Press hiding behind sources? Not true

First Published: 2003-11-29

In the November 17th issue of The Punch Catherine Kelly contended that the press was increasing its reliance “on unnamed sources to slant their coverage of the business and financial news.” The trend is described as being so prevalent that “even the Nassau Institute thinks that a 2,000-word interview with ‘BF’ – a ‘banker friend’ – can be passed off as credible criticism of the Tax Information Act.”

One test of her argument is whether the "content" of the article in question is valid. However, Ms. Kelly did not speak to the issues addressed in the article. Yet…she sells herself as the expert on “DOLLARS$ AND $EN$E”…that’s the message in her masthead.

Instead…she attacks the anonymity of the author. This is an “ad hominem” argument; and Webster describes this as an argument “directed at one’s prejudices rather than one’s intellect.” She owes us, her reading public, something more than that.

Even more importantly she overlooks one of the characteristics of Bahamian businessmen; with good reason they don’t speak nor write publicly in order to affect public opinion and ultimately legislation. The reason is not hard to find…it’s called victimization.

The Bahamas is governed by a political elite whose objectives are to secure their continuing political power and to enrich themselves and their supporters in the process. They do this with a comprehensive system of controls, rewards and punishments; and any public questioning of government policy or intent is discouraged. In this system “politics” trumps “economics”.

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