Now That the Charade of an “HD Launch” at ZNS is Complete, Perhaps the Focus on Balanced News Reporting Can Begin

STOPLAYINGGAMESI don’t know about anyone else, but one of my personal pet peeves is the willful deception of people. My mantra always is “present the facts, whether those facts make you look good or not.”

Against that backdrop, the charade of a “launch of HD” at ZNS tonight would have been entertaining were it not ludicrous on two key levels – the first being that the use of HD equipment at ZNS began at the beginning of 2012 – not this or last month.

ZNS was provided approximately $5 million under the previous government to effect the conversion and upgrade from an analog broadcast format to a high definition digital platform. The vast majority of the build-out was completed prior to the May 7 General Election.

The capacity to broadcast a digital signal was not fully in place prior to the General Election, but practically all camera work was being done using newly purchased HD digital cameras from early 2012.

So the “launch of HD” at ZNS is patently a charade. When you launch something, it was not in use prior to your launch and is now being used. HD equipment has been in use at ZNS for almost a full year.

The second point is actually the most important point – the reporting of news by ZNS or any media house for that matter. Conversion to HD technology is necessary – but when you are giving me clearer, better visual quality of your newscast, can you also go ahead and give me actual news at the same time please?

Now don’t get me wrong, ZNS is not alone in the dire weaknesses that exist in the Fourth Estate (media) in this country. ZNS does not present balanced, comprehensive, well researched, contextually educational and informational reporting of the news just like other media houses in this country do not in varying degrees, some better at it than others from time to time.

My concern is a national one – I thank the previous administration for the purchase and substantive implementation of HD broadcasting at ZNS, and I thank the current administration for the confetti party it held tonight for what was done from almost 12 months ago.

What I as a Bahamian would now love to be thankful for, is to be able to live in a country where the Fourth Estate understands its job, is well-trained to do its job and then does its job, without fear, compromise, bias or indolence.

Being a PR arm for the government of the day in The Bahamas, whether you are ZNS or a private media house serves no productive purpose to the nation.

We had “HD” at ZNS almost a year ago. Can we have news and not PR at ZNS now too, please? Now THAT would be something worth cocktails, shrimp and a special live television broadcast.