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March 26, 2012


Philip Smith

This is a very important column because it highlights the lack of any real investigative reporting or even simple policy comparison and analysis by the Bahamian press. The press is uniformly little more than professional parrots – relaying, but rarely challenging, the messages from the leaders of this country. Bahamians are too often treated to rumor and gossip as news with precious little fact intruding on this reverie. This vapid coverage is unfortunately not limited to politics. Policy experts at the College of the Bahamas or University of the West Indies are rarely consulted or economic or foreign policy matters, and the business pages never address themselves to the alleged widespread violation of immigration, customs and stamp duty requirements. More than that, we rarely even get the press as advocate willing to show some of the despicable conditions that too many Bahamians go home to every day. If our institutions were held to account by the press perhaps our officials might be more responsive to the concerns of people who rely on their decisions. But I sense that too many people, including members of the press, are still arguing about the past rather than focusing on the policy challenges of the future. I would echo your call for more dispassionate, unbiased analysis and more advocacy for the people our government routinely fails.

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