In an exclusive interview with MiyVue.com, Minister Hensley Daniel explained that according to his observations, the media publishes those articles which focus on crime and gives them prominence in their publications. He further explained that while he understands that there are those stories which warrant being prominently placed, he does not understand why stories about petty crime are given the same treatment.
Minister Daniel told this media house that there are many positive happenings in the Federation which deserve to be highlighted but because the negative stories are at the forefront, the positives are left by the wayside and are not promulgated as they should.
“Criminals are being glorified and the media seems to be celebrating them so they are taking up the front pages of the newspaper and it suggests that that is what the country stands for. You have young people who are doing well in agriculture, in fishing, in education, in tourism and all the other areas. I sat with the head of my Social Services Department and told her this year, we are going to change that language. That language must be about the people, doing positive things.
“It speaks to a very specific kind of approach…where everything you pick up in a newspaper, it is glorifying all the badness. There is far more good going on in the country than there is bad and 95 percent of this country’s people are heading in the right direction. But the five percent, who are not, end up being glorified, celebrated, given more media.”
Providing an example of positive happenings, Minister Hensley mentioned the Shekinah Dance Group in Nevis which has membership of approximately 100.
“We have a dance group in Nevis with 100 people, Shekinah Dance, glorifying God…that does not end up in the newspaper. Its rubbish when you putting all the gun crime and violence in the newspaper. I am not saying that you must hide it, but it must not occupy the prominent areas in the scheme of things because this would not represent the general atmosphere in the country.
“That is what I am saying, that the media must go into the highways of this country and find the young people who are doing small businesses, who are promoting all kinds of things for the benefit of the country, and let these small group of people understand that there is no place for them among all these positive thigns that are going on.”
Providing clarity, Daniel reminded that he is not saying that articles about crime must not be reported but rather that positive things – such as measures being taken to combat crime – should be given equal priority.