Some media houses in Saint Lucia have been chided by Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Church, Seth Ampadu, for ‘always highlighting negative things in our communities’.
“Just as we applaud our media for the good work they are doing to advance the good course of our country, we should also equally blame some of them for always highlighting the negative happenings,” Ampadu said in a statement released to St Lucia Times.
“Sometimes, the kind of music being played on air, the content is so bad for our kids. The kind of images sometimes shown on our TV screen, is it healthy for our children to watch?” The Methodist Minister stated.
According to the clergyman, it appears that almost every day the news is filled with stories about crime and violence.
He asked whether there are not good things happening in Saint Lucia that need to be highlighted.
Ampadu made it clear that he was not trying to say that journalists should always report what is good news.
But he asserted that the amount of time they give to highlight the bad news should also be given to the good news as well.
“When negative things are being highlighted each time, what it does psychologically is that it makes some people thing that ‘we are all bad’ and in view of that they will continue to do bad things,” he remarked.
“I know that the authentic role of media is to prevent society from what could be wrong and put it in danger. If journalism could avoid reporting bad news and start to say only good things, it will become a bad journalism,” Ampadu explained.
He said that also does not mean that they should always fish for negativity and highlight it.
He warned if that happens often, it prevents investors from doing business in the country.
“When this happens it affects our economy and we turn around to blame our political leaders for mismanagement of the economy,” Ampadu noted.
The Superintendent Minister described the media as the “watch dog” to expose wrong doing like corruption, injustice, abuse, crime and other social vices.
However, he expressed the view that at the same time, the media are also responsible to promote peace and unity and celebrate the good of the country, by highlighting the achievements of the country to the international community.
“When that is done, it will boost the confidence of investors to do business in the country. No investor will like to invest in a place where crime and violence are being celebrated in the media – it will scare them,” he asserted.
Ampadu appealed to the media houses to begin to highlight more of “our achievements as people and our success stories as a country.”
“By this I am not trying to tell the media what they should do. Crime and violence are in every country, not only Saint Lucia. In most of the European countries crime and violence are worse, but the media sought to highlight the good of the country. If there is always a report on crime and violence it scares everyone, including investors,” he declared.
“It is human nature to get interest in what would mean a risk to their lives. People follow what would mean the destruction of their own standard of life, security and happiness. Politics, accidents, sickness, natural disasters – these attract more attention and people want to read these things which in itself is not bad,” Ampadu observed.
But he cautioned that these things should not always be the focus, to the neglect of the good and positive things happening in the country.