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NICOLLE NICOLLS LETS DOWN THE SIDE

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cialis sales nurse times;”>nicolePerry Christie, pharm the Prime Minister, took to Nicolle Nicolls.  She is the daughter after all of a Valley Boy.  Her grandfather was a great supporter of the cause.  They say that the good deeds of the fathers shall descend upon his children and children’s children.  There is a corollary to that:  to whom much is given much is expected.  Things like loyalty, faithfulness and trust and we would argue more than just fidelity but fidelity to high ethical standards.  You expect with someone like that for relationships to mean something.

Ms. Nicolls used to be a Tribune writer.  Suffering under that yoke, she was freed of it with a contract to help promote the dream of  the late Winston “Gus” Cooper, the founder of the Valley Boys to make Junkanoo an enduring economic proposition.  She is one of its promoters under contract of the Junkanoo Carnival.

What then is Prime Minister Christie to make of a story written with the byline of Nicolle Nicolls in the Jamaica Gleaner last week on 20th  December in which she reported that a senior immigration officer is alleged to have raped a Jamaican detainee in the Carmichael Road Detention Centre.  Our judgment: this without more is biting the hand that feeds you.  It does not meet the smell test; the high ethical standards which are expected. The ethical question is put like this: should a contractor with a government agency that is supposed to be promoting the best interests of The Bahamas be involved in creating a bad image for The Bahamas?  By writing such a story, she has done the opposite of what she was contracted to do for the Junkanoo Carnival. Instead of a good image, she has painted a bad image.

The natural consequence of that should be that the contract  if it still exists should be severed. She is no longer fit for that purpose.

There is another point which was raised by an anonymous columnist to this column  last week. Ms. Nicolls mother is one of the operators of the Bahamas Crisis Centre.  The back channel information is that the woman who was the subject of her story was referred to the crisis centre for counseling.  We won’t put two and two together and make it five but lawyers would argue that the relationship is too proximate for the story of someone who may have been a crisis centre client to end up with a full front page interview in the Jamaica Gleaner by the daughter of someone who operates the centre

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. A vulnerable woman who goes to the crisis centre  might well be the legitimate subject of a front page story but the question is should the story have been written by someone so proximate to the Crisis Centre?

 

Further,  the writer of the story engaged in a comment which clearly appeared to show that she had an animus in writing the story.  She again improperly in our view posted on her Facebook page the following words:  “ I must say, of all the arrogant statements Fred Mitchell’s ministry has put out on this whole immigration mess this one was the only one that demonstrated actual diplomacy. It was late again, of course, but the right message to send.”

A writer for a newspaper of record should have a dispassionate view and if not view presentation.  The story should reflect both sides.   She should not disclose her biases.  First she says: “arrogant statements”—that is editorializing and adopting the rhetoric of the Opposition Free National Movement on the Minister in question.  Then the expression, “ immigration mess” – what mess is she talking about?  Then it’s “ Fred Mitchell’s Ministry”—there is no such Ministry, there is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration.  Then it’s  “late again” – another expression used by the Free National Movement to describe the policies of the PLP.  So here you have a writer who clearly has an animus from the start on everything associated with the government to which she is or was contracted to do image work for the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.

We understand that on a previous occasion while working at the Tribune she wrote a story about the Educational Loan Authority seeking repayment of those who had not repaid their government borrowed funds without in the story disclosing that she was a borrower.

As they say: something is wrong with  all of that.

We have also learned through back channels that before the story was offered to the Jamaica Gleaner, it was offered to The Tribune at 2 dollars per word.  The Tribune turned aside the offer.

We hold journalists to the same standard that they hold politicians.  There should be no self-dealing, no conflicts of interest.  Someone who writes a story should provide a balanced story without personal animus.  This is a message to  those we have criticized in this arena before Alison Lowe, Candia Dames and now this lady. 

For all those reasons, we think that Nicolle Nicolls let down the side.  What a pity.  What a shame.

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