Media restriction for Spicemas

The just-ended 2016 Spicemas has seen some of the toughest measures imposed on the local media by the Spicemas Corporation (SMC) for media coverage of the event.

New Spicemas boss Kirk Seetahal

New Spicemas boss Kirk Seetahal

During a meeting with the media last week Wednesday at the SMC Office on Kirani James Boulevard in St. George’s, Freelance Journalist, Linda Straker who was recruited by SMC as Media Liaison Officer indicated that Flow is the broadcasting partner with SMC.

According to Straker, as part of the legal agreement with SMC, footage gathered by other media houses from the shows can only be used by the electronic media for news purposes only until October 31.

She said the electronic media can carry in their news packages two minutes of the performances of the artistes.

People who are into online production were warned that there should be no live streaming of the shows using Facebook or any of the other social media format.

“People who stream and up it up as it is captured, there will be action that will be taken against them, so none of that on social media,” she said.

There was no radio coverage of the major events.

Straker announced that while Flow is not the holder of the radio rights for broadcasting, radio stations will not be allowed to rebroadcast full performances of the shows.

“This is in compliance with the legal arrangement that SMC has with our partnership, and the partnership involves a number of things, and when it comes to the broadcasting, you can only use the content with the video for the news purposes,” she said.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Spicemas, Kirk Seetahal indicated that none of the radio stations had approached SMC seeking the right to have live coverage of the shows.

The various media houses were presented with selective passes for the shows.

During the build-up to the major Carnival Shows, SMC had sent out a form to all media houses for them to indicate the number of passes they required for coverage of the events.

However, this was scrapped without any reason offered.

Seetahal told the press briefing that in many instances, the media have provided no coverage whatsoever but have a pass for the entire season.

The SMC CEO also accused the media of engaging in illegal activities by giving the passes to other people to attend shows.

“We have had many instances even on camera, where we would have issued the passes in the past and we would see media people taking it off and throwing it over for a friend… because when I can’t pay the bill it is the same media people… that (are) coming and blast me,” he said.

He acknowledged that the media was a “valuable part of Spicemas,” but argued that  SMC has to maintain some sort of structure in going forward.

Production Manager Roydon Beharry who presented the logistics governing media coverage subjected the media to one group interview of the artistes when they completed their presentations on stage.

According to Beharry, some of the artistes have requested a more co-ordinated approach by the media and it is the intention of the production team to ensure that the request is carried out.

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