We here at NEWSCO strive to report the news “Without fear or favour, and without worrying who feel one way or another . . .!” It is a part of our founding vision, as so eloquently and articulated by the immortal Winston Derrick. We subscribe to the notion that it is an integral part of our fiduciary duty as honest members of the Fourth Estate. Indeed, if our remit is not “to shine a light in dark corners” and act as a check of sorts on the other members of government – the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, then we may as well pack up and go home. This designation (Fourth Estate) is most often used in the United States where the watchdog role of the free press (Not FOX), is seen as being vital to a vibrant and functioning democracy.
Of course, the problem is that, if the daily happenings in a particular country, especially as it pertains to governance, are consistently of the disturbing variety, then a media outlet with a responsibility to report the news “without fear or favour” may be seen by some in officialdom as being biased. Hence the unwarranted pejorative terms, “Enemy of the state!” “Enemy of the people!” “The failing New York Times!” and of course, “Fake news!” MSNBC, CNN and even the BBC have been branded by Trump and others as being biased because they have eschewed “feel-good pablum” and government propaganda in favour of telling the people as it really is. Think, speaking the unvarnished truth to power!
The thing is that, try as we might here at NEWSCO to report on, and highlight good news on the state of the economy, and the progress of rehabilitation in Barbuda, and the state of our roads, and the Odebrecht, eBooks, Global Ports scandals (yes the Global Ports giveaway for a pittance over such a long period of time is a SCANDAL that stinketh up to high heaven!), is an exercise in futility. There just isn’t any good news. At least, recently. Indeed, as Shakespeare once remarked in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE on another matter, “We search all day, ere we find them (good news). And when we’ve found them, they are not worth the search.”
Consider. Word reaching our newsroom is that that there is industrial discontent at ABS and that the Fiennes Institute mess is still festering, despite the “happy-talk” promises. Nothing of any significance seems to be happening on the Friars Hill Road or the Sir George Walter Highway save for the pretentious bi-weekly digging up and paving of mall at the sides of the road. We believe that the funding agency for that project should send a team of experts here post haste to see how badly the monies have been spent so far, . . . with so little to show. We do not believe that they would be pleased. Meanwhile, the ubiquitous potholes are still a nightmare, as are the missing and broken slabs and covers all over St. John’s. Traversing the roads and sidewalks of St. John’s is a clear and present danger to life and limb and property (vehicles). Well, . . . actually, it is not so “clear,” and it certainly does not seem to be a priority, to those charged with the responsibility for the upkeep of our infrastructure. Either that, or they just don’t give a damn! We submit that it is the latter.
And they will continue blaming the messenger, instead of addressing the message. They will lambast the Fourth Estate, instead of working diligently to ensure that the daily diet of news in our fair state is good. Would that they would do right by the people whom they swore faithfully to serve. But with this cabal of clueless ministers, we guess that that’s asking too much!