The good and the bad in TV news

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October 18, 2011

Dear Editor,
Many Bahamians are now saying that NB12 is the best newscast in The Bahamas.  I have heard persons from Grand Bahama praising the private news organization for airing stories that don't even appear on the ZNS Bahamas Tonight newscast.  This is an indication that NB12 is one step ahead of ZNS in getting information.  I give NB12 credit for this.  I have seen NB12 feature important stories from New Providence that never see the light of day on ZNS. While it is true that ZNS has done an admiral job in covering the news from the Family Islands, NB12 seems to be doing a better job of covering the news in New Providence.
NB12 is very professional and fast-paced.  The reporters are very articulate and good-looking.  In fact, the reporters on NB12 are better looking than the reporters on ZNS.  I have heard several Grand Bahamian men brag about how beautiful the reporters are from that private news organization.  I would be lying if I said I prefer ZNS TV news to NB12.  I don't.  In fact, I find myself watching NB12 rather than ZNS TV news.  Reporters like Candia Dames and Juan McCartney are very good at their craft.  It could be argued that both are the best in the business.
I have noticed that NB12 reporters always make it a point to say that they are the best in the business in bringing news to the people.  No one can deny that they are very good in this regard.  Moreover, the actual television newscast is very professional; and the video production is high quality.  If I didn't know better, I might assume that I was watching a U.S. TV newscast when I tune in to NB12.  ZNS TV newscasts, on the other hand, often look like old video footage from the 1980s.  I think NB12 has outdone ZNS in this area.
Nevertheless, despite its upside and professionalism, I still don't think that NB12 is the best TV newscast in the business right now.  I give the slight edge to ZNS for the simple reason that ZNS TV news airs on holidays and weekends.  I have noticed that NB12 doesn't air on weekends.  I had switched the TV channel to NB12 at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 14, which was the Discovery Day holiday, and saw a program on called, 'Islands of the World Fashion Week'.  During that same time, though, The Bahamas Tonight newscast was on.  When the weekends come, NB12 shuts down like most government agencies in this country.  ZNS TV news, however, despite its shortcomings, is on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.  When I want to watch the news on a Saturday or Sunday evening I can turn to NB12, but it's off the air.
Furthermore, the newscasters and reporters on ZNS are also very professional and articulate.  I have been critical of ZNS throughout the years, but I still give them credit for having very good reporters.
In addition to airing its newscast on the weekends and holidays, ZNS continues to run circles around the other media houses when it comes to covering an approaching hurricane.  This was evident when Hurricane Irene slammed into The Bahamas this past August.  I believe that ZNS TV news has outdone its competitors in this area.  Most Bahamians tune in to ZNS to get the latest information on an approaching hurricane.  I think ZNS has at least two meteorologists on staff.  As far as I can tell, I don't know if NB12 has any meteorologists.
Until NB12 decides to broadcast on weekends and on holidays, it cannot honestly consider itself the best in the business at this stage.  The ZNS Bahamas Tonight newscast is still the number one rated newscast in the country right now.  NB12 is indeed good, but it still has a ways to go before it can be crowned number one.
I hope whoever calls the shots at NB12 reads this letter and gives serious consideration to airing the news on weekends.  NB12 has been on the air now for several years.  It is high time that it starts broadcasting on weekends and on holidays.
Yours, etc.,

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News date : 10/18/2011    Category : Letters, Nassau Guardian Stories

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