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TVJ should improve its one-sided sports commentary

Published:Saturday | May 26, 2012 | 12:00 AM


In various matters, TVJ, in its prime-time newscast, quite commendably affords its viewers different perspectives from assorted analysts. However, not quite so when it comes to sports. Why?

Here, it appears, a monopoly licence obtains. Night after night, watchers of TVJ's prime-time newscast have to make do with the limited, and, at times, jaundiced perspective of the same commentator/pseudo-comedian, often by way of rantings and corny jokes purporting to be sports commentary.

Perhaps, TVJ could use an approach such as that of another media house, KLAS, which attracts listenership of many ardent and discerning sports fans. It has a variety of presenters (Stratton Palmer, Orville Higgins, Robbie Robinson, et al) for its daily sports commentary. Different commentators present on different days of the week. This enriches and widens discourse as different perspectives and views contend.

On Thursday, May 17, 2012, Robbie Robinson (with the subsequent concurrence of Stratton Palmer) rubbished the kind of drivel fed to us incessantly regarding Asafa Powell as 'TVJ Sports Commentary'. Mr Robinson pointed out that such drivel cannot be in Asafa's or Jamaica's interest.

Crab-in-a-barrel approach

In similar vein, Hubert Lawrence, noted track and field analyst, encourages us to truly support Asafa and all our other athletes. In the United Kingdom, their journalists have succeeded in making that country's David Beckham into a larger-than-life personality. This is building up your own, not tearing down.

Any misguided quest for cheap, callously sought 'ratings' with a virtually captive prime-time TV news audience ought not to blind us, on this the 50th anniversary of our Independence, also an Olympic year.

The relentlessly negative approach may appeal to the crab-in-a-barrel type, or even succeed in deflecting the attention of some from Asafa's own tremendous achievements as a highly accomplished sprinter. However, he remains a national asset, trailblazer and catalyst in this celebrated era of rejuvenated top-class male sprinting in Jamaica.

The general right of anyone to express views is to be supported. However, it simply cannot be desirable for Oral Tracey to pursue a personal, unhealthy, obsessive fixation on a particular outstanding Jamaican athlete to the detriment of the national good.

TVJ, kindly allow us to also hear the views of others in that prime-time slot.


Gordon Town, St Andrew