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Pm Finds Fault With News Media

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks in the House of Assembly. Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune staff

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks in the House of Assembly. Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune staff

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis criticised the Bahamas media on Saturday for concentrating mostly on the “clashes and drama of politics” and under reporting “important and more consequential stories” on public policy.

While addressing the media at the Press Club Awards at the British Colonial Hilton, Dr Minnis compared the country’s leading newspapers with “tabloids” and said the press has a broader obligation to report on “policy matters that will have a greater impact than some stories that are less substantial.”

Dr Minnis also claimed the media had not reported on his administration’s plans to amend the Immigration Act to give children of Bahamian men and women equal access to citizenship, although the matter has been covered repeatedly in this newspaper and other media outlets.

He also chastised editors who take on dual roles as columnists or talk show hosts, saying such practice is not common in other jurisdictions.

“There has been a tendency by political journalists to mostly report on the clashes and drama of politics. Such reporting is fairly easy and exciting. Still, while there is news in such events, there is considerably more, much more, when reporting on politics and the workings of government. Some in the press often miss important and more consequential stories on important public policy questions,” Dr Minnis said.

“By example, the landmark legislation that will be introduced to enable a certain classification of women and men denied equal access to citizenship in the Constitution, has been unreported, while some other stories have gained more traction.

“Drama undeniably excites viewers and readers,” Dr Minnis said on Saturday. “This is much easier to report on but certainly the press has a broader obligation to report on policy matters that will have a greater impact than some stories that are less substantial.

“I have often found that the better reporting in our daily newspapers is to be found in the business sections, where the writers report in more detail on critical issues, which will have a significant and long-term impact. It is telling that the headlines in the business sections are not tabloid in nature.”

Dr Minnis also said that while he understands that journalists in the Bahamas must take on multiple roles given the number of reporters and limited resources, it is still “surprising that editors also regularly write or offer commentary.”

“This is not a practice that would be allowed by journalists in other countries. I am not speaking here of editorial writing, a journalist and a columnist are distinctly different roles,” Dr Minnis said.

“Nor the editors of The New York Times or Globe and Mail in Canada, nor the editors at the British Broadcasting Corporation would allow their editors to write commentary or to host a radio programme driven by personal opinion as well as commentary that purports to be news analysis...There has been a considerable blurring of reporting and commentary.

“It is telling when certain standards have been breached, that some in the press do not even realise that a standard has been breached. Journalists are not supposed to be champions of any political party, business, group or interest in a country. Journalists must avoid conflicts of interest, and must be allowed to report fairly and honestly on where a story takes them. “The best journalism criticises, celebrates and inspires.

“I note that while some journalists are often more prone to negativity and cynicism, there are many wonderful and positive stories reported by the press, though I sometimes believe there can be more such stories.”

Dr Minnis thanked members of the press and editors for informing and educating viewers and readers and expressed gratitude to the Press Club for “developing as an association of journalists committed to the values, ethics and principles of your craft.”

Comments

BahamasForBahamians 3 weeks ago

How ironic?

Wasn't it the media that played a pivotal role in getting this man elected?

Wasnt it the media they paid in excess of $100k per week with ads to wipeout the previous administration?

Didn't he think the media would hold him to the same standard he did previous administrations ?

This guy is definitely embattled. He's attacking everyone that disagrees with him.

Reporters, The media, The Bahamian public ... I suspect there should be some infighting soon spilling out to the public.

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tell_it_like_it_is 3 weeks ago

Exactly. I really started out supporting Minnis, but he's starting to make me question that decision. So the media should only print flattering stories of you now? This is The Bahamas, not USA!

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TalRussell 3 weeks ago

Comrade Red Shirts, aren't this all news you cause reds suppose be for freedom of the press, and what about free enterprise - not your red government buying, running and selling Baha Mar, and other hotels?

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Porcupine 3 weeks ago

A failed "leader" so early in the game. Could it have ended differently, whereby the Bahamian public actually got a dedicated civil servant, instead of an egotistical, know-it-all politician?

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licks2 3 weeks ago

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. . . I read the speech in the Guardian this morning. . .what is the problem that he committed? I am listening to Juan Macartny having a melt-down on his show. . .and I asked. . .why is da dude "carrin on" so. . .that speech is classical journalism 101! This speech did not knock all journalists in this nation. . .Juan, Moncur and Dames are the ones who seem cynical and not through out. . .pure sensationalism for the sake of their "name" if seem! Now Moncur is a little better than those two "self important" social hacks. . .at least Moncur makes a little light of his antics. . .but Juan and Dames disguise their poor reasoning skills behind their being journalists! NOW YINNA KNOW JUST LIKE I DO THAT DOC "ROCKIN" ON THEM THERE STREETS. . .elites them "can't" control the man so the "chappin" him with all kind of petty things!! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!

Say I used to support Minnis. . .hahahahahahahahahaha. . .I guess you need to sit down in one bucket of water there man. . .I know ya pants is on fire by now!! And you who called the doc a failed leader. . .pick up ya tongue from the ground. . .at least the bottom half ya done gone a bite off!! If yinna want to see some balanced writing. . .even though doc know that Nicky Kelly will kick his hip when it is needed. . .but she will give him credit where credit is due!! Read the punch and maybe yall political jelly fish may see how to be honest in commentary. . .be it doc or anyone else!!

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dajohhnycanoe 3 weeks ago

Juan always has a melt down

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baldbeardedbahamian 3 weeks ago

The PM was going East ..................................................................... in his chauffeur driven car................................... When he realized he was wrong.................................................................. he'd already gone too far........................... He wasn't paying for his gas,....................................................................... or the wear upon his tires,............................. He don't have to pay for dem,.................................................................. until after he retires....................................... It' easy to get hubris,............................................................................. when you been put in charge................................ You gets lots of bows and scrapes,.............................................................. andyou now be living large....................... But soon enough your time is over........................................................... This time of lying in fields of clover........................................................... Forever we will think that.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Christie was corrupt.......................................... Dazzled by the power, ........................................................................... with the devil he had supped.............................. A good reputation cannot be bought.................................................... No matter how far and wide it's sought............................ So if you're driving East ...................................................... Or if you're driving west...................................................... Telling off the Press,.............................................................. is not usually for the best.........

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licks2 2 weeks, 6 days ago

We have a lousy press. . .they does throw all decorum outta da window when they "bit into ya hip". . .telling you all about "ya mar big boongie". . .how they don't believe that's she real boongie and thing!! Me AND JUAN DOES GET INTO IT FOR THAT. . .HE DOES ENCOURAGE "DUMBNESS" IN THE PEOPLE THEM! Most of the times he does be talking about things he knows little about. . .then act like only him one on this planet "get everything right". . .and can't take no criticisms. He so full of himself that he can't see that he "tells" everybody that they don't know what they are doing or they are not thinking right. . .EVERYBODY HE DOES THAT TOO!! SO THE PRESS DON'T HAVE THE INHERET RIGHT TO "TALK" ABOUT OTHERS WITH THEIR "BAGS". . .BUT WHO WATCHING THEM?? They can't go rogue and still hide behind "I'se the press. . .ya spose ta lea me do what I want to do. . .I smarter than yall"!

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birdiestrachan 3 weeks ago

Here we go again the Donald Trump of the Bahamas in True Trump fashion critizing the media. doc will soon be uttering the words Fake news. This man is loosing it. providing he ever had it in the first place. MS Butler Turner believed he did not.

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birdiestrachan 3 weeks ago

Does doc know that the press is kinder to him and the FNM than they have ever or will ever be to the PLP.

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dajohhnycanoe 3 weeks ago

I thought the speech was pretty good.. everyday the media report negativity.

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mandela 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Only in dictatorship countries like Zimbabwe with dictator Mugabe do/can/will bridled the media. He need to stop being a cry baby. The media is the fourth state.

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licks2 2 weeks, 6 days ago

SO WHO DO YOU THINK THE MEDIA ARE? THEY ARE THE SAME TIEFIN, LYIN, BIASED POLITICAL HACKS LIKE THE REST OF US. . .PLENTY OF THEM "GO AFTER" A PERSON WHO THEY "FEEL" MADE THEM LOOK BAD. . .THEN THEY GO ON ONLY WRITING "BAD THINGS" ABOUT A PERSON FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL REASONS!! THAT'S NOT THE PRECIOUS FOURTH ESTATE. . .IF THEY WANT TO GIVE IT TO PERSONS. . .THEY SHOULD BE BIG AND BALANCED ENOUGH TO TAKE CRITICISM AS WELL. . .

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ThisIsOurs 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Wrong forum. These dinners are a time for lightheartedness . I'm not sure what he thought he would accomplish. Shame them into not writing about him?? His timing is really off..and there's nothing wrong with that, if you realize timing isn't your strong point

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ThisIsOurs 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Desmond Bannister was on radio yesterday with Zhivargo, Zhivargo couldn't even read the mountain of "we need help" messages that came in, same happened with Dr Sands on ?Friday. These two men are beautiful, I don't know their personal stuff, hopefully it's in line with a good leader. But their public selves are exemplary.

The FNM needs to open their eyes and ears and see that the people are dying to have their concerns voiced and listened to. After five years of being neglected, they want someone to hear their issues and tell them how their issue fits into the work of the grand plan, will it be addressed, when, if it can't be addressed why.

There was no one in the world who had more hope than myself on May 11. I stated that the FNMshould go in each community and hold a public listening tour. Give the people a timeline to go through the info, get feedback to them and then keep that feedback loop going as you plow through issues. I was so surprised that they didn't do it.

Instead we got very arrogant ministers telling us to shut up and give them time. Stop this anger at the people and the press. Ask us what we need and tell us what's possible. Work for US, not solely on what's good for the people you know. Johnson talking about his two God children in the shanty town, there are 300,000 of us over here to your two God children, is what youre proposing for the good of all Bahamians? Maybe it is, or are you working to make the one family you know comfortable? Just make sure you're working for the people and not special interests.

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tell_it_like_it_is 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Bannister certainly has my support. I have always been impressed with him.

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SP 2 weeks, 6 days ago

PM Sheriff Minnis must know that bad news and controversy sell newspapers. Not good news!

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Socrates 2 weeks, 6 days ago

the Donald Trump doctrine regarding the media must be contagious.. unless its Fox, its fake news according to Trump. The PM hasn't anointed any particular organization yet, but hey, its a democracy. some things you will like, some you won't, so it goes. when gov't starts setting the news agenda, it will be followed by censorship, then journalists getting locked up for stories that politicians dont like, etc. look to history.. there is nothing new under the sun...

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SP 2 weeks, 6 days ago

PM Minnis needs to understand that his governance controls what the media reports! He needs to focus on his "peoples time mandate" and do that which he promised on the campaign trail and he will succeed in creating the news he wants!

Media is stuck in pre-May 10, 2017. PM Sheriff Minnis 180 degree turn in governance is creating a new culture and a new reality, which media will need time to digest and conform to.

Journalists find themselves totally dumbfounded by the recent lull in murders, armed robberies, home invasions, and the usual fare of gut-wrenching, horrific news that we have become so accustomed to.

Where are the hypercritical analytical journalists and media that are accustomed to jumping all over the prime minister and minister of national security on daily bases about crime? Why aren't they analyzing, reporting and splashing good news about the decline in crime across headlines? After decades of corrupt failed, asinine governance, media has very limited experience in reporting good news!

The fact that media now find themselves scrapping for sensational news proves PM Minnis is on the right track and this is GOOD NEWS!

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licks2 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Our press has always been a slack "biased" bunch of lazy people. . .yellow journalism is the order of the day!! I heard one said on radio this morning. . ."it een what he said. . .it is how he said it". . .bunch of "babies" getting their "feelings hurt" but all over the place spouting off rude and condescending opinions and pass it off as news! Doc is right. . .they sitting on their backside and would not go "dig" the facts and then come to the public with something substantial. . .instead of their silly rants. . .THEY GOT CALLED OUT. . .STEP UP TO THE PLATE OF A NEW BAHAMAS. . .THE OLD WAYS ARE GONE. . .POLITICS, RELIGION LEADERS, CORRUPTIONS IN PUBLIC SERVICES. . .NOW IT IS THE PRESS' TIME TO ANTE UP. . . SENSATIONALIZING THE NEWS IS OVER. . .BRING REAL NEWS OR GET CALLED FOR THEIR POOR WORK!!

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