Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

Local Media on Brink of Extinction?

Image of Rochelle Gonzales

WHY do I have this niggling feeling that I should be watching my back because I can feel the laser burn of a sniper rifle tracking my every move where my job is concerned?

These days media workers are being forced to act like abused slaves who must watch our every word or action out of fear of being sued by politicians or fired by owners of media houses who are in turn being threatened by sour big wigs to let you go or lose their advertising and business dollars.

This is nothing new and as far as I can remember, media workers have been muzzled on so many occasions that I have lost count.

There are times when I sit back and really feel sorry for myself and my colleagues in all the other media houses when I think of the way we have been battered and abused from every angle possible.

Whilst we try our best to do a public service, we are left at the mercy of horrible masters…and might I just add that our masters are plentiful.

Let’s start with the politicians, the ones that I have the strongest aversion to. They throw their weight around like bullies and treat members of the media like useless “moose boys” where they refuse to dialogue with us about the “real” issues that we really want to report on, they “silence” us when we get the actual “scoop” on the said real issues but then they turn around and call us/expect us to show up at the cutting of a ribbon for the opening of a new bridge etc. and woe be unto us if we don’t show up…oh, that’s when we find out just how worthless we are!

Coming a close second to the politicians are business owners. They too throw their weight around like bullies all whilst expecting us to sing for our supper.

They are the ones paying the big bucks (and our salaries) and so we are at their mercy. Meanwhile, they go around getting up to all sorts of sordid affairs and we can’t dare attempt to expose them for fear that they pull the rug from under the feet of the media house owners.

And say we try to be brave and go ahead with the report/article anyway, and this too applies to the politicians, like they say, we can suck salt if we think it will get through because I kid you not, the media house owners themselves will come down from their perches and personally see to it that our reports go M.I.A.

When talking about this, I can never forget one of a few occasions where my colleagues and I were told that we were not allowed to report on a major controversial issue surrounding a popular music festival because it would ruffle the feathers of some major investors.

Of course I’m treading carefully here and no, this did not happen whilst working at The VOICE but the fact of the matter is that these cases are all too common

Then we have the fattest master, the public who whilst they are not as conniving as the politicians and business owners, they are by far the nastiest.

This is the master that demands the most out of us and we just cannot possibly win.

Whilst trying to keep our heads above water with the first two masters pulling us under, we get battered for not reporting on the real issues…yes, the same ones that we have been muzzled for.

Then we get battered for reporting about negativity and “roro” , yet that is exactly what the crowds are baying for.

They also accuse us of not reporting on the positive events going on around us yet when we do (and this area is my specialty), these reports don’t even get a second look or viewers/listeners switch stations…sighhh.

Like I said, this is nothing new but suddenly it is becoming more apparent.

Take a look at what happened recently with a major player in the world of media…personal feelings aside, why should one be forced from their job, whether they jumped ship or were pushed, because of pressure from political parties?

Anyone who knows me and my story, knows that I am most certainly not crying for this individual but giving fairness where it is due, this should never have happened or be allowed to happen and it just shows that we all are seen as easily expendable tools.

I have written several pieces calling for individuals to open their eyes and not only see but take full control of the power that they have in their hands so let me do it one more time, only this time, it’s to my media colleagues.

Right now, we’re in election season or as it is more commonly and appropriately known, the silly season…it is not even a question as to whether the media is an essential piece in this race…they need us.

Imagine if all media houses were to collectively boycott this election season and flat out refuse to carry any news and reports concerning any politician and their party… now that I would have no issues with.

All slaves rebel at some point, perhaps this is our time.

I am not going to pretend that we are perfect, in fact, I would be lying if I denied that there are some areas in the media in serious need of work, yes that includes reporters but this is only the very tip of a planet sized iceberg.

We have a responsibility and whilst mistakes are being made (all to often sometimes) by many including myself, I’d like to believe that this responsibility is being taken extremely seriously…well on my end, I most definitely do take my job seriously and respectfully, hence the reason why I feel so strongly about those hurdles that we face daily…our silent suffering.

Just imagine putting your all into a project only to have a bully come along, trample it and then stick their tongue out to your face, this is the simplest but most accurate comparison I could find to describe what media workers face daily.

It’s amazing how we are considered to be a nation’s fourth estate (which is huge right?) but we get treated like we are the scourge of the nation.

Then again, when you have so many powerful forces fighting down your every move, what is there to do?

I feel sorry for the novices and future media workers wishing to get into this field…Good luck to you all.

Gosh, I can feel that laser burning straight through my forehead already but seriously, there comes a time when we say enough is enough.

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...

 

8 Comments

  1. Miss Gonzalez. The treatment that you described in you article in now standard practice by employers in all sectors of society. It is not simply limited to media workers.
    Employers have introduced a new concept of slavery based on how they use fear and manipulation to strip their workers of their rights to free speech and expression.
    They have also devised new tactical methods where they request questions from their employees ahead of general meetings so as to avoid questions that would make management ” uncomfortable.”
    Corporate owners feel that your entire life is owed to them because they offer you a misely few pennies for your sweat and blood, while you are grossly underpaid.
    They also make the general public believe that they grant us a favor through their business venture.
    The opposite is true. They enter the business world out of SHEER GREED and to use the profits from those businesses in order to dictate and control the lives of most humans.
    These SATAN REPRESENTATIVES seem to obtain a high from their methods. They are the world DEMONS that the Holy Bible speaks of. Stifling the lives out of others by using their wealth as might in order to dictate and dominate the lives of others.
    The same can be said of governments. Take the US government for example. They are they “GREATEST AB– USERS OF HUMAN RIGHTS” in supporting the 1% of their super rich, while claim ing to support the ideology of free speech. Anyone who speak out against their practices are placed on a “kill list.”
    You are then labeled a terrorist and they send their DRONES and ASSASSINS to eliminate anyone from the human race who dare challenge their practices.
    They ignore international treaties while practicing these barbaric methods and hide behind those same WHITE CLOTH while doing so.

    However, they have changed the color of the cloth and have renamed it ” terrorists.”
    So understand very clearly that if anyone decides to stand up for truth, righteousness and freedom, your will be short lived. These dictators know no boundaries when it comes to total control and dominance.
    America was once a great nation as their “Founding Fathers” believed and practice fairness. The reason why the world fully embraced them. The same cannot be said of this present government within the last quarter century.
    They now use their brute force and might to intimidate, instill fear and to eliminate anyone who dare oppose their tactics.
    They are becoming a world threat even greater than Adolph Hitler, simply representing their filthy right 1% , instead of their majority citizens ,who seek complete world dominance.
    However, we should never allow such tactics to silent us.
    The very Bible principles which they once vocally claim was the foundations of their nation is now abolished, once again using a manipulative tactic.
    No government institution or public businesses are allowed to have any form of prayer or biblical teachings in their institution. An an excuse to grant the non believers , the very 1%, their rights over the rest of the nation.
    Where in history has it shown that society leaned backwards to cater for the minorities of minorities while stripping the majorities of their fundamental rights in a democratic , socialist or republic world?
    Only in America where the filthy 1% Americans using their wealth as might to strip all others of their rights.
    If it means standing up and speaking out against such ill while sacrificing our lives so as to pave the passageway to a better world for the future generations and humans in general then so be it.
    Our previous ancestors did exactly that for the continued survival of their race. Let us take their torch and continue to march forward.
    God has already professed in His Scriptures the very deed of these evil doers and the price they will pay one day. Though we all know they believeth not it that day to cone.
    So do not be discouraged, Miss Gonzales and all others, use their suppressive energies to energize your soul and speak the truth, irrespective of the consequences.

  2. Many world leaders were hasty to describe Mr. Nelson Mandela as their” hero” during his world funeral. Yet these very same WEASELS are not will to take or make 1/000 % of a risk to stand up for righteousness and justice for fear of their own lives.
    Anyone can be very impressive while making an eloquent speech, following through with actions us another world in itself.

  3. I have been called into presidents office on more that three separate occasions because they claim that even though my points were valid and justifiable, they were concerned about my timing and the place that these questions were raised.
    My answer in return, would you rather have, a dishonest and manipulative worker over a dedicated, reliable, and fully committed one who believes and speaks truthfully and honesty? If so then indeed I am working for the wrong corporation.
    Maybe that is what triggered the submission of questions ahead of our general board meetings.

  4. Have no fear Queen Rochelle Neferti
    Your Palace Guards regiment shall defang all threats
    Field Marshal Salladin

  5. Congratulations to those of us who show support to positive journalism by lending support through supportive feedback rather than sit idle by not commenting.
    Thanks to all for making a difference through your efforts and let us hope others will follow. That is how we start to make a positive difference in society.
    The process has already began, let us find the energy and courage to continue.

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