Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Gordon Robinson | Local Domino Awards 2017

Published:Tuesday | December 26, 2017 | 12:00 AMGordon Robinson

Every year I remind tribal Jamaican readers that these awards are (mostly) meant to be humorous and shouldn’t be taken seriously. If you see yourself in the following paragraphs and find it impossible to have a chuckle, take my advice and turn the page NOW.

Let’s get the show on the road!

Dunce Award: National Security Minister ROBERT ‘UNCLE’ MONTAGUE appears like a man auditioning for a Bozo the Clown biopic. It’s bad enough he has no handle on crime, worse, he’s clueless on communication. First, he tries lame jokes (“I have an uncle who’s an obeah man”); then bungles management of the Firearm Licensing Authority scandal, including seemingly panicking and issuing a premature, inaccurate press release; then decides to equip the JCF with used cars (Scrise!) and can’t implement THAT without botching the procurement process. Uncle, you need a ‘bath’. The Dunce sey: “If a macca, mek it jook yu!”

Dunce Move of the Year Award: Jointly awarded to Opposition Leader PETER PHILLIPS and PNP General Secretary JULIAN ROBINSON for the monumental cock-up resulting in the candidacy of Shane Alexis (oops, sorry, ‘Doctor’ Shane Alexis) in SE St Mary and the bumbling, bungling, boring by-election campaign spent entirely on the back foot that lost a critical seat in Parliament and much political leverage. I can only hope gross ineptitude hasn’t destroyed a promising recruit’s political career. Gentlemen: “If a macca, mek it jook yu!”

Now my journalism awards:

Journalism Dunce Move of the Year Award:  CVM TV had a good thing going with Live at Seven, a show of depth, relevance and individuality expertly hosted by the always entertaining and engaging Simon Crosskill. It elected to ruin a good idea by disposing of Simon and Live at Seven in apparent preference for youth, beauty and shallowness, all included in a production called ‘CVM Live’. 

Why would a news programme start at 7:30 p.m. but not one item of current news appears before 8 p.m. when the news used to start anyway? What’s new (pun intended)? This is nothing more than an embarrassing acknowledgement of, and capitulation to, TVJ’s dominance of the 7-8 p.m. news hour without making any attempt to capture the audience. It seems Live at 7, a good attempt at being different AND expertly anchored by Simon, wasn’t ‘hip’ enough. Simon may be, er, um, ‘mature’, but he contributed plenty charisma, flair and expertise.

Now we have (mostly) youth but no panache. Where Simon was practised, Richard Chen (stilted) and Ashley Foster (scattered) cut very little dash for me. CVM: “If a macca, mek it jook yu ... .”

Dunce Award for Journalism: Inspired by international icons Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose et al, ignominiously terminated after legendary careers because of sexual misconduct, the award goes to all male Jamaican journalists suffering from misogyny whose stars are currently on the rise but whose intolerance for the contribution of and personal disrespect to all female colleagues is so intense it shows.

These awardees repeatedly talk down to their female colleagues, rejoice at their missteps, and refuse to use their prodigious talent to guide female colleagues’ improvement. Regrettably, I’m unable to honour 2017’s winners individually, but (good news) they know who they are and (bad news) readers, listeners, viewers AND female colleagues also recognise them.

The serious awards:    

Journalist of the Year:      This year’s winner, another real professional (no hype), is the great EARL MOXAM. Impartial to a fault, his work on ‘That’s a Rap’ is perennial but, this time, he also produced superb snippets of Jamaica’s history for the Jamaica 55 special programming on TVJ (‘Jamaica Reflections) and radio (Beyond The Headlines who broadcast what sounded to me like replays of earlier, similar efforts).

Both productions were steeped in a deep understanding of the flavour and substance of our 55 years of Independence and reflecting (oops) the sort of committed, thorough research that should characterise the profession but, sadly, is altogether too rare these days. Look up ‘credible’ in the dictionary.  Its meaning is EARL MOXAM.

GENE AUTRY AWARD FOR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR

This year’s awardee wins for his sensitive, skilful management of a team of difficult, ambitious colleagues; for the strides he has made (nowhere near perfection yet) towards more transparent government; for his political acumen and connection with the average voter; for the vibrancy he has brought to government and for his transformational thinking and acting.

I may often disagree with his policies, but there’s no doubt 2017’s winner picks himself like a Mt Salem ZOSO. His name? ANDREW MICHAEL HOLNESS.

Peace and love.

Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.