Our Readers' Opinions
October 18, 2016
An open letter to the Editor of Searchlight

Editor: A few weeks ago, I proudly expressed my opinion about this newspaper’s front page story, where they carried several stories about successful students who sat their exams and did extremely well. It was arguably the best front page story I’ve seen in quite some time.{{more}}

What I am writing about this time is the front and back page stories that were published in the Friday, October 14, 2016 edition of the Searchlight, where criminal activities were alleged to have been committed. While this paper should report on things as they see them, the question is why the front page coverage? I sometimes wonder if it’s about sensationalism. Is it about sales? Or is it simply what Vincentians like to read?

As Vincentians, our country is essentially more important than reporting stories that will have a negative impact on our country. The reason why I’m so disturbed by the front and back page stories on the Friday, October 14, 2016 edition of the Searchlight is because some persons read these stories and think it’s good to see reports on criminal activities and crime, so they idolize a life of crime which they see being published on front pages of newspapers.

Questions for the editor: What are you trying to accomplish by publishing criminal activities? Did you consider the negative impact that follows after publishing those stories on the front and back pages of the newspaper? Besides the editorial which is a key element of the paper, is there any other substance to the paper? In a few weeks from now, our tourism season begins; is any consideration being given when publishing tourist related crimes?

St Vincent and the Grenadines was promised by Dr Gonsalves that he would be very hard on crime and the causes of crime and criminal activities. As Minister of National Security he is trying, but there are some Vincentians who are bent and committed to a life of crime and we must find a way to rid this country of them. Let the law take its course; don’t give them front page coverage!

Farmers, taxi operators, hotel personnel, restaurant personnel and persons who are indirectly involved are being hindered by tourist related crime. That’s why I’m hoping that the editor will be more sensitive when reporting about criminal activities and crime, as it creates a very frightening image for St Vincent and the Grenadines.

While the charges against journalist Ari Shaw for assaulting a police officer were dropped by magistrate Bertie Pompey, I’m hoping that the necessary authorities find a way to prevent this from reoccurring. It’s very disappointing; what would have been the end result if a videotape of the incident didn’t exist? “Video speaks a million words” is a wise statement from magistrate Bertie Pompey. You can’t tell lies when you’re caught on video.

Anyway, I gone!!

Kingsley De Freitas