Welcome

Dennis Jones is a Jamaican-born international economist, who has lived most of the time in the UK and USA, and latterly in Guinea, west Africa. He moved back to the Caribbean in 2007. This blog contains his observations on life on this small eastern Caribbean island, as well as views on life and issues on a broader landscape, especially the Caribbean and Africa.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Staying on message.

To say that I like blogging is like saying that a bee likes pollen. It's at times like this, during the stressful time of hurricane season, that I wonder what those who constantly beef about blogs and their content are really thinking or frightened of. I have yet to find a source of news and updates of current events that perform like blogs. Here I am in New York City, wanting to know what is happening in my native land. I read news reports online from my mobile phone and see TV bulletins if I can get near a television, or I can check in with some blogs. The Jamaica Gleaner has again shown that standard newspaper houses can be at the forefront of breaking news by having a blog (see http://go-jamaica.com/blog/). I spoke to my relatives by phone at last today, and sent some e-mails to friends and family elsewhere to say that all seemed alright, but the Gleaner blog has plenty of amateur video and journalists' brief reports to convince me that, while there may be a disaster in the making, much of country is not being ripped to shreds. The coverage is not polished, but it does not need to be. It's vivid and real, and that's often all that life is. We can add colour and flavour and politics and opinions if we want, but in the first place we want information, and it can come in the rawest fashion as far as I am concerned. I don't want to always wait 24 hours at least to know more about something major that is going on now. Those days are over.

I hope that by the time I get back to Barbados some of the local newspapers will have moved their heads from a place closer to their feet to see that above and around them is a manner of getting news and information out to the public speedily and with reasonable clarity. It's something they should have embraced a long time ago and to me there is a telling and somewhat disturbing indictment being built up about what are the interests--or better, lack of interests--of local news organs.

1 comment:

Carson C. Cadogan said...

The local newspapers don't even like to mention the names of blogs. They will steal information from them but never give them the credit.

Most of the top journalists in Barbados are very anti blog.

Don't hold your breath waiting for the local news media to embrace blogging. The old media in Barbados like to censure the news not report it as it happens.