First, some housekeeping.
To Mike, who commented on “This is not the time to not know what you’re talking about“, here is my belated response:
Mike – I stand by my assertion that Ms Marajh’s coverage of the RBC/RBTT deal was textbook, which is what irks you. You criticise it as “routine” – I invite you to show me a comparable piece of business coverage from any other reporter at a Caribbean publication. My intention was not to compare her work to that of the FT, the WSJ or the NY Times – and I have seen worse at all three of these papers – but to highlight her as an outlier amongst her peers.
Further, Ms Marajh did scoop the international media; the deal was small but significant for RBC from a strategic standpoint. Your criticisms of the story – e.g. “is RBTT bloated? Will there be
job cuts to generate cost savings?” are not unfair, but I would contend that they are usually addressed – even in the major papers – in secondary analysis pieces, or in the second take on the news. This is often because, especially in a deal that has not yet been made public, the details are not available and are secondary to the fact of the transaction.
Yes, the story would be considered routine at a major international daily; but the Express is not the FT. Given the dross typical of the content of our local newspapers, the coverage stood out.
You then criticize Curtis Rampersad’s Express story, which I characterised as having done a decent job of summarizing a complex topic. You contend: “I see no real understanding of the complexity of the situation facing financial markets. He mostly quotes local “experts” opining on the implications of the meltdown for local businesses. This isn’t journalism; it’s stenography.”
I riposte – there are very few journalists even at the WSJ and the FT who have a thorough grasp of this financial crisis. Indeed, there are but a handful of global policymakers who have not been proven to be out of their depth. And yet, despite Rampersad’s lack of expertise and his even further remove from expert sources than a journalist in the US or UK, he produced a decent story. And if he committed stenography, by your definition, then thousands of journalists across the world are doing the same every day.
Sometimes, you have to give credit where it is due.