The elephant in the media room

Government has announced the cutting of print advertising in favor of the Internet and radio.  When questioned regarding the switch, Premier Ewart Brown championed electronic media as the best way to get the government’s message out.

“The whole world is moving toward the Internet and in Bermuda we have seen in the last few years the radio is an important medium for Bermuda. There will be an increase in radio time purchased.”

An increase in radio time you say?  Hmm, will Hott 107.5 be the recipient of the greatest amount of radio spending?  How about electronic media, could one guess that Bermuda Network News will become a new hot spot for advertising?  Perhaps we shouldn’t look up that definition of cronyism again.

Perhaps it won’t be anything like cronyism and they’ll rely on good old gov.bm, which thus far has proven incredibly reliable when it comes to getting the right message out.  Examples include reports on education that Senators assure us are there, though they might be invisible.  How about bus schedules which remain more than 8 months out of date?  What if you’d care to look up this years budget on the Finance Ministry’s home page or budget’s page?    Hmm, on second thought, perhaps the Premier should have a chat with the Cabinet, especially the Transport Minister, about getting their acts together before discussing the efficiency of the, uh, Internets

Also in line for cuts is Government travel and its vehicle fleet.  Somehow it would be unsurprising if lavish Minister travel is not subject to such cuts nor is a reduction of the number of GP cars flooding our roads targeted.  Such services are clearly far more essential than print advertising and media subscriptions. 

Perhaps one should be thankful for these cuts.  They’ll allow us to pay off debts such as those that provided our fabulous $130,000 media room or our $1.5 million renovations on a house that remains empty.

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Senators missing the big picture

Senators discussing the impact of a potential US recession may be missing the bigger picture as they  refer to the impending or potentially current recession as “small” and “short”.  Yet judging by a recent Duke University survey of CFOs, the situation may be slightly more bleak.

  • 54% of CFOs say the US economy is now in recession
    • Another 24% say more than 50% chance of recession in 2008
    • 87% say no recovery until 2009

John R. Graham, director of the survey and a finance professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business suggested:

“Today, not only do the CFOs say we are already in recession, they predict a prolonged economic downturn. The news from CFOs is pretty grim.”

Duke professor Campbell R. Harvey noted:

“the last two recessions lasted only eight months. In contrast, 90 percent of the CFOs do not believe the economy will turn the corner in 2008. Indeed, many of them believe it will be late 2009 before a recovery takes hold.
This could be the longest slowdown since the double dip recession of 1979-81.”

Hmm…   small and short?  Perhaps not.  So when the Senators look at 2001 or 1990 as benchmarks for Bermudian impact, perhaps they aren’t looking back far enough.

 

Duke University Survey via The Big Picture