be (because you are a blogger?)? Could you clarify that last bit. What were you trying to say?

  9. Governor, Find out who got our Social Security Money. Did you authorise or know about the plundering of our Social Security by the GOA?
    Can the fraud squad from scotland yard investigate this matter immediately?


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