March 06, 2013
The Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas takes grave exception to the misleading and harmful depiction of two of its employees in a news story appearing on the Cable Bahamas’/Nassau Guardian’s “NB12” news cast on Monday, February 25th, 2013.
The story focused on the press conference held by the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, the Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, concerning the 2013 Mid Year Budget communication. The NB12 reporter repeated assertions made by Dr. Minnis concerning government hiring following the 2012 General Elections. The script read as follows: “Dr. Minnis said that upon taking office, the Christie Administration went on a hiring spree, an act he says wrong sized many government corporations.”
The accompanying video in this passage included video of ZNS employee and co anchor for The Bahamas Tonight, Mr. Kendeno Knowles, and reporter Karissma Robinson, also a ZNS employee. The following shot was an exterior shot of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC).
While the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas acknowledges additional hires were made in 2012 to accommodate the transition to full digital status and expanded programming initiatives, it is of serious concern when individual employees are misrepresented as being political hires. The editorial decision by Cable Bahamas’ news producers went far beyond journalistic responsibility and ethics.
The result is the implication of political patronage in the case of the hires of Mr. Knowles and Ms. Robinson, which is incorrect and unfair. The Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas advertised widely its vacancies in the news room and received applications and resumes from a number of journalists, including many from Cable Bahamas. Mr. Knowles and Ms. Robinson were hired on the merit of their experience, education and expertise. Their individual politics is not the business of this corporation and was never a determining factor in their eventual hiring.
As professional colleagues, the decision makers at Cable Bahamas/The Nassau Guardian should appreciate the dangers professionally and personally to reporters being identified along political lines. The report was unfair, inaccurate and misleading and we condemn it in the strongest terms.