Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

Who Will Protect Us?

Image of Rochelle Gonzales
Rochelle Gonzales

DOES anybody ever wonder or even worry about the safety of the people who present the nation’s news to the public when you switch on your television sets and radios or when you open up your newspapers?

Think about it for a second: what do you think goes into that final product that you see and hear every day without fail? Do you think that it’s easy going around getting information and presenting it to the public the way we do? Do you think that any and everybody can do it and do it well?

Do you know the dangers that come along with this job when we are exposed to dangerous and unstable individuals with nothing to lose, pretty much on a daily basis?

I’m currently writing this piece and I apologize in advance for any ranting and babbling but I am concerned, upset and absolutely fed up with the fact that we journalists and media people remain so vulnerable with no one to protect us.

What am I going on about today, you may ask. Well once again, I am left feeling extremely worried about my safety after a clearly disturbed man just waltzed into The VOICE Publishing with a story to tell yesterday.

After hearing him out, it was quite obvious that the man was delusional and had no backing at all for anything he had to say but still, I continued recording what he had to say to prevent further aggravation at his end.

My Editor, who heard what the man had to say, and joined in on the interview eventually to question him, asked some straightforward questions and this is where things got from uncomfortable to worrisome.

Clearly irate by the Editor’s questions after the interview, the man began spewing hatred for the country saying that he hated St. Lucia and that he really wished that ISIS could come here as they are really needed here to get rid of the hypocrites. He even went on to say that he would gladly join them and do their work for them because St. Lucia had too many hypocrites and that at the end of the day, he knew he would get a good pay cheque.

How does one react when cornered by a man uttering those words?

In this day and age, I take nothing for granted…especially threatening words so you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m very worried about this man and what he might do when he sees that we didn’t publish his story. Now tell me, who’s gonna have my back? What’s going to happen to this guy if he does come after me or my colleagues? Are we just going to be the subject on another news broadcast and then that’s the end?

And to those who know, remember, this is not my first brush with crazy…I’ll just leave that sleeping dog to lie.

Look at what happened in the U.S where two media workers were murdered during a live news broadcast…if these people can be so brazen, what’s to stop them from doing it here?

This is seemingly becoming a trend these days as well because adding to my two brushes with these individuals, Laura Jn Pierre was threatened live on the air during News Maker Live just last week. Surely someone is taking note of all of this.

The Media Association’s President was up in arms after the executions in the U.S but funnily enough, it took that incident to incite serious discussion and calls for action. What about us down here? Again I ask: Who’s looking out for us?

I am calling for measures to be put in place to deal with persons who go around threatening and intimidating news people. To many, media workers are just happy campers pulling in pay cheques…On the contrary, if I start, I don’t think I’d be able to stop because once that floodgate is opened about all the cons of working in the media…it’ll get ugly.

I can’t speak for others but for me, this job is my passion. I believe that I have a huge responsibility tasked with helping towards educating and informing the nation and I take it on with pride and extremely seriousness.

I would like to see media workers in St. Lucia stand in solidarity to push for our protection. For now, it is only a threat but who knows how far it will go? Whilst I’m not asking people to walk around with illegal weapons to defend themselves, it seems that this is what we might have to do if no steps are taken to secure our safety. My mum always drilled in my head, precaution is better than cure…remember that and watch this space.

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...



  1. Rochelle, you wanted the Coconut trees chopping because you were worried about them. You want special protection because of the risks you perceive as arising from your job. Your articles often take on a meandering and self indulgent tone. There is more to journalism than just presenting your own personal wish list (like bringing the Cosby show back or whatever it was the other month). I’ll go further and say that you might not actually be cut out for any substantive journalism.

  2. Nada! You did not Yeah?
    The lady took a “legal eagle” eye’s view on the Laborie Coconut grove cutting issue: I think she stimulated conversations pro and con by her middle of the road viewpoint.
    I did not read the Cosby article for two reason’s:
    – I do not watch television. I am into radio, printed journals/books/magazines and the internet for all my news, leisure, and entertainment needs.
    -By default I support most “clean” mass media productions that dismantle the entrenched negative sociological stereotypes or stimulate / project positive self actualization models for disadvantaged minorities.
    The recent Labor Day Carnival in NYC shooting of a top legal aide for the Governor of NY State is a tragic example of a victim who may have benefited from the Cosby show.
    This aspiring professional was raised in the HOUSING project as in government sponsored apartment complexes for economically disadvantaged families. The statistically supported Predictive Criterion for future academic / socio-economic outcomes for children raised in the projects is rather bleak and dismal. Yet this man excelled:
    Positive TV models that depict Black doctors, lawyers, journalists , astronauts, engineers have been proven to affect the aspirations of many successful black professionals in said fields.
    Finally, I recommend cat-o nine flogging followed by a keel hauling in Soufriere Bay (adjacent the Pitons, as a consequence of your closing sentence.
    Yuh did close with an xxxx sentence, suggesting your own lewd displaced subliminal erotic fantasies for our Mango Julee journalist.
    Your closing sentence is akin to the primary school boy prank of placing the small round mirror under her desk in order to get a close up of more than just her knickers!!!!!
    Garcon (i sense musk between your lines) , it’s ok to be hot and bothered over her.
    BUT stay in control of your primal scream.
    You have descended into the throbbing throes of “PALMELLA”
    and snared by erotic frustration with her UNIQUE journalistic style
    which confounds/foils satisfactory euphoric sessions with her photo a la Don Quixote .
    I bet you have an enlarged version projected on your boudoir wall, you naughty -hot blooded doberman.
    I am not one for Russian roulette but your bombastic verbosity fits the profile of the disgruntled interviewee she describes in the above article.
    Unlike you, many of us are in love with her mind even as we respectfully blush at her attractive photogenic profile. Therefore, we can be enlisted to protect her – even if we have to apply the covert operational strategies of “Bronson”-at pro bono rates.
    Yeah baby, here at “Aqua Negro” Enterprises we do specialize in covert ops- for the GOOD GUYS!
    Deek Chainey, CEO
    Aqua Negro Global Enterprises

  3. Oh yeah!!-
    the satire embedded in the political novels “Animal Farm” and “1984” is so relevant -NOW!
    Who would imagine the legacy of KGB protected, USSR totalitarian regimes would be alive and aggressively proactive in the MEGA MACHO embodiment of President Putkin.
    So, yeah- we need – more than ever- a loose-fast and furious 4th estate. Journalists more than any other profession (including the clergy) represent and often defend our INALIENABLE RIGHTS
    Oh Yeah, the Inalienable Rights hinted at in the Magna Carta,
    delved into by the Mayflower Compact,
    so eloquently stated in the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
    and so poignantly referenced by Dr. M.L.King in his legendary ‘Dream” speech
    Yeah, the same rights ORDAINED by GOD as a natural gift from Eden’s ORIGINAL bounty.
    This lady journalist and many of her colleagues REPRESENT / DEFEND our INALIENABLE RIGHTS -collectively!
    Her appeal to defend the personal safety of journalists is truly a REMINDER to DEFEND our own individual liberties.
    And defend her we MUST – by any means necessary. Our rights and democratic principles are like manna in a barren , scorching , polluted environment.

    Are you a nihilistic, neo-Stalinist?

  4. Yeah
    PS – Just recalled a political commentary read on my commute yesterday. In summary the writer equated the campaign lineup of presidential hopefuls to characters from the classic novel “Alice In Wonderland”.
    Yeah, the disparaging phrasing “meandering, etc” is indicative of your compulsive fixation to a rigid if not brittle writing format. Kinda like that of Peter Josie.
    Revisit the literary “seamless” super fluidity” writing format of Alice in Wonderland and you too will salute, the genuine expressive skills of lady Rochelle.
    Have you ever enjoyed a mug of hot cocoa “tea” during the “X-Mas” holidays?
    Rochelle’s writing style adds real freshly grated coconut milk, cinnamon -that anticipates a fresh bake with fish fritters on the side.
    Maybe it’s your literary savoring regimen.
    Perhaps you are a gulper- as in boa constrictor. Or a thrashing chopper as in crocodile. or a frenzied feeder as in Great White shark.
    You will need refined continental feeding etiquette- preferably Paris polished, to properly digest Rochelle’s literary buffet offerings.
    You must allow all taste zones of your tongue to roll over each tidbit of her writing before your canines, bicuspids and molars actuate their synchronous efforts. What levels of sophisticated centrifugal forces do you utilize within your oral cavity as you engage in the process of assimilating her word sentences, nuances and syncopation.
    What is your cadence?
    If you are a go at this swallow juncture and rejection is still a reflex event, then we need to examine your gag reflex:
    – Perhaps you have a subliminal aversion for strong women who can maintain their feminine attractiveness
    -unlike the Empress of Micoud North.
    Your Cro Magnon profile informs me that you anticipate Rigo in N Micoud & Chas in S Micoud to star in the remake of
    BUTCH CASH-SHE DEEp & The Sundance Kid (pun intended).
    Garcon, lighten up, promenade in the Darling Road Gardens and take time to smell the roses.

  5. Here is a sample of the passion for proclaiming our inalienable rights by the nubian princess Rochelle:
    You will play this every evening after supper oui!
    It is very good penance for potential contrition and approved by the powers at the Minor Basilica on Micoud Street.
    In lieu of the flogging and keel hauling you deserve as per “Laws of the Jungle”

  6. What a sycophant!

    I am well aware of the good work some journalists do in order to hold politicians to account; I just don’t happen to think the writer is in that league (on this occasion.) The author wants to educate and inform people but hasn’t proof read the paragraph. It doesn’t even read right. You are correct I don’t like the style – but that is my choice. Many other contributors are excellent but I can still disagree with what they are saying sometimes, that is part of debating.

    There are certain calculated dangers inherent in any job; police and fire service etc. Investigative journalists should be no different, unless you want to churn out copy worthy of a gossip magazine. Important issues don’t write themselves.

    I stand by the comments – I don’t think it was a well written piece as it could have been.

    I will let you get on with your fawning.

  7. Yeah/
    Did I go ballistic?
    Did I articulate a “Manson” style “Helter Skelter” tirade?
    But of course!
    Although your second response puts a more “gentlemanly” polish on the matter-
    nevertheless- your ID dominated EGO omitted objective apology to Lady Rochelle- thus exiting potential redemption for your immature INDISCRETION!
    Proving that you failed in you cognitive awareness, of your obtuse subjective indictment of Lady Rochelle’s Journalistic credentials-
    was way beyond the pale.
    Here is the “Thingamajiga”:
    Yuh juxtaposed your rights to an opinion-on the article. Negative/positive/subjective/objective opinions are legit for the article-
    “you threw out the baby with the bath water”
    WHEN you alluded that she was NOT FIT for her job-IN GENERAL
    How could you go so far- in a dire straits red ink economy-
    to proffer your self as Grand Human Resources Assessor for the Papal Inquisitor.
    What are your credentials: The online papier mache class?
    To suggest taking away food, shelter etc (job) from a writer because you do not like what they wrote -is excessive grandiosity indicative of your own self aggrandizement.
    Perchance do you work for a RIVAL local publishing entity?
    You actually implied a distinction between her typical subject matter (social cultural themes and your preference for “hardball” style right wing political fodder.
    Therefore, you are utilizing the wrong set of assessment instruments –
    IF, you were QUALIFIED to be her Human Resources Dept. Director.
    A woman is far more NATURALLY endowed (XX Chromosomal coding) than Males (XY-as in more fragile/susceptible to ERRORS in generational REPLICATION)
    with the emotional latitude and communicative propensity to tackle the tedious cultural ills of our society.
    In my humble opinion I know she does what she does very well. I did not agree with the chopping of the Laborie Coconut stand BUT I liked her presentation wherein she took lthe legal median on the issue.
    In closing, I strongly defend your democratic right to an opinion on a literary product BUT I WILL VEHEMENTLY OPPOSE:
    – your impudence,
    -immature monitoring of boundaries
    -mega machismo
    whenever/wherever you assail ladies beyond the boundaries of context.
    Now, if you truly need to assail a female whose resume allows for UNLIMITED assault with NO BOUNDARIES for you Grand Spanish Inquisition;
    by all means MARY ISAAC is your unrepentant victim:
    Please allow me to present a sampling of the intervention prescribed by the Papacy:

  8. Here is evidence that refutes your claim that certain high risk public services are not offered some form of defense, albeit in the form of deterrence:
    These warning posters are everywhere including repeated announcements over PA systems, radio & TV.
    here is a defense as in deterrence utilized on every 3-5 blocks of NYC to help defend police
    and for reporting any crime to get a reward
    and here s the one for postal workers
    and train crews
    Yes sir they are posted everywhere and announced on PA communication systems BOTH MONEY AND JAIL time are advertised
    So, every high risk job does seek and most have some basic defenses in place-oh yeah.
    My conclusion: your vain -pipsquik-attempt to demerit Lady Rochelle was fraudulent, stacked with hyper masculinity bordering on your phobia of independent feminine women.
    May I suggest eating a properly ripened JULEE MANGO whenever you read her articles. It will help both ambiance and perspective –
    kinda like Peter Josie’s Happy Hour Martinis a la wannabe “James Bond” :)’

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