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Premier blasts online news sites for headlines on Hong Kong Office opening

- BVI Platinum News & BVI News the culprits!
BVI Platinum News on September 6, 2013 headlined their story 'Lorna Smith Is Interim Director as Hong Kong Office Opens For Business'. Premier Dr The Hon. D. Orlando Smith is not pleased that online news sites chose to have their headlines playing up Mrs Lorna Smith being named Interim Director of the BVI Office in Hong Kong on the occasion of its opening. Photo: VINO
BVI News also chose to have its headline reflecting that Mrs Lorna Smith was named Interim Director of the BVI Office in Hong Kong on the occasion of its opening. Photo: VINO
BVI News also chose to have its headline reflecting that Mrs Lorna Smith was named Interim Director of the BVI Office in Hong Kong on the occasion of its opening. Photo: VINO
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith has expressed his disappointment about the headlines carried by local online news sites on the recently opened Office in Hong Kong, which is now headed by his wife Mrs Lorna Smith. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith has expressed his disappointment about the headlines carried by local online news sites on the recently opened Office in Hong Kong, which is now headed by his wife Mrs Lorna Smith. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Smith, who is currently in Gibraltar, was not pleased that the online news sites chose to play up in their headlines that his wife Mrs Lorna Smith was named the interim-director when the focus should have been on the opening of the Hong Kong office. He said Mrs Smith being the Interim Director was nothing new. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Smith, who is currently in Gibraltar, was not pleased that the online news sites chose to play up in their headlines that his wife Mrs Lorna Smith was named the interim-director when the focus should have been on the opening of the Hong Kong office. He said Mrs Smith being the Interim Director was nothing new. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith has expressed his disappointment about the headlines carried by local online news sites on the recently opened Office in Hong Kong, which is now headed by his wife Mrs Lorna Smith.

BVI Platinum News on September 6, 2013 headlined their story “Lorna Smith Is Interim Director as Hong Kong Office Opens For Business” while BVI NEWS’ mirrored, “Lorna Smith appointed interim director of new Hong Kong Office.”

The Premier vented his disgust during a telephone interview with ZBVI radio announcer Mr Zan Lewis, sections of which were aired on ZBVI radio last evening, September 10, 2013 and rebroadcast this morning on the said radio station.

Premier Smith, who is currently in Gibraltar, was not pleased that the online news sites chose to play up in their headlines that Mrs Lorna Smith was named the interim-director when the focus should have been on the opening of the Hong Kong office. He said Mrs Smith being the Interim Director was nothing new.

"I want to make mention about the meeting or the opening of the office in Hong Kong. Needless to say I was very disappointed and troubled that on the occasion of the establishment of a very significant activity in the Asia Pacific region to our financial services, the headline on the opening of the office on the online media read, Lorna Smith is interim director of Hong Kong office," said Premier Smith.

At the time of this discourse with Mr Lewis the Premier was responding to questions about the Gibraltar leg of his overseas meeting when he choose to divert to address the issues about the headlines.

"This was an appointment that was made several months ago to give an early start to the function of the office and which will end in a few weeks, and basically I would not have expected to be the headline for an important event of the opening of the office in Hong Kong to further the financial services of the BVI," a disappointed Premier Smith said.

BVI Platinum News has since updated the article in question with the headline “Premier Takes Issue Over Wife Headlining Hong Kong Office Opening”.

The online news site referred to a September 6, 2013 Government Information Service (GIS) issued press release on the official opening of the office that “Mrs Smith was referred to as the interim director in the 10th paragraph of the 14 paragraph press release.”

“This was the first time that Mrs Smith was referred to as the interim director. On previous occasions, which also included press conferences, the Premier had only stated that Mrs Smith would be leading the way to ensure that the office is setup,” BVI Platinum News alleged.

The news site further alleged that before departing for Asia, Premier Smith at a press conference late last month had indicated that “Government is yet to select a Virgin Islander who will head the office in Hong Kong”.

BVI Platinum News has a history of allegedly reporting misinformation

In the case of BVI Platinum News, this is not the first time that they are being blasted for their headlines. There were a number of instances where they were accused of carrying inaccurate and misleading headlines.

“BVI Platinum News misrepresented me-Jamal S. Smith”; “BVI Platinum news report a breach of ethics-Hon. A Christian”; “Miss BVI blasts Platinum for ‘inaccuracies’ in article about her” are just a few stories that were published on Virgin Islands News Online on alleged misinformation, misinterpretation and alleged malicious reporting by the pro-government news site.

In July 2013, Attorney-at-law Mr Jamal S. Smith had alleged that BVI Platinum News had misrepresented him when, in his personal capacity, he had called for transparency to the Cruise Prier development Project. BVI Platinum News had allegedly wrongly quoted him as speaking on behalf of the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) of which Mr Smith is Chairman.

The BVICCHA Chairman had also alleged that the news site had given the impression that he was not in favour of the project, which he said was not the case.

He had also said he had not gone public before to strike a disclaimer to what he alleged BVI Platinum News had falsely reported because at that time, “the position of the Chamber was, leave it alone. Speaking about it constantly will not help the situation,” Mr Smith had claimed.

In April 2013, Territorial At-Large Representative and political back bencher with the National Democratic Party (NDP), Hon. Archibald C. Christian had slammed BVI Platinum News for what he termed ‘a breach of ethics’.

The Territorial Representative was at the time speaking in the House of Assembly (HOA) and referred directly to BVI Platinum News in his remarks.

The first-term Territorial Rep had referred to an established protocol within the HOA regarding the treatment of reports. “We have a protocol that whenever items are going to be laid in this Honourable House, that the Members get that information, and before that information is made public, there is a process,” Hon. Christian had stated.

He had said, “I received my package last week for this sitting, and in that package was the forensic audit report. We broke for the Easter holidays and Madam Speaker, to my surprise, on Tuesday of last week, on Platinum News [was] breaking news; and the breaking news [was] a story about the financial audit… forensic audit report,” an upset Hon. Christian had stated.

Meanwhile, Miss BVI 2012/2013 Sharie B.Y. deCastro had issued a written statement on November 29, 2012 in which she stated that a publication had inaccurately characterized her position on prizes awarded to her by the Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee (VIF&F).

The site in question was BVI Platinum News and the article was reportedly about the then reigning Miss BVI allegedly being “unhappy with car”, a prize that was offered to her for winning the Miss BVI crown on August 5, 2012.

Virgin Islands News Online was made to understand that persons within the Miss BVI circle were outraged at the article, which they said seemed to be an attempt to portrait the then queen in a negative light.

56 Responses to “Premier blasts online news sites for headlines on Hong Kong Office opening”

  • Vinny (11/09/2013, 11:02) Like (2) Dislike (52) Reply

    I like platinum but they're pissing me off. They seem to want to compete with VINO and it's not a good look for them. They need to stick in their lane and stop their bull$£^T. If they wanted to report they should just report on the Hong Kong Office, we need the publicity. The focus shouldn't be on Lorna being the one setting it up as it's no surprise that she was chosen and is more than qualified to do it. Big deal!. Platinum you will tank if you keep it up. It seems they're envying VINO with all these ads so they trying to publish 'catchy' stories. SMH.

    • Fat Head (11/09/2013, 12:22) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Tired tired tired of this nonsense with this Fight between government and media and media on media!!!!
  • bay yute (11/09/2013, 11:05) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
    HA HA VINO left to defend the NDP you see what goes around comes around
    • AC 360 (11/09/2013, 11:44) Like (2) Dislike (9) Reply
      So another civil war between Platinum and the NDP a fight with the Skeltons vs Smith I want ring side first class seats, but for real Lorna should move out the way and give the young people a chance
  • BattleScars (11/09/2013, 11:16) Like (4) Dislike (17) Reply
    see VINO keep warning the blue NDP site to be objective and stay far from NDP now the snake has bite ayo
    • SAHRA PARLIN (11/09/2013, 12:39) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
      This is how low, small and myopic the mentalities of our leaders are. How can they represent us when they consider that the media should not report on their wives being head of an overseas office when in fact there are ton of people who can do the work?
      • Hmm (12/09/2013, 16:59) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        a ton you say? please name one qualified one. not saying she couldn't have taken someone with her to understudy and get a feel for it once she leaves. but a ton you say...hmmm
  • . (11/09/2013, 11:20) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    Who dr smith think he is? He isn't god! He isn't above the law! He isn't untouchable!
    • mother hen (11/09/2013, 11:47) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Now Mr. Smith is essentially telling us to shut up and keep off his wife?
  • xxxxxxxx (11/09/2013, 11:29) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    I see nothing wrong with the headline they ha dup but the pro government site is still trash
    • foxy (11/09/2013, 12:24) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Why is there a need for a Hong Kong Office while the medical facilities in the BVI are still lagging, and contracts can’t get paid for months??
  • What's up Doc? (11/09/2013, 11:32) Like (15) Dislike (16) Reply
    Now Doc, Now Doc, I don't care which news media it is, whether online or newspaper, you can't dictate how they should head up their news. You are out of line sir, out of line. Don't go there. What was reported was not untrue. Because you know that you should not have done what you did, it mash your corn. Yes, your wife is a very professional and intelligent woman, one of whom I have great admiration. But Doc, was she the only person capable of taking on the task (interim or not)? How much does she have to personally gain or lose. In fact, let me dare ask, was the Hong Kong office her idea, or yours? You don't mess with the people who put you in, cause election day they will teach you a lesson. You know that from experience too.
  • <.> (11/09/2013, 11:37) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    So let me get this straight, the Premier is upset because they posted a factual article deserving of public interest.
    • she the cat mother (11/09/2013, 12:11) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Poor Dr NO CLUE SMITH he getting like MVW beating up on the media and shutting down democracy…keep away from that MVW man if you know what’s good for you
  • the rock (11/09/2013, 11:38) Like (3) Dislike (14) Reply
    the nay sayers done get the message Virgin Islands news is the best and continues to be vindicated!!! BAM.
    • polo (11/09/2013, 11:58) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Where are all the speech writers and consultants NDP looking bad if they lose their friend in the media Platinum all they will have left is ZAN!!!
    • @ the rock (11/09/2013, 12:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You really hit the nail n the head here! What more can I say? You have said it all, so eloquently!
  • THE Tax payer (11/09/2013, 11:41) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where is MVW today, his ipad is down? Battery dead? No more blogging eh? his site got a lash from the so called leader???
    • one eye (11/09/2013, 12:16) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Did the people vote in a dictator?
      • james (11/09/2013, 12:29) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        I will not say if the appointment of Mrs. Smith is right or wrong but I defend the right of the BVI media and the people to air their concerns
  • Hmmm (11/09/2013, 11:53) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    While I will be the first to say I have stop reading Platinum and have no faith in their integrity, the Premier must also respect a free press as they have evoke their constructional rights by expressing their concerns via free speech.

    VINO do not get involved in that civil war between the NDP news site platinum and the NDP Government let them scold each other like kids and try to silence their own site when they do not print what they want them to print.

    See in the end VINO looks like a rose just keep your professional journalism going!!!
  • weed (11/09/2013, 12:07) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I guess Dr Smith never hear of Conflict of Interest that was the main issue of the articles on Lorna's appointment.
  • Village Girl (11/09/2013, 12:14) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    So what this premier is saying is that we should turn a blind eye to the effects of the appointment of his wife to the hong Kong office reporting to him? Gosh he bold face mehson…declaimer: I am not fan of platinum
    • School Kid (11/09/2013, 20:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Missing from this reasoned discussion is how long Lorna will hold the post…knowing them they will hold on for the next two years the end of the NDP administration
  • wondering (11/09/2013, 12:27) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am bias and always like VINO over the other two sites but Mr. Premier, as far as I am aware the BVI is still a democratic country and we hold freedom of speech in extremely high regard. We are not a dictatorship yet and we will not be cowed into silence about the headline you prefer!!!
  • history teacher (11/09/2013, 12:33) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    As the original people of North America say. When the white man came, he had the bible and we had the land, now he has the land and we have the bible...Over the last 18 months we have been promised much by the NDP, we all know how how it turned out. media silence, and job reserved for family friends and corny .
  • Mango Monkey (11/09/2013, 12:45) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    What a mess! To see Dr. Smith forced to beat up on their media propaganda machine…the writing is now on the wall for the NDP!
  • Hmmmm (11/09/2013, 12:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dr NO CLUE Smith...get over yourself please!!!!! You sound like MVW now. You dont run or control the media. If you did things properly in the first place, this would not have been an issue now. Instead you release half truths, and when you get caught out, you express disappointment. The FIRST time "director " and Lorna appeared in the same sentence was when you announced the opening. Why would you think it wouldnt be news or of interest. Clearly the bigger story is the opening of the Hong Kong office, but the other story is the continued blatant cronyism, insider dealing and nepotism.

    i have named you Dr NO CLUE Smith, you really need to get a grip!
  • Gosh (11/09/2013, 12:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    WE STILL DO NOT HAVE ANSWERS AS TO WHY HIS WHIFE
  • LOL (11/09/2013, 13:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is she the Director or not? I'm a bit lost or did I read the article wrong. He still did not state that she wasn't the Director....
  • Put on the pants Doc (11/09/2013, 13:11) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Doc see if you can at least please ask your wife to let you wear the pants on this one. Who is the Premier here? You or she? I'm mean really I need to say my Lil bit. Have any one ever had a conversation with our premier and get the feeling like its just air and its like he isn't there? The feeling like words are going straight through him?
  • wall (11/09/2013, 13:24) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    I do not really see anything wrong with the headline from Platinum, what's the fuss? Making mountain out of mole hill? learn to lead doctor Smith. You csnnot be distracted but the little nuances. Of all the stuff that is spoken about Gov dejonge or pres Obama you dont hear them playing tit for tat with the media. Do something ..... Lead, follow or get out of the way.
  • Public Life Bill (11/09/2013, 13:50) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Virgin Islands (UK) needs a integrity in public Life Bill, then there will no conflict of interest issues.
  • JACK BE STILL (11/09/2013, 13:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    To elimimate all this, the job should have been given to someone else while I am no reader of Platinum after their nasty blogs Doc you brought this on yourself
  • hoa (11/09/2013, 14:01) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dr. Smith is hurt by the truth, the news article reported a factual story and he is embarrass. This man and his party has no principles and morals, their fake smile and dark mind is now catching up with them
  • Uhhh (11/09/2013, 14:28) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    So Doc, you no longer trust your own NDP site? Why you mad with Platinum? Because for once they did not engaged in Yellow journalism and had an accurate headline? We the people are seeing right through it.
  • GoonSquad (11/09/2013, 14:41) Like (13) Dislike (41) Reply
    Sorry but I honestly did not know people still go on to BVI news..i thought after Merrick left that died!!!
    • Leh We Do Dis Ting (11/09/2013, 20:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      BVI News and Platinum are the lower end of the real news line but god Premier Smith this hiring of your wife is Nepotism at its finest and most blatant.
    • LOL (12/09/2013, 11:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      For your info, Merrick left about two months ago. I hear there is a new beginning. I keeping my ears close to the ground. I find BVI News as the most independent. Waiting to see what they will bring now that the albatross is gone..
  • cnn (11/09/2013, 15:17) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I like Lorna and even uncle Ralph thinks she was a good PS but my god how does it look giving your damm wife a top job we call it favoritism. And cronyism. NDP need to stop it. While the rang tank Platinum got in one on their government the fact of the matter is, it’s just god dam wrong!!!
    • hard facts (11/09/2013, 20:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      well something will take us from this side
    • DEJA VU (12/09/2013, 16:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      call nepotism is the right word for this type of dealing. check the PM of SKB what he did for his Girlfriend/children's mom in Dubai. Have no fair all a dem time gon come to say au revoir but with oour tax dollars and more
  • NY Post Page 6 (11/09/2013, 17:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI isn't exactly a hotbed of quality journalism. Rather than report the facts, it seems more like a couple old ladies, stoned out of their minds,playing telephone.
  • Finally (11/09/2013, 17:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have came around to liking this online news site..The Team is really doing a lot for the BVI community and freedom and keeping we updated on the truth ... I must commend you VINO Keep up the good work ups .
  • Digrace (11/09/2013, 17:18) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    bvi news how you got in this mess with the NDP site the blue one? come out from among them...but Mr. Premier you know better your wife???come on I can give a long list of locals who can open a dam office any PLACE IN THE WORLD
    • Politics (12/09/2013, 05:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Aint that the GOT DAMN TRUTH THAT DR.SMITH GIVE HIS WIFE THE JOB TO HEAD THE HONG KONG OFFICE?
  • moms mabley (11/09/2013, 19:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I had so much admiration for you, but you did a HELL of a job making me to lose it. Not just admiration, but respect also. What is wrong with you? Did you come to the people and let us know your plans for an office in Hong Kong, and the benefits to our country by having this office ? I don't recall hearing about this until I saw Lorna Smith as Interim Manager. Dr. Smith I will want to believe that I live in democratic society, where we have freedom of speech. Are you trying to shut down the media if they report an issue that touch your nerves? Dr. Smith you know better. Just stop it, you are doing and saying things that make you look worse everyday. You are becoming pitiful. BTW did Platinum print news that were untrue? You didn't say. Please clarify.
  • white house (11/09/2013, 20:03) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    While VINO will continue to be the site I get my real news from and go to Platinum for gossip what Dr. Smith did by hiring his wife is pure nepotism at its worst
  • ReX FeRal (11/09/2013, 20:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have no axe to grind with the NDP or its site Platinum or Mr. and Mrs. Smith but this is plane out wrong. Not even in communist countries do they appoint their wives for these high level posts.
  • oops (11/09/2013, 20:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The people always saying Dr. Smith is fast asleep and does not have a clue but he woke up and hit a shot across the media bow.
  • a bvislander (12/09/2013, 05:44) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    When God place your feet on solid rock (like he has done for VINO) no one can touch that organization until God say so...see Platinum used all kinds of malicious tactics to try and bring down VINO kissing up to funny man and the likes now see what it brought them!!! God does not like ugly
  • youzabeach (12/09/2013, 09:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Typically NDP fools they get mad with the media when they have not written pro government crap. Come on back off your NDP site Platinum they have supported you 95 % of the time…as for the appointment is sicken me to the bone...Mrs. Smith old and her time has pass she need t go sit down and give the youths a chance to get their 5 mins in the spot light and make some money too
  • GoonSquad (12/09/2013, 09:15) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Has never been a fan of Platinum as I find them very bias, not objective and do not let in any blogs criticizing their NDP government.

    However my question to Dr. D. Orlando Smith; is there nobody else among the 15,000 plus young professional and college educated Virgin Islanders in and outside the civil service capable of contributing to the development of the territory and heading and opening an office?
  • cross fire (12/09/2013, 17:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ok! ok! people stop beating a dead horse I am sure Dr. Smith will never make this mistake again let’s move on to the next topic!!!
  • face it (13/09/2013, 10:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    At times I believe some individuals in government forget that they are SERVANTS TO THE PEOPLE and not goddesses.


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