Journalists fall silent
I can only imagine what must have been going through the Prime Minister’s mind as he announced the existence of a malignant tumour on his left kidney.
Have you seen the video? On www.news.gov.tt (GISL’s website) the Prime Minister’s face is devoid of expression.
As I watch, I want to know so much more and am aghast when he invites questions from the journalists on the floor. Go ahead watch the video and see.
The room falls silent. And the next question that a reporter asks is about the economy, I was outraged. Here was a perfect opportunity for the journalists to get closer to the real story, to paint a clearer picture of Patrick Manning, the man, not the Prime Minister. Naturally the herd mentality kicked in and for 5 minutes after he announced his cancer, not one journalist reverted the discussion to his health.
In journalism 101 there are 5 basic Ws: who, what, when, why, where.
At best a reporter could have asked:
- Mr Prime Minister what was your first reaction when you heard the news?
- Mr Prime Minister how did you suspect something was wrong?
- Mr Prime Minister how confident are you about the upcoming operation?
- Mr Prime Minister how did your family take the news, particularly your children?
- Mr Prime Minister, will it be the same medical team in Cuba that has treated you in the past?
My question is what caused the silence?