Published On: Mon, Nov 13th, 2017

The Curaçao Media

Arthur DonkerYears ago some minister took a popular decision to approve, in one clean sweep, all petitions for radio stations that were lying in the popular drawer for years.

I said then that it would start a war and that it would be who would have the longest breath and that it would be the downfall of some of the existing radio stations.

Suddenly there was a whole bunch of radio stations that were all fishing for advertisers in the same little pond called Curaçao and were begging trying to haul them in as clients.

The result was a killing competition that was affecting the quality of the broadcasts because there was no money for programs on a higher educational level and it became a fight who could be the most popular and they were pulling all sorts of dubious figures off the streets with the IQ of an empty can of beans, that was somewhat popular for playing in some third-rate band to function as DJ or "journalist" to spew nonsense into the air.

The level dropped faster than a Tour de France cyclist going downhill from the Himalayas.

Suddenly there was no more classical music, no forums or debates on a high level only "Call In" programs from media horny listeners who were dying to hear their own voices on the radio sharing opinions that made no sense at all and only blame the government for everything because that little finger goes all over except where it's supposed to go.

Slowly but surely we noticed that there were stations that were very pro certain politicians and were airing only positive news items about them and their parties.

It turned out that certain politicians were giving them so much advertising business through the government that they sold their souls to the devil and we all know the examples.

30 radio stations, 4 TV stations, 8 newspapers or something like that, besides all the jokers with an I phone sitting at home taping some stupidity only to put it on the social media to play private TV station reaching more people that all the newspapers together.

All of a sudden we are flooded with so-called journalists that don't even have a degree that doesn't even know how to have a decent interview or have knowledge about the topic being discussed.

All they do is look pretty in front of the cameras and say stupidity and to give their personal opinions.

News programs that have nothing to do with the news but more about the radio host his own personal (mostly political) opinion because the man wants to be the popular jojo!

The result is two newspapers will be closing in the near future, the radio station that don't belong to a church, these are tax exempt if I'm not mistaken, these non religious stations have a hard time surviving and are running on a skeleton crew and part timers.

Our holy cow, UTS, wants for fire a couple of hundred employees because only now they realize that the technology raced past them without them seeing that coming because everybody is phoning free of charge via WhatsApp, Skype and Void Stunt and that is apart from the losing investments made abroad that cost us millions and millions.

And we won't talk about the acquisition of Telecuracao and TDS by UTS because with the growing competition of IPTV offering the clients much more than TDS or Telecuraçao can ever offer their clients. And all in High Definition, news channels and all the movie channels with movies that haven't even been in the local  theatres yet for almost nothing, is going to be the downfall of TDS and Telecuraçao.

Telecuraçao, just like ALM in the old days, has become a social workshop with people that are not motivated to make a profit because they are semi public servants and cannot be fired, so why trouble?

The first thing a businessman does in an economy that is stagnant for years already, is to save on advertising cost (wrong) with all the consequences that accompanies this action, newspapers that existed for decennia's are facing foreclosure, radio stations that can't even pay their electric bills and good, educated professional journalists that move to Holland because they can't make a decent living here.

I keep laughing on this rock because once again we see the result of ad hoc decisions made by people without a vision that are not capable for the position they have that they got as a present for services rendered.

By Arthur Donker
Columnist for Curaçao Chronicle

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