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Power To The People - Outrage Over Bahamas Article Sees It Removed

By CHESTER ROBARDS

Tribune Senior Reporter

crobards@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMIANS took to social media websites yesterday in a concerted effort to ‘defend’ their country against an American journalist who reported that ‘the poorest Bahamians typically create makeshift homes out of straw....’

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Nellie Day

Nellie Day’s article ‘What types of houses do people live in the Bahamas?’, which was posted on the website www.travels.com, incensed hundreds of people who read it online.

Many of those people subsequently sent a torrent of caustic criticisms to her Twitter website feed. Other people threatened to e-mail the host website about the inaccuracies of the article.

And their efforts paid off - with the website, travels.com, agreeing to take down the article.

In the article, Ms Day contends that “lower and lower-middle class” Bahamians dwell in “small beach shacks and huts” that are often built from “straw or wood”, materials which are readily available along the beach - or at “industrial and retail outlets”.

She also says that ‘middle class and upper-lower class’ Bahamians build their homes using brick or concrete.

“These materials (brick and concrete) can be expensive, and brick is usually cheaper and found in more abundance than concrete,” she said.

The article was not inaccurate in some of its observations, but many who read the report and left comments online said they found the inaccuracies ‘insulting.’ Some individuals even called for Ms Day to publish an apology.

On her Twitter feed, the freelance journalist, who is said to be based in California, said she had visited the Bahamas and did research before she wrote the article.

“For the record, on this Bahamian story, I have travelled to the Bahamas, I did talk to locals and I did research what other agencies had to say,” she said.

She added on the Twitter response: “Look guys, love the Bahamas & Bahamians. Sorry if u didn't like the story. Wrote from what I saw/was told from ppl (people) who are supposed to know.”

Ms Day said many Bahamians make their living “farming or selling trinkets at the local straw markets”. In fact, few Bahamians make their living this way. In jest, people who commented on the article suggested she must have visited the Bahamas in the 1960s.

The article does, however, accurately describe the more affluent dwellings of the Bahamas - descriptions which may have come from several Bahamas real estate websites, which are cited as resources for the article.

The outpouring of comments prompted a response from Travels.com.

A spokesman said: “The article in question was written by a freelance contributor, and not by a member of our staff. We have reviewed the article and determined that it does not meet the standards for our site, because of the number of factual inaccuracies in it.

“Therefore, the article has been deleted from our site. It will take time for this change to show up on all of our servers, but the article will definitely be completely removed within the next 12 hours.

“We do sincerely apologise for any trouble or offense that this article caused.”

Comments

MartGM 2 years, 3 months ago

If there's one thing that really vexes Bahamians it's anyone speaking inaccurate nonfactual information bout the Bahamas. it's nice to see us all rallying behind this. With that said, I'm not one for all the name calling and just mean words some persons used to describe her (some comments were really cruel). She made a major journalistic mistake in writing such an article...but no need to completely rip her to shreds and tell her stuff like "go find out what c*** means and carry yours"...um...maybe a little inappropriate!

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AnonTet 2 years, 3 months ago

I too was very happy in the way we as Bahamians banded together and defended ourselves against such a misinformed and fallacy-ridden article. And although some of the harsh remarks were not really called for, it shows how passionate we can be when we feel our country is being threatened.

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spoitier 2 years, 3 months ago

I beg to differ, I live in the U.S now but during my time in the Bahamas and upon travelling home to visit, I never saw a straw shack, Bahamians don't farm enough so how could she say many makes a living do it. so for her to say she travel to the Bahamas and did research, she needs to be call almost anything for trying to down play a major false report.

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spoitier 2 years, 3 months ago

Even shanty towns in the Bahamas are made of plywoods, some Americans need to go in the backwoods of some these southern states and see how some of their own people live and i'm talking about blacks and whites, instead of thinking that everyone else in the world lives that way.

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Livestofish 2 years, 3 months ago

Maybe she should take a trip before she choice to write about a place.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 2 years, 3 months ago

What can one say, dear Bahamian friends and readers? This girl's false, slanted tales is one of many examples as to why the American mainstream media is going out of business.

Americans long been fed up with one-sided reporting have turned off TV news and quit reading papers in favor of The Net and Talk Radio.

This gal's article is typical. It's obvious she never visited the Bahamas and knows nothing of their beauty and Bahamian citizens.

Look, here's the juice:

  Most American mainstream journalists don't leave their mid-town Manhattan office cubicles. Their so-called research consists of asking their office mates, all of whom are as pig-ignorant and small minded as are they, for their equally biased, fanciful opinions.

Most so-called journalism today is written by people who've never left Manhattan.

Most of us here don't know anyone who wastes time watching TV news or reading lamestream media papers. Most people favor The Net and Talk Radio. Many of us do read newspapers online but with this difference, we usually skip the article and instead read the blog comments. Why? Because bloggers tell the truth.

Paul Vincent Zecchino Manasota Key, Florida 26 May, 2012

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