Nature’s construction


Nature’s construction is amazing. I’ve been thinking about that watching the coverage of the devastation wrought by the hurricanes in the Caribbean. Jamaica has been lucky, other islands, not so. Thoughts and prayers are with the people who lost everything. Nature will rebuild itself, humanity will take longer.

“When the unwelcomed neighbour is the church”


Over the course of the summer, Global Reporters of the Caribbean founder Zahra Burton and I, along with six other journalism mentors, trained 30 Jamaicans to be investigative journalists as part of a project with National Integrity Action (NIA) and USAID COMET II. It was a long and difficult, but very rewarding, process. The stories are starting to be published now, some print, radio and television. This is one of them, by one of my Utech students, Alayne Richards. We are very proud!

Inoperable Internet


The Internet is often inoperable at Utech, where I teach. The students say this is normal. Administration says the same and that it is due to a lack of funds. It makes it difficult to teach some classes, especially those that centre around the Internet. And makes posting this blog impossible some days, as I am on campus almost all day. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

Why do the media focus on bad news?


Why do newspapers and journalists gravitate towards bad news? This is a question I have pondered a lot. It is also a question that comes up amongst my students. And a comment on my blog yesterday from Dennis Jones…

So, we ask, is this a common occurrence but not much reported, especially with evidence, or is it a rarity? Do the media focus on negative not positive stories?

It seems social media was happy with the Gleaner’s cover page yesterday, which celebrated a young man who saved a boy’s life. The boy was nearly washed away in a swollen gully. The young man has now been offered a job.

Amidst so much horrifying news, both locally and internationally, people are thirsting for good news. So why does the media rarely publish good news stories, at least in the perception of readers?

Bad news alerts people to things that should be fixed or changed. Bad news shows people what could be improved upon. Bad news tends to try to hold people accountable and to demand change. At least this is my theory. More simply, people gravitate to sensational news. They are voyeurs and the news caters to that. Those are some quick thoughts on a morning I am headed off to teach said students.