By Jerry Roker
for Bahamas Press
It is always a good thing when the media and the opposition raise issues relative to the performance of a government, where the mission is to improve overall government performance in the conduct of the people’s business. But what we have in The Bahamas, for the most part, are newspapers, especially one popular tabloid, predisposed to sensational reporting based on half-baked tips, stories and rumours, but still struggling to marshal all the facts.
The challenge of getting all the facts often proves difficult in the absence of professionally trained staff. So generally you just end up with what you have and invariably end up with sensationalism to sell newspapers rather than fair and balanced reporting.
For the most part, these newspapers, even when they don’t have all the true facts on a particular matter, never try to get the real facts, but still report to create a problem more than a solution.
Because of silence about and participation in previous skullduggery, under their government of choice, they lack the credibility and believability among the populace. Many commentators also have a predisposition to enter the fray, even though they themselves do not possess the facts and keep repeating the first set of published half-baked accounts. The truth of the matter is that the media and the opposition have a right to and an obligation to get all the facts and then bring them to the attention of the public without sensationalism and character assassination and self-righteousness, malice and viciousness.
There can be very little doubt that the opposition and their allies in the media, use the media under their control and management as a weapon of character destruction. There is indeed a pressing need to move away from sensationalism and character assassination and to do professional investigative work to expose wrongdoing wherever it occurs and to be consistent and to avoid malice, viciousness, vindictiveness and self-righteousness.