More Talk Less Music!

Our airwaves is dominated with music, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year after year. How much airtime is put into informing and educating our citizens? How much of the music is our own?
At weekend when many people have time to listen to informative and educational programmes, no radio station has made a serious attempt to fill this void. I have taken the liberty to speak with many broadcasters over time and I get the feeling that the producers are convinced that the audience in radio land are music driven. All day Saturday and Sunday when there is premium opportunity for more talk and less music they continue a musical onslaught with very little mood variation in some cases.
The time has come for producers to take a hard look at their contribution to informing and educating our people. We cannot carry on like this. It is the lack of information which is affecting the progress of our nation as many of us rely on the talk shows which can only do so much and in many instances are dominated by persons who make no real contribution to the debate. More importantly all programmes are driven by time and when the telephone lines are opened there is no control, all hell breaks loose. Then there is the situation of perpetual complainers. Many need to be talking to the Parliamentary Commissioner.
There are too many people who are unhappy with the economic state of affairs but can only deal with the negatives and find persons to blame without offering solutions and putting themselves in a position to influence change for the better. In this regard I believe that the electronic and print media have a vital role to play. We should open up the media to much more talk shows with a wide range of topics.
The economy should be a very important topic. The same could be said of the print medium, get more Guest Writers. Encourage more free-lance journalists and give them some recognition. I never get an invitation to attend any function except for the Annual Prime Minister's Brunch for media professionals. Maybe this is due to the fact that in the country there is a Media Workers Association which has no accommodation for free-lance journalists.
The media in my view did a great job in promoting Carnival, however, I am yet to see the words of songs published in our newspapers. I feel that if we were to publish the lyrics of calypsoes, the supporters of the art form would be more informed and can really make a judgement as to the lyrical content, especially when it comes to the Calypso King final.
While I am at large with Carnival I was somewhat concerned about the quality of the songs when the season started but as it progressed I got very comfortable with the songs presented. The future looks bright for Carnival, especially with the new additions and enhanced support for regular shows. I predicted that the Commercial Houses Competition would have been a success even to the point that I promised to participate in the 2003 contest.
For the first time I watched the Bands parade on Monday and Tuesday. I have never done this before. The organisers must be com-plemented for their efforts. To those who feel that the ladies were too exposed - make a difference, show those who insist that they must show all that it can be different. The men for the most part were great - very conservative costumes. I could have been a part of any band. As I stood and watched at the revellers I thought it might be a good time to introduce a Golden Memories Band comprising of over 50 revellers. My most treasured memory of Carnival 2002 was Ole Mas Band.
The year 2002 inspite of the economic realities has provided St. Lucians with an array of entertainment program-mes. For us to participate in the programmes and not be simply bystanders as it was for many, there will have to be less music and more talk, and more in-depth articles in the print media. The St. Lucian public needs to know that there are St. Lucian success stories past and present. Listening to Mr. Dave Samuel on RSL last Sunday afternoon talking with his guest Mrs. Patsy Cadet was refreshing
For the music aspect especially on Sunday mornings, it helps me as I catch up on my reading and preparation for the week ahead but I will be just as comfortable with constructive talk. I listen to Mr. Cletus Springer on FM100. He is such an informed gentleman that I feel we can get more from his programme not just music but some talk that will help us to put food on the table. The point that I'm making is simply this - that at the end of the day our electronic media must work for us. There must be more about St. Lucia and St. Lucians in music and talk.
The media must help to give those among us who are always complaining an opportunity to air their solutions. Too many feel they are not given an opportunity to make a real contribution. The media can help them realise their dream. Although St. Lucia has a small population, it can be a real problem getting your point of view to the fore if you are going to keep griping among friends and persons who cannot affect change. It is important for complainers to understand that the persons in authority need their contribution. When they understand this, they will move from complainers to nation builders.
Keep the Faith! God is in Charge!
Dated 26/7/02