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SVG Television supporting a ULP Victory?

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Editor: I was dismayed viewing last Tuesday night’s newscast on SVG television to see the biased reporting coming from our only television station.

It was significant that the reporter who interviewed Vincentians on the street could find only supporters of the ruling party, the ULP – some interviewed twice. {{more}}

Statistically it is impossible to stand anywhere in Kingstown, unless it be in a political convention, and find that all respondents would support a particular party. It was more than coincidence that this happened, and one wonders whether the creative urge of the station’s editor(s) did not have something to do with suggesing that a ULP victory was imminent.

This victory was “confirmed” when the pollster Wickham and noted Caribbean columnist Ricky Singh appeared to endorse those views. In the latter case those comments appeared to be part of a much larger interview, and Singh may have had a few clarifying remarks though not aired.

What is important, however, is that it was grossly biased reporting of the political scene. In the 2001 National Elections the opposition gained over 43 % of the popular vote and subsequently, due to poor governance, its popular support has risen so appreciably that any reasonable person must anticipate the possibility of a strong NDP victory.

But if by some fluke all the respondents in a particular area did voice some support for party A or B, it is then incumbent on any good reporter to go and seek out alternative views to give balance to his/her story. This was not done, and both the reporter and news editor must bear full responsibly for poor reporting. The question one has to ask is: Has SVG Television cast its lot in with the governing party? Was this a deliberate attempt by the manager and editor(s) of the station to steer a particular political course? Ladies and gentlemen, you are professionals.

If the media is to retain any respectability and integrity then they have a responsibility to report fairly and objectively.

We expect better reporting during this election campaign.

Paul Lewis

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