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!