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Local Media Houses lose employees as they struggle to remain competitive

- Have some reporters in the online news business gone on to greener pastures?
BVI Platinum News has seen its senior reporter Gordon U. French (left) leaving the company. It is reported that he is now with one of the newest car dealership located on the main island of Tortola. BVI Platinum News has since been advertising on their news site for a journalist. Virgin Islands News Online (VINO), rated number one in the online news business, has also lost one of its key reporters in the person of Cathy O. Richards. It’s reported that she is now in the hospitality sector working on one of the smaller islands a few miles from Tortola. Photo: VINO/Facebook
JTV, one of the few television news stations in the Virgin Islands (VI), will lose one of its two reporters in that of Sean Rose (left), who has become a household name in the VI. It is reported that Mr Rose is expected to return to his native country of St Vincent and the Grenadines at the end of April 2016. Last year saw the departure from BVI News Online of Nedburn Thaffee, who has now been replaced at the news organisation. It is our understanding that Mr Thaffee, a staff reporter, has moved back to his native Jamaica. Photo: Facebook
JTV, one of the few television news stations in the Virgin Islands (VI), will lose one of its two reporters in that of Sean Rose (left), who has become a household name in the VI. It is reported that Mr Rose is expected to return to his native country of St Vincent and the Grenadines at the end of April 2016. Last year saw the departure from BVI News Online of Nedburn Thaffee, who has now been replaced at the news organisation. It is our understanding that Mr Thaffee, a staff reporter, has moved back to his native Jamaica. Photo: Facebook
Most of the media houses in the Virgin Islands have an average of two reporters with the BVI Beacon (print paper) and VINO (online; 3 reporters, including a sports reporter) having the biggest staff. Photo: VINO/Facebook
Most of the media houses in the Virgin Islands have an average of two reporters with the BVI Beacon (print paper) and VINO (online; 3 reporters, including a sports reporter) having the biggest staff. Photo: VINO/Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- It is not often that the media turns its lenses on itself to report on the ‘going ons’ in the media world. The media companies in the Virgin Islands, like any other business, goes through its ‘ups and downs’ and within the past year the three main online news sites (Virgin Islands News Online, BVI Platinum and BVI News) have lost some of their journalists (reporters) to most often greener pastures and are in the process of recruiting their replacements.

Reporters seek other opportunities like any other employee

Last year saw the departure from BVI News Online of Nedburn Thaffee, who has now been replaced at the news organisation. It is our understanding that Mr Thaffee, a staff reporter, has moved back to his native Jamaica.

BVI Platinum News has also seen its senior reporter Gordon U. French leaving the company. It is reported that he is now with one of the newest car dealership located on the main island of Tortola.

BVI Platinum News has since been advertising on their news site for a journalist.

Virgin Islands News Online (VINO), rated number one in the online news business, has also lost one of its key reporters in the person of Cathy O. Richards. It’s reported that she is now in the hospitality sector working on one of the smaller islands a few miles from Tortola.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Advance Marketing and Professional Services, the parent company of VINO, Mr Julian Willock who we reached via cellular phone, in an invited comment confirmed the departure of Ms Richards who he described as “one of the best we have had” and also that the news site is actively recruiting. He declined to comment further and said he was overseas, and needed to return to his meeting.

JTV, one of the few television news stations in the Virgin Islands (VI), will lose one of its two reporters in that of Sean Rose. It is reported that Mr Rose is expected to return to his native country of St Vincent and the Grenadines at the end of April 2016. It’s unclear who will replace the veteran journalist.

Mr Rose, who has become somewhat of a familiar voice in the VI, confirmed to Virgin Islands News Online he is “moving on.”

“It’s just about 2006 since I have been around and it was a pleasure being here. BVI is a great place but of course some of us have other ambitions,” Mr Rose commented.

Meanwhile, most of the media houses in the VI have an average of two reporters with the BVI Beacon (print paper) and VINO (online; 3 reporters, including a sports reporter) having the biggest staff.

Modern media business competitive

The media has become very competitive as all media houses struggle to keep pace with the competitive media news and information war, being the choice for advertisers in order to raise revenue and bringing the news first and accurately to the public.

“It’s just like any other business. It’s challenging. It’s not necessarily just pertaining to media houses. I have another business as well and finding staff for that is just as equally challenging,” said Owner of BVI News Online, Julia Donovan.

In fact, Ms Donovan said there were some advantages, however. “It’s probably easier with media houses because when you put in for someone’s work permit you don’t have the Labour Department sending you ‘qualified reporters to hire’ because basically there are no Tolians whereas for other businesses the Labour Office always find you other qualified personnel. I find that easier in that sense,” Ms Donovan further told Virgin Islands News Online.

The media houses of the Overseas Territory of the VI have also gotten its share of unwarranted attacks from politicians, especially the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). They have usually gone after the online news sites disproportionately, however, in most cases the attacks are ignored by the media organisations or the online news sites stand by their story in answering back, which one hundred percent of the time turns out to be accurate.

Some regard the media as an important pillar or institution of any democratic society in order to keep the public informed and also educate ordinary persons.

The role of the media

In addition, the media plays an important role in increasing public awareness and collects the views, information and attitudes toward certain issue. In this decade of knowledge and awareness there is a huge and grand role for the media. The local media is all around us when we watch on television, listen to news on the radio, read magazines, online news sites and newspapers. Without the media, people in societies would be isolated from the rest of the world, especially in small societies like the VI.

Could you image the VI without the media with a National Democratic Party or any government for that matter running the affairs of our country left unchecked?

17 Responses to “Local Media Houses lose employees as they struggle to remain competitive”

  • ?? (25/04/2016, 10:17) Like (12) Dislike (10) Reply
    were they scared off by the NDP??
  • VI Sunshine (25/04/2016, 10:20) Like (15) Dislike (2) Reply
    Well Said! say no more. Just keep writing your articles and posting our views. Thanks.
  • Guest (25/04/2016, 10:24) Like (27) Dislike (3) Reply
    "Could you image the VI without the media with a National Democratic Party or any government for that matter running the affairs of our country left unchecked?" we will be all dead already good points
  • Observer (25/04/2016, 10:30) Like (38) Dislike (2) Reply
    Thank you Mr. Rose for the level of professionalism you brought to the media. All the best for the future
  • facts man (25/04/2016, 10:35) Like (21) Dislike (3) Reply
    heard an NDP Minister told one if they write a certain story they will get sent home!!!! set of wicked people
  • LOL (25/04/2016, 10:41) Like (16) Dislike (7) Reply
    hope Zan is next to leave LOL
  • Albion (25/04/2016, 10:53) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    both vino and the blue site lost two good reporters in Gordon and Cathy Big Big lost
  • Sherry (25/04/2016, 11:12) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank you Mr French for your dedication to get the facts out. When you were at Standpoint, you were the only paper who supported or at least publicized the plight of Beef island and Hans Creek. You were receptive to new stories and saw the importance of their implication. You dared to dig for the truth, something being challenged by this government in their secretive mode of operation. We need a new generation of INVESTIGATIVE REPORTERS if the government itself will not come clean. That is also why the freedom of information act is so important. To allow the public to monitor who they ELECTED. Shame on those who threaten the public's mouth piece.
    • yes (25/04/2016, 14:22) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
      yes I do remember Mr French, he is a good journalist. If my memory serves me right, he had the pier park project wrapped around his hands, some good investigative pieces but now it seems the government is being allowed to get away with ill behaviour. i hope soon we will see all three sites go after this project. we really do depend on vino, platinum and bvi news for our news and what the people are thinking when we read the blogs. all the best to our news site
  • kelo (25/04/2016, 13:07) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    what about hot press?
  • Thumbs Up (25/04/2016, 18:43) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    you are very important. but you should take seriously some emails showing proof rather than just 'blog' opinions
    that have been sent your way...appreciate you, things are getting out of hand. anonymous.
  • Interested (25/04/2016, 23:28) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    some times its good to see the media writing about itself!
  • Rastarite (26/04/2016, 00:32) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    LONG LIVE THE ONELINE NEWS AND THANK GOD FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH
  • Inez (26/04/2016, 01:59) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    That guy Thaffe was simply the best in court and law enforcement coverage. Sources plenty. He and the other Mills dude from Jamaica really turn BVI News around. Good journalist.

    Love you Ms C Richards. Sweet girl. Hope to see you around. You were good girl
  • Online Now (28/04/2016, 22:48) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Yet they only try to come to the BVI to 'milk the cow' dry!!!!


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