Trinidad Journalism in crisis?

What the hell has happened to press freedom in Trinidad and Tobago?

The news broke yesterday. Trinidad Guardian Editor-in-Chief Judy Raymond had reportedly walked off the job, followed by Sheila Rampersad and several other conscientious journalists in an atmosphere rife with allegations of political interference. Then today both the governemnt and the Guardian refuted the charge of political interference. As Patricia Worrell@bytesdog succinctly put it “This Guardian story have more twists and turns than Lady Chancellor or the road from Maracas.”

Raymond’s laconic Twitter account @HeyJudeTT doesn’t yield much at first glance. Her last three tweets are suitably cryptic but the Orwell quote is telling:

heyjudeTT
Judy Raymond@heyjudeTT
A luta continua
7 hours ago

heyjudeTT
Judy Raymond@heyjudeTT
“Journalism is printing what someone else doesn’t want printed. Everything else is public relations” – George Orwell
a day ago

heyjudeTT
Judy Raymond@heyjudeTT
fun times in the newsroom
3 days ago

Here’s another blog’s take on the situation:

Trinidad Guardian editor-in-chief Judy Raymond did not even realise she was holding a political seat!

Raymond was hired last year to help the Guardian bottom-line: Increase sales. However, Mr Live Wire understands she ran afoul of the company’s motto: Stay close to the Government.

Photo: Ansa McAll chairman Anthony Norman Sabga. Editorial policy is whatever he writes down on a sheet of paper.

Photo: Ansa McAll chairman Anthony Norman Sabga.
Editorial policy is whatever he writes down on a sheet of paper.

In a politically aware country, although not necessarily a politically intelligent one, Raymond’s Guardian won nationwide acclaim for a string of exclusives including the stunning Section 34 scandal.

It turns out that Government officials felt Raymond and her nosey crew should spend more time on hard-hitting stories like the intrusion of Keith Rowley’s back door at Balisier House or MP Donna Cox’s alleged slap across the face of a PNM rival, presumably during recess.

For more click here.

How will this situation be resolved? The region watches and waits with bated breath.

Author: Annie Paul

writer, editor and avid tweeter anniepaulose@gmail.com

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