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.







**You may contact me by e-mail at livinginbarbados[at]gmail[dot]com**

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Nation On The Information Super Highway?

I noted that the Nation (Barbados) reported in its print version today (page 31A, see link) that it now has a presence on both Facebook and Twitter. It's good to find the paper on Facebook (The Nation Barbados) and now on Twitter (http://twitter.com/NationBarbados), and at last seeming to harness some of the new media with a bit more vigor. But, looking at the two sites, I see that this presence is not so new. So, now I am surprised that the announcement in the printed paper on February 7 is some weeks stale. It would have seemed to have been newsworthy from the outset. They get it, but they don't get it.

Not slow to drive traffic, the press report flags: 'To mark the occasion, once our fan base reaches 3 000, one lucky fan will win BDS$500 in cash and when it doubles to 6 000, fans will have the chance to win another BDS$1 000. To be eligible to win this promotion individuals must be a fan of both the newspaper and corporate Facebook pages.' They know that people love a chance for some freeness, and with hard time lickin' we, every little helps, darling.

I wont be too churlish, but just say "Welcome to the world".


Living in Barbados said...

The following comment was made anonymously: 'I can [sic] you right now who won't be a fan of this Barbados Labour Party Nation news paper, and that will be me. I don't care how much money they are offering.

The Nation newspaper is part of the problem here in Barbados, not part of the solution.'

It's a familiar comment, which may reflect a belief, though it's hard to argue against or agree with because it is so vague. I hope its author can elaborate on 'why' and 'how', and also offer a handle to the comments.

Carson C. Cadogan said...

If the above comment was"anonymous" then it was a mistake.

I am the one who wrote it.

what does {sic}mean?

Carson C. Cadogan

Dennis Jones said...

@Carson C. Cadogan,

Thanks for taking ownership of the comment. 'Sic' mean 'as it is written'. A word at least was missing, 'tell' perhaps, but rather than insert something, I qouted as written. Maybe you can clafiry the verb. I would like to read the elaboration of what you mean by the Nation being part of the problem. I think I know the gist from previous exchanges.

Anonymous said...

As we all know, the Barbados Labour Party did as they please for the better part of fourteen years.

Cronyism, nepotism, corruption was the order of the day.

Almost a billion dollars in cost over runs on Government projects throughout the length and breath of Barbados. None of it highlighted by the Nation Newspaper. The Nation newspaper bent over backwards to ensure that Barbadians were, for the most part, kept in the dark.

That is only part of it, Dennis. I could go on and on but I really don't have the time right now.

Dennis Jones said...

@Carson C. Cadogan,

I'm presuming the comment @ 21.32 is yours.

Did these issues get taken up by The Advocate, or other media? If no, then what does that say? I'm trying to judge in a sense if you think the Nation dominates opinions/opinion-making.

During that period, Barbados' image was rising, eg as measured by various indexes such as HDI and its ranking with Transparency International. I've not hesitated to say that there was great PR at work, but the electorate also bought into it by not taking the government to task at the polls. So, what does that tell us? Surely, the realities on the ground that you mentioned need not be dealt with by the media alone. Parliament has its role, with agencies such at the Auditor General's office, so you may be pointing to a larger failing, not a media problem.

Sargeant said...

The Nation just woke up and realized that “Barbados Today” is a threat at least to the digital format, so the first thing they do is offer money to get “fans”. Perhaps they should try another tactic….. like offering news

Carson C. Cadogan said...

"I'm trying to judge in a sense if you think the Nation dominates opinions/opinion-making."

Unfortunately your above comment is correct.

The news media, the Nation in particular, failed to hold the Barbados Labour Party's Government feet to the fire. The Barbados Labour Party started out their first term in office by buying many "journalists". I am sure that you can recall the large number of Nation newspaper "journalists" who were given jobs by the Barbados Labour Party Government. Their jobs among other things was to make the Barbados Labour Party look good. They were also to use their influence within the Nation newspaper to control what was being printed about the Barbados Labour Party. They did a wonderful job, anything negative about the Barbados Labour Party never saw the light of day.

Dennis Jones said...


It's notable that the content part of going online is not very well developed, but also that the paper is fishing for direct input online--as is Barbados Today. It will be interesting to watch, given local preferences for anonymity, which will be hard to preserve if one interacts via Facebook. See latest request on Twitter from the Nation: 'Feel free to share your thoughts with us right here on Facebook. http://fb.me/5N6Q8P0'. See Barbados Today ploy on Facebook: 'Come on fans we want to hear from you! Send your letters to the editor to editor@barbadostoday.bb and have them published!'