The Progressive Liberal Party cries shame on The Tribune media house for its biased and frivolous reporting. The glaring headline today of The Tribune that an “Ex-PLP General in Missing Man Probe” is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that The Tribune has sunk to the level of a machine spewing out bias vitriolic propaganda and yellow journalism. Of all the critical issues facing our Country today, it is unacceptable that The Tribune, a newspaper of note, would choose a smear tactic disguised as a featured headline story.
Bahamians clearly remember that none other than The Tribune reported that this same Mr. Russell was a scheduled speaker at an FNM rally during the recent Elizabeth Bye-election. We note that the Tribune lacked the fairness, balance, and integrity to let the truth get in the way of a good smear.
More disturbing to us is the fact that we are dealing with the potential loss of human life and a possible act of murder. A German national residing in Cat Island has been missing since last week Wednesday. A Bahamian is a suspect in this suspicious missing person case and his life hangs in the balance so this is an unfortunate situation for both families involved, and the reputation of the Bahamas at large as there are no winners in this sad saga.
Instead of the Tribune seeking to appropriately utilize its considerable resources and influence to seek swift justice for the afflicted party and protect the image of the Bahamas, the Tribune has gone on a frolic of its own to politicize this case, further polarize our country, and inflict needless grief, pain, and suffering on both families. The behavior of the management of this newspaper is reprehensible, inexcusable, and totally unacceptable as this missing person case is not a political football.
The PLP contends that this is part of the reason why The Bahamas is facing such serious challenges. Institutions in society which are the building blocks are the very ones helping to destroying the society. The media has become one of the most powerful institutions in society as it is responsible for dissemination of information. Whatever is reported in the media cannot be fully retracted. On this I say- ‘garbage in, garbage out!”
I call on the Tribune Editor and staff to be firm but fair; to be more critical but more constructive. For instance, if one were to review the murder statistics for the past few years, one can conclude that we will likely experience another very high murder rate in 2010.
The table below provides the murder statistics for the years 2007 to 2010.
CATEGORY 2007 2008 2009 2010
Murder 78 73 75 31
One category that the media has not focused upon is those missing persons where foul play is suspected. Has the case of the missing Captain from Eastwood become a cold case? What about the Canadian worker from Paradise Island who went missing in 2007? The Police are absolutely certain that he was murdered somewhere in western New Providence. Yet his body has not been recovered; what is the status of this investigation?
The PLP invites The Tribune and the wider media community to critically examine these cases and really provide some good food for constructive reasoning for we are all a part of civil society and desperately want free and safe communities.