Bahamian Media Must Stop Glamorizing Criminals

Saturday 06th, August 2011 / 16:57 Published by

It appears as if the media in this country is enamored with alleged drug dealers, gangsters and number bosses. I have noticed that the death or imprisonment of drug dealers usually makes the headlines in the print and electronic media. Just recently, it was reported by all the dailies in New Providence that Dion ”Emperor” Knowles was murdered.

Granted, most murders make the headlines, but this particular case was treated as if the late Knowles was a mega rock star. In fact, this story was the first news item on most, if not all, of the radio and TV news broadcasts.

This story was also on the front page of The Tribune and The Nassau Guardian. Knowles’ untimely death had made the front page of The Tribune for two consecutive days. I believe, it will also make the front page of a very popular tabloid newspaper.

Why is the murder of Dion ”Emperor” Knowles getting so much press coverage? Why is the media so fixated with this case? It appears that Dion ”Emperor” Knowles was a celebrity in New Providence. You would think that John Lennon, Princess Diana or Michael Jackson had died, the way the media has been handling this story.

Considering the kind of person he was alleged to have been, the story of Knowles’ death should have been placed in the back pages of the newspapers. Knowles appears to be getting more press coverage than Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham nowadays. Yet, I believe, that Knowles’ death should have been treated no differently than anyone else who has been murdered, with all due respect to his family.

Another story that received a tremendous amount of

press coverage was Samuel ”Ninety” Knowles. When Samuel Knowles was extradited to the United States, that was breaking news throughout the country. Knowles’ extradition trial was a regular news item on all of the news broadcasts in New Providence. Thanks to the media, Samuel ”Ninety” Knowles has become both an icon and a superstar in this country. Knowles was convicted by a U.S. court for drug trafficking. He is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence.

When a judge in Nassau had ‘Ninety’ arrested, this caused quite a stir. Persons were outraged. Has it gotten so bad in this country that we are now cheering for alleged drug traffickers in court?

Another case getting heightened media attention was that of Dwight Major. He and his wife, Keva, are now well-known throughout the country.

The fact that the U.S. government accused the Majors of drug trafficking means nothing … all that is seen is the glitz and glamour.

The fact that Samuel ”Ninety” Knowles, the Majors and Dion ”Emperor” Knowles can get such press coverage in this country is a stinging indictment on Bahamians, especially those who work in the media. We tell our kids to stay away from drugs and to not engage in any criminal activity. Yet, it seems as if we are so fixated with alleged drug traffickers and criminals.

These persons are treated like demigods and movie stars. The media has turned these alleged drug traffickers into celebrities.

It is extremely disappointing and frustrating to see prominent political figures fraternizing with number bosses. One cannot fully appreciate just how demoralizing it is to police officers to see the face of these chronic lawbreakers in the newspapers.

All of the above persons have been afforded superstar status by the Bahamian media. Some of them are even more popular than most of our Parliamentarians. And yet we wonder why the criminal element has run amok in New Providence. If you don’t believe me, just try asking the average teenager in New Providence who the MP for South Eleuthera is. There is a good chance that the teenager doesn’t know the answer to that question. Yet, ask the same teenager who Samuel ”Ninety” Knowles is. He will answer that question without hesitation. When you become a notorious drug dealer or a big time number boss, you will get your 15 seconds of fame. The media will make sure you become a celebrity.

By: Kevin Evans

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