The Grenada Revolution Online

Bishop Speech - Excerpt, The Torchlight
from National Broadcast on Radio Free Grenada,
"Organize to Fight Destabilisation"
(8 May 1979)

Below is an excerpt in full from the section of the broadcast about The Torchlight

BISHOP SPEAKING: A local newspaper, The Torchlight, has also jumped on to the bandwagon by attempting to discredit the People's Revolution. Grenadians should reflect on the fact that The Torchlight gave front page treatment to the diplomatically offensive and unusual cable sent by the United States Embassy in Barbados directly to the Torchlight recently, replying to my Address to the Nation of April 13. The Torchlight failed to carry in the first place any report of the address itself. Then, last Sunday's issue of The Torchlight carried a number of malicious and distorted articles, some of them potentially damaging to national security.

Under big banner headlines on the front page The Torchlight carried a story repeating the libellous (sic) propaganda relating to a so-called 'Communist plot' by Brother Kendrick Radix to overthrow the government of Antigua.

It is significant that although this story was some five days old, The Torchlight never chose to contact Brother Radix or any other member of the government for a comment and response.

It smacks of destabilisation that a five-day-old story, which had been beaten up and down the radio stations throughout the region should take up almost the entire front page of the newspaper.

Not satisfied with page 1, page 2 give banner headlines and photograph treatment to the slanderous statements of Messrs Compton and Adams, again without asking for nay response from the government. Yet another long article entitles "Cuban's Trojan Horse" and signed 'Voice in the Wilderness' contains classical CIA planted anti-communist propaganda. On the back another article with banner headlines stated 'Grenada Government Owes UWI $4 million.'

The real news for the people of Grenada, which is that the new government has paid $300,000.00 to the University within the first two months of the Revolution, while Gairy had consistently refused to pay, is buried in the middle of the article.

At another point, The Torchlight stated that another soldier was reported shot last Thursday during training exercises. This story is completely untrue. It is clear that the objective was to panic readers and create a feeling of tension on the island. We ask, how can a newspaper be so reckless and irresponsible on a matter of such seriousness?

The other front page story called 'Click, Click, Got Ya' shows the extent to which Acting Editor of The Torchlight, Nick Joseph, was prepared to go in order to try to discredit the People's Revolutionary Government. In that story Mr. Joseph recalls his attempts at trying to photograph the security men who were accompanying me, on May day. It will be obvious that in order to provide effective security for the leadership of the country, especially at this time when it is widely known that there is a danger of paid assassins striking, that it is necessary to avoid publicity of our security men. It must be obvious that if photographs of security men are taken, then this will make it a lot easier for hit-men to achieve their murderous objectives of wiping out the leadership.

Because of the People's Revolutionary Government's well known desire to encourage a free press, we did not prevent Mr. Joseph from taking photographs. We had hoped that he would have put patriotism and concern for the safety of the leadership of the country above cheap journalism. We have certainly noted the irresponsibility of the Acting Editor [Nick Joseph] and his newspaper in publishing these pictures. It should be noted that America, Britain and virtually all other countries in the world do not generally permit the photographing of security personnel, especially the systematic attempt to do so. It should be further noted that the British government, for example, has a system of what they call D-notices, whereby with the full co-operation of the press the British government issues notices to the press preventing the publication of anything which the British government deems to be a danger to national security. We sincerely hope that a similar attitude of responsible journalism with respect to national security matters will be observed by The Torchlight in the future.

Address to the 34th General Assembly of the United Nations, New York

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