Media Council Questions…

With the adoption of the Media Council Code of Conduct I have been trying to read over the various media which have adopted it to see if there is any noticeable change. Of course, I don’t know what goes on in the editors offices, but so far I really haven’t seen any change.

Two particular news stories have caught my attention though.

The first one is the article the other day about Dr. Brown’s son, a doctor who is facing some serious charges of sexual assault, over in California. Personally, I really don’t see how this story fits as news, at least for our local daily. Dr. Brown Jnr is facing charges in California for alleged offenses in California. For all practical purposes this news story is a Californian one, and has nothing really to do with Bermuda. So I really am left wondering why it is being featured so prominently in the RG. At best I imagine the paper has decided that it is in the public interest to feature the story, in as much as it could be argued that the case may be effecting our Premiers attention, but really, I think that is a bit of a stretch. So I do question the validity of this news story, especially under the new Code of Practice. And doubly so when there truly is so many other stories in Bermuda just crying out for a little investigative journalism.

The other story that caught my attention is today’s front page story concerning the fugitive fool Alvone Maybury. The story itself is fine. My issue is with the photo that accompanies it, lifted from Mr. Maybury’s Facebook page. The photo, which seems to have now been taken off their online site, I don’t know if it was in their printed edition, showed the fugitive fool giving an obscene hand gesture. True, the Code of Practice doesn’t make any mention of obscene gestures like this, but I think it should. I don’t mind lifting the photo of Mr. Maybury, but if they had to use that one (rather than a stock photo of him), I think they should have obscured the obscene gestures. Otherwise they are doing nothing more than giving this fool some form of glorification. Beyond that, do we really need to have obscene gestures in our faces?

13 thoughts on “Media Council Questions…

  1. Story 1 is about a man very closely associated with Bermuda. In fact, every time overseas media (remember that is story is being followed not only in the United States and Bermuda, but in many other countries as well) mentions him, they make sure to include the connection to Bermuda. In fact, he is so closely associated with us that the United States believes that Bermuda is willing to harbour him from justice. It is very important for Bermudians to be aware of foreign perceptions of us; furthermore it is standard practice for local media around to world to report on the activities of people with links to the community.

    Story 2’s 2-inch tall by 1-inch wide (estimated) image is quite family safe.

  2. Not that I like the media one bit, nor condone their general practices, but come on – find me a country in the world where the first bit wouldn’t make the news (outside of N. Korea, or China). Cameron’s son up for rape? Obama’s? Sarkozy’s? Front page on every major news outlet on the planet. You can’t criticise the RG for what it inherently is. It would be like criticising a shark for biting someone. We don’t like that they do it, but it’s in their makeup.

    Being in public office has its positives, and we can all be pretty comfortable that Dr. Brown knows a thing or two about these, but it also has its downsides. You and your immediate family are in the public eye, just the way it goes.

    What I’m waiting for is the poorly written, spin-filled PLP blog entry claiming ‘racist media hegemony attacks strong black man’, articulating how the RG has once again gone after a poor, not yet proven guilty black Bermudian without any consideration for his reputation or his family’s pain. And when he is convicted of over a dozen counts of sexual assault, I’m sure that the issue will just disappear.

    So onto actual pressing matters – who’s gonna be the new leader…?

  3. I can see the argument that it warrants a mention, but I don’t think it warrants anything more than a couple of sentences in the ‘Bermuda Shorts’ section. However, a full article like it received? I think that’s a stretch. Especially when all the article is really saying is that his trial is upcoming. I could see the justification for a full article covering the conclusion of the trial and the sentencing, if found guilty.

    My main point though is that there are LOTS of other stories out there, concerning gangs, drugs or government conflicts of interest which deserve a good deal more attention and resources.

    @ Das – In the picture of the fugitive fool that I saw online (and can no longer access), he is giving a reverse V-sign. The reverse V-sign is commonly used throughout the Commonwealth to indicate ‘F-U’, in addition to the middle finger. It’s also used in general to express contempt for authority. I fail to see how a such an obscene hand gesture qualifies as ‘family-safe’.

    @ LiF – I think the discussion on the next PLP leader warrants its own thread. My thinking was to launch such a discussion in September though.

  4. Not only was that not in the picture, but it does not hold those connotations on this side of the Atlantic.

  5. In the original picture that I saw it was. If it wasn’t in the hard-copy form, then I apologise, but it was in the initial online version.

    And I would beg to differ with you about its meaning in Bermuda. While our American cousins are unfamiliar with it – which leads to some misunderstandings – it is commonly used in Bermuda. Or at least it was while I was growing up, and I’m not that old I don’t think.

  6. Jon, actually I’m with Das here. It’s only commonly used in Bermuda among those who have strong english connections… parents or siblings. I’d never even heard of that until late high school. And I’m betting this guy hasn’t the foggiest what you think he’s doing.

    In young urban culture, that is the sign for “deuces”…

    when someone holds up two fingers symbolizing “peace” when leaving an establishment, “deuces” is often said.

  7. Fair enough then. I guess I grew up in more British thinking then, eh?

    All the same, I am hoping that the media do not reproduce photos of alleged criminals or whatnot attending court and giving obscene gestures in the future. And, FWIW, I reckon us blogs have at least a duty to watch the media and hold them to account now that they have adopted their Code of Practice.

  8. LOL… sorry Jonathan but the first time I have every heard of that hand gesture meaning F U is when you pointed it out. As far as i know it means deuces… your looking for significance that just isn’t there mate….

  9. I would say more of a Communist Socialist ‘sphere’.

    Then again the middle finger holds more sway when you think about it.

  10. Censorship is censorship. If the royal gazette had real freedom we would see worse. as a victim of political corruption via the former governor and the police there is a time for everything.

  11. WOW!!!!!!!!! Detz a big accusation there “Red”.

    Name and shame. Comments like that deserve a day in court.

    You see an obsticle. I see pay back.

    “A time for everything”……Love that statement. Let me call up Buck Burrows, Larry Tacklyn and a few others in Israel and see what I can come up with.

    I’m sure it will be a hit.

    Hell, we can even invite Mal Gibseon, The Chapmens, and Lee Harvey Oswald. I tell you what….lets do a grave side service…JFK, RFK, Winston Churchill….hell bring along Fidel and Kim I’m Ill Johng and …………..

    Gotta run……………Just filled my vest with rose pettles and I need to explode the universe on all.

    Hang on……hang on………………booooooomfffffffff.

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