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I Love You Media, but…

Local media members at a meeting.
Local media members at a meeting.
Local media members at a meeting.

As a journalist, it is my main goal to see my work go far and wide, educating and enlightening the masses in St. Lucia and beyond. I wish to be known for many things work related but one thing I don’t want to be known for is wavering stances.

Having said that, I feel like I’m being forced to do just that, or appear to be doing just that when it comes to my stance on the local media.

I have in the past been very vocal about the treatment that the members of the local media receive from the broad spectrum of critics ranging from Joe Public to fellow media colleagues.

Each and every time that I have spoken out, it has been in strong defence of my media brothers and sisters…they cannot say that they don’t have a friend in me.

However, today I am going to be that good friend who will tell it as it is, even though the truth might sting a little or put some noses out of joint.

Just know that I’m saying what I’m about to say solely for the fact that I care deeply about the state of our faction and all my colleagues to boot.

I am not doing this to feed or back up the persons who see us as no good and useless or the ones who simply don’t like us for the sake of not liking us. No, I’m doing this with the hope that we can grow up and buck up as a serious group in society.

Okay, so there was a meeting for members of the Media Association of St. Lucia on Sunday…it was the first one for the year and in fact, the first one in a while.

There I was assuming that media practitioners, seasoned and green would come together to discuss the myriad of issues plaguing our faction and generally make some much needed and serious noise and suggestions about the said issues with the goal of hammering them home and coming up with a steadfast plan to tackle and fix them.

Well…you know what they say about assuming…. Right? That it makes an ass of you and me? Well call me donkey because I was way off in my assumptions and all I felt from that meeting was disappointment and some hints of anger in there too.

The people who didn’t show up reminded me of the folks on the street who would see me during my days at Choice TV and shout out that they have a news report to give me but as soon as I put the cameras and mic in their faces, they would turn to instant mutes who wanted nothing to do with me and had nothing to say.

They reminded me of a bunch of empty vessels making loads of noise in the wind…a complete waste of time.

I for one can see that we have some serious problems amongst us and maybe I’m breaking some kind of code by airing our dirty laundry for the world to see but maybe, just maybe, this is the fire that is needed under some butts to get this piggy moving.

I went to this meeting revving to go, with fire in my eyes looking to take no prisoners and sure enough, I spoke out about some of the issues that I could see in need of addressing but, where was my “backa”?

I KNOW for a fact that I’m not the only one who has issues and with some of the seasoned media practitioners, the issues run deeper so I know that people have a lot to say, but why sit at home doing and saying nothing when the opportunity presented itself on a golden platter?

Less than 15 people showed up on Sunday and yet the number of media practitioners in St. Lucia is pushing on to 200…how does that look to you?

Yes, our group is broken and divided but don’t you want to fix it? Do you like things the way they are with the constant bickering, segregation and mud slinging?

How are we supposed to work, grow and thrive as the fourth estate when we can’t even look out for one another and the trust levels are slim to none?

When I became a reporter, I was excited and most importantly, I was proud. I was proud because I was trusted with a responsibility and to this day, I treat that responsibility with high honour.

I come to work daily with my responsibilities on my mind and not my pay cheque.

Maybe that’s where the problem lies…maybe too many people are in this for the money and “fame” as opposed to doing the job to the best of their abilities and with those responsibilities in mind.

I always mention how green I am in this industry but I know where my heart is and I can see that some people, some before and after me whose hearts are not in this and I think these people need to go away and make way for other people with that fire to get the job done properly.

Sitting on your high horse bellyaching about how mediocre media workers and the media association is, is just hot air if you have no gonads to get up and do something about it…by staying home instead of showing up and speaking out, you are being part of the problem when I so wish that you could be the solution.

I am not saying this because I have all the answers…I most certainly don’t but at least I am willing to show up, speak up and join the fight in making our association as great as it should be.

If you are not willing to do your part then I kindly suggest that you shut up and ship out.

Now before I end this episode of Sounding Off, I’d like to say that this is not a personal attack and that I respect each of my colleagues individually, However, as a group, we (and I say we because I see us as one) are failing each other and we can do so much better than this.

If you want to get mad at me for my words then go right ahead. After all the truth hurts but I’m hoping that you take my words as a cry for unity, like a battle horn calling on all the troops across the land to come together as one.

It’s about time that we stop proving the petty naysayers right.

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