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Friday, 13 January 2017

THE RAG


Lord Reginald's New Year Message on Voice for Children
Click on any image for a larger version

The Jersey Evening Post (aka The Rag) is Jersey's only newspaper. In general it is an organ of the establishment. It supports the authorities and, where humanly possible, avoids giving any publicity to dissenting views. The lack of balanced reporting and discussion has led to the emergence of a number of bloggers on the island who have attempted to fill the gap, speak truth to power and give citizens a platform to debate current issues and air their grievances.

Voice for Children is one such blog. It is a very serious blog. It's posts are well researched. Comments are moderated, but moderation is light except in the case of trolls and abusive comments where it is absolute. I need to clearly state the foregoing to establish the context, because the blog sometimes carries a lighthearted or satirical post, as in the image above.

Lord Reginald, whose identity is clearly now known to everyone in Jersey, occasionally gives a spoof commentary on behalf of the non-formally-existing Jersey Tory Party. The States (parliament) is not structured on a party basis as such. There is a majority establishment clique which effectively functions as an extremely conservative party and it is this clique whose collective mickey Lord Reginald is taking.

The Rag decided to turn it into a news item, with the above image and the text shown below.



Text of JEP online article accompanying the image
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A careful reading of the text reveals that it mentions neither the name of the blog on which the video appears nor does it give a link to it. You might consider that was the least they might have done having got a free news item.



My comment
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Well that's what I thought and I submitted the above comment. Unfortunately I cannot give you a link to the comment itself. It appears to have been held in moderation for some days while the powers that be mulled over whether or not to publish it. Following which it was simply deleted.

There are two features of the comment which may have led to this unfortunate, but probably predictable, result.

In the first place it criticised The Rag for omitting the blog's name and not giving a link.

In the second place it actually gave a link which would have enabled its readers to view this highly subversive video and make up their own minds about it. Worse still, it would have introduced them to a serious blog which was filling a disgraceful gap left by themselves, namely speaking truth to power and encouraging readers to pitch in.

So, on 12/1/2017, I emailed the editor in the terms below:
Dear Editor

On 6 January 2017 I submitted a comment on your piece about the Lord Reginald video.

I pointed out that you neither indicated the source of the video nor gave a link to it. I found this unusual in an online article. Leaving aside your reasons for behaving thus, and I can only speculate on what they might have been, I was surprised to find my comment (attached), which I thought reasonable and to the point, was detained in moderation and then deleted.

Both before and after submission of my comment, you published comments from a source you know to be a life threatening troll who has been implicated in various unsavoury manoeuvres to suppress criticism and challenge of the Jersey establishment in the context of its cover up of child sex abuse on the island.

I am at a loss to understand the rationale behind this regrettable and inconsistent behaviour and would appreciate an explanation of why my comment, made in good faith, was deleted.

Yours sincerely,

Pól Ó Duibhir

At the time of my posting this I have not had any reply. If I hear from them in the meantime I will certainly update this post to take account of their reply.

I should mention that my experience here is in no way unusual. The Rag frequently suppress comments which don't suit them.

An example is the case of Advocate Sinel, who in a current interview with Voice for Children has described the same experience of having comments refused. He clearly spoke to the editor who apparently advanced absurd reasons for not publishing.

In June 2016 the Rag refused to publish a comment of his regarding the "Jersey Care Inquiry" on the spurious grounds that it was too long. You can read Rico Sorda's blog post on the Advocate's refused letter, including the text of the letter itself, here.

I attempted twice (see here and here) to resubmit it but on both occasions my comment was deleted.

There is another newspaper which serves the Channel Islands, The Bailiwick Express, which is purely online and whose online awareness is much superior to The Rag's. Quite apart from its overall editorial deficiencies, The Rag has clearly never come to terms with its online existence. The Express has just done a piece on the Report from Jersey's Comptroller and Auditor General on the runaway loan fund which is more informative than The Rag's initial online version, and which actually, God forbid, gives a link to the full Report online.

I rest my case.


The original post is here where you can leave a comment.