Wednesday, 23 May 2007


Beginning today, Pen Pricks will try to bring to you some 'fishy' reports, which often find their way into newspapers, around election time. That time of the year, when journos return from bustling constituencies with a warm meal in their belly, a hastily stuffed wallet and integrity pawned to candidate/s. The two articles which appear below featured in the HERALD. One is a press note and the other, a constituency report from Cuncolim. Something smells bad here. That no one spotted something amiss here reflects the state of affairs in Goan newspapers.
Someone in the Herald has sold out.

Comba locals show support to Vijai

PANJIM, MAY 22 — In a dramatic development, while on a door to door campaign, the people of Comba came out vociferously in support of Vijai Sardesai, the Congress candidate from Fatorda.
Vijai was appalled and expressed deep distraught on seeing the stinking open gutters, garbage choked narrow roads, bad wiring and a total failure of public infrastructure.
The pathetic state of the area compelled Vijai to collectively address the residents wherein he made a profound and strong commitment “when elected to power, if I do not improve the area of Comba and make it a well developed part of the urban fabric … I will not contest the next election’.

P.S. Someone actually cleared this? These are times when the space crunch is at it's worst. This rot sneaks in?

Cuncolim constituency takes giant straides under Joaquim (considering his size, giant strides makes sense, doesn't it? ;)

BY PETER NORONHA: In the post liberation period of Goa, the villages of Guirdolim, Chandor, Guddi-Paroda, Sarzora and Cuncolim together constituting the Cuncolim constituency witnessed a low rate of infrastructure development.
Prior to 2002 i.e. a period of about 4 decades since liberation the people of these villages reposed faith in their MLA’s with a belief that the political leaders will transform the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Cuncolim constituency by doing speedy and sustainable growth of development. However, the people’s expectations were not fulfilled by the elected representatives.
The dawn of 21st century opened a new era as Goa legislative assembly elections were scheduled in the year 2002. The people of Cuncolim constituency were dreaming for a candidate who would fulfill their long pending demands and issues, which were required to be implemented immediately. The dreams came true when Congress President Sonia Gandhi nominated Joaquim Alemao to contest the assembly elections from Cuncolim. He too deemed fit to face the Cuncolim constituency electorate keeping in mind the fact that he was a resident of Cuncolim during his schooling wherein he was a student of Our Lady of Health High School, Cuncolim (his school record... someone tell about his school record). It was during this period he experienced the low level growth of infrastructure.
The emergence of Joaquim Alemao on the political arena of Cuncolim Constituency in the year 2002 changed the entire scenario and paved the way for the speedy development of the four panchayats and the lone Municipal area.
Joaquim Alemao won the 2002 election with a comfortable margin of 2,450 votes even though he was not that popular in Cuncolim (Awesome line... Awesome line isn't it?.) Unfortunately, the Congress was not in a position to form government in the state as a result the MLA of Cuncolim Constituency had to be in the opposition for a period of more than 1,000 days. However he did not lag behind but tried to fulfill the aspirations of the people.
Even the ruling party members in the BJP Government appreciated the determined efforts of Joaquim Alemao’s concern to do developmental activities in the constituency. During this period, Alemao tried to improve the basic amenities like roads, water supply, power, etc.
The mid year of 2005 brought showers of blessings on the people of Cuncolim constituency as the Congress managed to form a government in Goa. Joaquim was made a cabinet minister and was allotted Urban Development, Labour and Employment, Fisheries and Non-Conventional Energy. After taking over these departments with his organizational capacity and a battery of his hard working private personnel and dedicated government officials, Alemao managed to fulfill the election promises beyond the expectations of his voters.
As far as his constituency is concerned within a short span of 735 days he managed to fulfill some of the long pending projects. The infrastructure comprise of a modern bus stand, a floodlight play ground, crematorium, a recreational centre, beautification of religious places, a super road network etc proved his commitment and dedication to the task of which he was entrusted with.
The highlight of his tenure as a Cuncolim MLA from 2002 –2007 was his steps to control pollution at Cuncolim Industrial estate, and the scrapping of housing board site, which was cleared by the previous MLA had to be abolished by a sustained agitation by the residents of Panzorconi and the people of Cuncolim which was spearheaded by the local MLA Joaquim Alemao who was even arrested alongwith the other agitators.

P.S. Is this supposed to be a consituency report? This is worse than payroll reportage... Is Peter Noronha, a correspondent in Cuncolim? What is this farce? A report or a fairytale?


Blogger Pen Pricks said...

The Herald sale of advertising space to politicians is certainly a new low. To sell space to politicians for advertorials is one thing --- in this case they are being camoflaged as news reports, complete with slug lines like "poll issue" or some such thing. Next the orange border to demarcate them , were used on following days for regular news reports by reporters --- to further camoflage matters?

Clearly this expenditure on advertising should be added to the candidate's expenditure by the EC. Saddly the latter is more interested in taking headline-grabbing action of questionable legality (eg cars canvassing). The CEO was not too interested in chasing down the illegal operation of cable news networks in Goa --- some of whom are clearly selling airtime, and have had long term attachments with political patrons(reflecting in their coverage). Should'nt this be calculated as expenditure?

There is simply nobody monitoring the media -- the instances of wholesale and retail sale increase all the time. Wonder if the sale of airtime space/ print space violates any section of the Representation of People's Act or Code of Conduct?

Written by Pamela D'Mello as a posting on goujourno. -- courtesy goajourno

26 May 2007 at 14:07  
Blogger Pen Pricks said...

Dear Rico,

ADVERTORIALS are the order f the day. It is not just the oHERALDo to blame [though the Luizinho's 'take down' report on the Catholic Schools' Day on front page takes the cake!], the Navhind Times carried a photograph of the so-called 'Aldona Constituency Voters Meeting' [held with
paid audience at a non-residential, desolate spot at Ganvar, near the Pomburpa Cottage Hospital!] and also a report on the same meeting. It could not have been for free!!!

It is not just about the worth of the advertotial per se but, RATHER, of the future benefits if the candidate gets elected. Public money is like holy water or prasad...the High Priest dispenses it generously to his fan club. Goverment advertisements, even of tender notices, is megabucks. What one would not do for an assured suply of such heavenly manna
for a five year period?

What journalists in Goa also need to focus on is the pre-eminence of
the Advertising/Circulation Manager over the Editor even in the so-called 'Editorial Content" of the newspaper. Or should we just shed the fig leaf and accept that most Goa's newspapers are actually PROPAGANDA organs available to the bidder that has acceptable sharacteristics. I
would not call it 'prostitution'. May be a 'comfort person' is more
acceptable euphemism for those dealing in advertorials.
Viva Goa.

Written as a posting on Goajourno by Minguel Braganza (courtesy goajourno)

26 May 2007 at 14:10  

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