When your father owns the newspaper, you get a 56-page spread thanking you for your service to the entire Caribbean region. The Butch Stewart-owned Jamaica Observer yesterday included a 56-page, full-color spread devoted to his son, Adam Stewart, who is also CEO of Sandals, the resort chain with locations across the Caribbean. Except, oops, the Observer made a giant mistake. The title of the spread, ADAM STEWART, OD, Tourism’s Rising Star, was incorrect, as indicated by a correction on page 2 or 3 the same day. (It is supposed to be CD, as indicated in the correction. How embarrassing. This is a major mistake spread throughout the entire spread that could have been easily avoided by some basic fact-checking) Earlier this year, Mr. Steward was awarded the Order of Distinction in Jamaica, as well as Hotelier of the Year (apparently the acronym is CD).
I’m not doubting Mr. Stewart’s abilities, personality or intelligence, or anything related to his character. But this is definitely not journalism. To be fair, it is not pretending to be, but I would love to talk to Jamaicans on the North coast, or anywhere, for that matter, to see how Sandals affects their lives and livelihoods. Sandals Foundation does some good work, but no matter what company it is, these resorts have major impacts on their surroundings, from the economy to the environment, both positive and negative. This is journalism’s job, to research the extent and impact, which a newspaper owned by the same owner as the resorts would not do.