Monday, 6 July 2009

iComplain: The Secret Caribbean with Trevor McDonald

I was disgusted by the program I saw called 'Secrets of Caribbean' with Trevor McDonald. Thought it was a false representation of Jamaica - aren't they all? So guess what I did? I complained to their rarse'ole! Not the first time I've complained about a program mind you.

Here is what I sent them

Dear Sir/Madam,

I'm writing this email as feedback of The Secret Caribbean with Trevor McDonald show which was screened last night (5 July 2009) on ITV1 at 8pm. When I first heard this episode involved going to Jamaica, in line with the show being called 'Secret' I anticipated a side of Jamaica which isn't the normal angle we see on every show concerning the most popularly known island across the world

At the very least I expected the program to showcase how the normal, vibrant Jamaican lives. A life consisting of agriculture, picturesque landscape and hospitable people cooking and serving rich flavoured world-famous cuisines. The home of Jerk Chicken is Jamaica. I emphasise: at the very least. Even if the obvious is shown, the rich history of Reggae music could have played a more prominant role; a genre which has the output and influence much bigger than the islands reasonably small landspace. Maybe even include the recent success of the Athletics team.

However, as per usual I set my standards way too high. Unlike the other islands who actually had an interesting concept behind them, yet again we were fed the predictable, not-even-yawn-worthy bore "Island of guns and drugs" doused in crime statistics with Blue Mountain coffee thrown in like an after thought as to give a balance. There are many more interesting tourist locations the average person doesn't know about, such as Rose Hill, YS Falls, Rick's Cafe - if you thought they may have been too obscure surely Dunns River would have sufficed.

As a journalist myself, I know lazy journalism when I see it. In fact it was so lazy, the usually very knowledgeable and seasoned professional Sir Trevor McDonald managed to mistakenly say Bob Marley was shot as a result of gang violence when it is well-known that it was politically motivated. Edward Seaga (JLP) and Michael Manley (PNP) shook hands at a concert days later in what was an significant moment in Jamaican history.

Trinidad and Tobago has a problem with organised crime and cast division/racism, yet, it focused on the positives as I understand. However, if you wanted to show the SECRET, it may have been more apt for you to show the side we don't see of both islands.

In conclusion, I would like to know the thought process behind this program and where the SECRET bit was. I think I missed it somewhere between the obvious being stated. To top it off, when I went into work today, a few of my work collegues were talking about the program which lead to one lady making a comment to the effect of: "It's because of Jamaicans why we have a gang problem over here isn't it?". Now if that was the point of the program I begrudgingly congratulate you. In a twisted way I guess you made your point.

Should you need someone to help make an accurate depiction of The REAL Jamaica, don't be afraid to email me.

Aniticipating your response,

Marvin Sparks

If you want to watch it, search it. I aint posting that on here. If I get a response I'll post it.

p.s. one day, this blog will come back to haunt me, but honesty shouldn't kill anyone.


  1. I agree with you, very very lazy jounalism. Maybe he is just jealous of Jamaica, I am a Jamaican and like almost everywhere else on earth you have crime, no where is perfect. I am proud to be in JAMROCK. I saw the comments and some of his arguements, have not seen the full video and can't find it online.

  2. This was not only true and interesting but VERY funny. Spoken like a true Jamican, for a second I could hear my mum saying the exact same words. I have grown up visiting Jamaica (the whole island on many occasions) and have never seen half of the things people choose to mention. The only people I have seen giving us a bad name are the JaFAKEians in England. I am also a proud JAMROCK as im sure we all are :-)