Where we stand‎ > ‎News & Comment‎ > ‎

YANKING THE CHAIN by Rae Samuel

posted 13 Jul 2013, 20:06 by Gerry Kangalee
So the owners of capital have yanked the chain and howls fill the air."Freedom of the Press, accurate reporting, unbiased editorials (whatever that is) investigative journalism" So let us examine some of these terms. 

Freedom of the Press is for those who own one. Complaining about how someone else uses his or her own Press is like Brazil, champions of world football for decades, complaining about the schedule for cricket's Future tours programme. 

Accurate reporting? Well all stories have a perspective. There is a certain political activist now seeking re-election in Chaguanas West who accurately and very successfully denied any wrong doing in public life. And then the howler: 'Unbiased editorials'. Are we really expecting the owners of capital to cheer on the working class in their newspaper columns and Constantly Negative News? 
 
Mr. Murdoch's task was to serve the interest of his class by constantly "Foxing'' up workers and characterizing them in the most negative and oftimes racist ways. Aren't all Muslims potential terrorists and suicide bombers?  
 
Investigative journalism? This term evokes very popular images of the intrepid reporter clandestinely researching news and meeting whistle blowers to "buss an exclusive mark'' on some hapless public figure. Even then, who decides what gets into print? One of the most under investigated/reported stories is pederasty in the local Catholic Church. Was the local chapter above the fray? 
 
One imagines that working in any newsroom involves constraints that it is not a "tabula rasa." Andy Johnson, Francis Joseph and Cleavon Raphael understood this. As in his own way does the incumbent Minister of Labour.   

What gets into print, what goes on the air is determined by the interests of the owners. I have always noted that when the working class movement was at its most effective in the '70's/'80's there were the Vanguard, Battlefront, Socialist Worker, Caribbean Contact, Liberation, Outlet from Antigua. We organized and controlled our own media. 
 
So when Jimmy Bain, then manager of the state owned Trinidad and Tobago Television, banned voices and images of progressive trade unionists, it did not stop the Movement. In those days we did not have a "united front" with the PNM. Quite the opposite in fact! 
  
When one attended a rally you went home with 3 to 4 flyers, a task that seems to have fallen now to the National Workers Union. (Wonder what does go on in their newsroom?). So while I empathise with the reporters at the Guardian none of this is going to change the faces, hidden or otherwise, of these owners.
Comments