Hi there, Trinidad Guardian folk

To the editors and reporters of the Trinidad Guardian who might be reading this:

Hi. The Liming House here. Today I happened to catch the attention of the folk(s) behind @TriniGuardian.  As I’m inclined to do whenever I read one of your pieces, I was engaging in some stream of consciousness invective, as below:

“most ‘Neediest Cases'”? Srsly? RT @TriniGuardian The Fund was organised to identify the ten most “Neediest Cases” in T&T…

Dear @TriniGuardian: you need to hire some bloody editors. http://bit.ly/9IeSJ4

And what is with this ‘Karen’ and ‘Anil’ nonsense? You all used to pitch marble? http://bit.ly/cUES62

Could you also hire people who who can put a sentence together @TriniGuardian? This is appalling http://bit.ly/d1pajB

Other weighed in, via RTs and replies:

seldo @theliminghouse Do not get me (and especially not @eparillon) started on the illiteracy of T&T newspapers. The Express is even worse.

eparillon @theliminghouse @seldo that example doesn’t even seem that bad by Trini news standards, honestly.

eparillon @theliminghouse The one about the PSA guy who embezzled all that money. And I agree on the weeping.

eparillon @theliminghouse I’m not saying it was literate, but I did end the article knowing marginally more than when I started it.

eparillon @theliminghouse That’s a BIG victory by Trini press standards.

To which I responded:

@eparillon which example? There are numerous. Those were selected arbitrarily. In general, I avoiding reading the Trini press. Makes me cry.

@eparillon The piece on the PSA guy was all kinds of terrible, made worse by the fact the reporters involved thought they were oh- so-clever

@seldo Oh, I’ve written about them before. But it’s been a while. Time for a fresh dissection.

By that time, your Twitter folk(s) had clocked on:

TriniGuardian Please know that we appreciate your comments and opinion and we will look into this matter @theliminghouse

Thanks @theliminghouse for the observation, we acknowledge your comment

TriniGuardian @theliminghouse is there anything further you wish us to assist you with at this moment. We do our best to complete our duties…

Of course, there’s history here, something to which I alluded in my responses:

@TriniGuardian Still waiting to hear back from you about previous queries, so I won’t hold my breath.

Further to hiring better editors, teaching reporters how to write and basic fact-checking, see also http://bit.ly/azbfgp @TriniGuardian

As for that history? Let’s go back to September 2009, when I published  dissection of a piece of work written by Richard Lord on alcohol consumption in Trinidad. That post got picked up by Global Voices and various Twitterati, and as with today, the folks behind @TriniGuardian promised to “look into it.”

Never heard back.

But listen, don’t take my outbursts personally.

Actually, scratch that. You should bloody well take this personally. As a rule, the quality of reporting in your newspaper and on your website is abysmal. Your pages are replete with spelling mistakes, typos and grammar that would shock a half-decent primary school student; errors of fact and omission; opinion pieces masquerading as news; pieces without bylines;  stories and photographs ripped from the pages and websites of other publications without attribution.

Have you no professional pride? Do you care not at all about getting things right? Do you pay no heed to the fact that strong, hard-hitting and objective media are essential to the development of a country and its people?

Do any of you even read?

What the hell is going on with media in Trinidad and Tobago? Seriously. Get a grip, guys and gals. Because this is beyond embarrassing.

Back in March 2009, I wrote the following but never posted it:

I blame the journalists. I blame the reporters. I blame the editors, the subeditors and the production desks. I blame the anchors, the sound engineers and the camera operators. I blame the owners and the advertisers. I blame the readers, the viewers, the listeners.

Because Trinidadian media suck.

That about sums it up.