Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis excoriated local newspaper editors in an address at the 3rd annual Bahamas Press Club Awards held at the British Colonial Hilton on Saturday evening.
The Prime Minister criticized the apparent conflict of interest and the sensationalizing of political journalism.
“While I understand that journalists in The Bahamas must take on multiple roles given the number of reporters and limited resources; it is still surprising that some who serve as editors, also regularly write or offer commentary. This is not a practice that would be allowed by journalists in other countries. I am not speaking here of editorial writing.
“A journalist and a columnist are distinctly different roles.
“The editors of The New York Times or Globe and Mail in Canada, nor the editors at the British Broadcasting Corporation would allow their editors to write commentary or to host a radio program driven by personal opinion, as well as commentary that purports to be news analysis.
“The 24-hour cable news shows in the United States have in a number of ways led to a lessening of standards that would not have been allowed in previous times. There has been a considerable blurring of reporting and commentary.
“It is telling when certain standards have been breached, that some in the press do not even realize that a standard has been breached. Journalists are not supposed to be champions of any political party, business, group or interest in a country,” Dr. Minnis said.
The Prime Minister also said that the business sections of the local papers are doing a better job by providing more insight that found on the front pages.
Full Text of Prime Minister Minnis’ speech