by CARIBUPDATE NEWS SERVICE
ST GEORGE’S, GRENADA: STUNNED by the immediate impact of the launch of the CARIBUPDATE WEEKLY newspaper in the Grenada market, one of its competitors has begun to literally “cry wolf.”
Caribupdate’s Weekly 10,000 copy print run – three times that of most other Grenadian newspapers – and its immediate superior distribution network had made it over-week the most seen newspaper in the market.
Out of fear that it might lose market share, the agents of the newspaper, in apparent cohorts with a top official of the Government Information Service, had immediately spread a rumor that the publication has a distinct political purpose – aimed at boosting one of the opposition parties.
“As has been typical with that newspaper’s half baked journalism, as we understand it, its editors have used innuendo to concoct a story on behalf of their pay masters,” General Manager Liam Lewis of the Florida-based parent company West Park Global Media said Wednesday.
“I have been told that the person being promoted as the Editor of that particular newspaper is an executive member of the ruling party and a Constituency Branch chairman. Now it does not get more blatant and laughable than that,” Lewis said.
The rumour initially was that it was “Alba money” – supposedly being sponsored by the Venezuelans. Then the narrative changed to being underwritten by a former top Grenadian trade official who is believed to have close ties with one of the opposition parties here.
The smoking gun? The newspaper is being printed by the Trinidad Guardian, a company of the Sagba Group that this Grenadian official works for.
CARIBUPDATE WEEKLY however is the third weekly paper targeted at the Grenadian market that is being printed by the Guardian Company.
“We have put our lawyers on standby in Grenada to take immediate action to stop a so called competitor from trying to undermine our business model by spreading lies,” Lewis said Wednesday, after he was briefed on the matter.
“What they need to do to compete is produce a better product, get better writers and understand there is more to news than politics,” he quipped.
CARIBUPDATE is moving to establish weekly newspapers in 2013 in Antigua, Dominica, St Kitts-Nevis and St Maarten.
“I guess Grenadian political parties have interest there also,” he quipped.
The idea about CARIBUPDATE branching off into local newspapers was first brought up by the agency’s New York associate Ken Lewis.
The company’s think tank had done mock-ups on two previous occasions – and had explored printing options in Barbados, Trinidad, New York and Miami.
Some sources in Grenada say there has been some worry about the involvement of Hamlet Mark, who has in recent years written a blog that has been very critical of the ruling administration.
“Mark is obviously Grenadian and he has a lot of interest in what happens there. He has his own private beats, and he is free to do that. His blogs are his, and we don’t get in that. I don’t even understand all the issues he writes about there. But his interfacing and operation with us as obviously as key player has been highly professional in the eight years we have known each other,” Lewis said.
“Mark has obvious skills and he knows a thing or two about organizing these things and so we have tapped into him as a business partner. But he is too busy anyhow to run the operations day-to-day even if we wanted him to,” he said.
Lincoln Depradine has been tapped as the Editor in Chief of the Grenada edition of the newspaper.
“At the end of the day both of our publications will be judged on what they put out – not on any whisper campaign. And we are dead certain when people look at both papers side by side this week, they will know which one is the serious newspaper,” Lewis added.