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Newspaper Coverage Of The Increase In The Unemployment Rate In The Bahamas

1714 words - 7 pages

The Bahamas, like most countries, is encumbered by a variety of issues, for example crime, illegal immigration, education reform, economic growth and unemployment. These issues are reported by numerous medias one of them being newspapers. Newspapers are a reliable and popular source of receiving information. Frequently “newspaper vendors stand at the roadside during the morning rush hour, selling copies of the daily papers” and “commuters stop their cars amid traffic to buy copies” (Benjamin & LeGrand, 2012, p. 22). In The Bahamas there are two commonly read local daily newspapers, The Nassau Guardian and The Tribune (Benjamin & LeGrand, 2012). On October 23rd, 2013 the Department of ...view middle of the document...

In contrast, The Tribune’s headline, “UNEMPLOYMENT RISES TO 16.2%: Statistics are ‘Deeply Troubling’”, contained words in huge bold print and words that emphasized the seriousness of this issue.
While both newspapers presented nearly the same information from the Labour Force Survey the language in which they described the findings was drastically different. The Nassau Guardian used hopeful and optimistic language while The Tribune used dejected and gloomy language. The Nassau Guardian attempted to placate the readers by using mild words to describe the information in the Labour Force Survey. From their article’s first paragraph, usage of adjectival phrases such as “slight decline” and “rose” to point to the increase in the unemployment rate did not relay the urgency that The Tribune had for the same subject. For example, The Tribune stated that the unemployment rate had reached a “staggering 16.2 percent” and professed that this was “deeply troubling” (Turnquest, 2013, p. A1).
Both newspapers heavily incorporated statistical data in their coverage of the increase in the unemployment rate. By incorporating statistics in a news story newspapers attempt to increase understanding of an issue and give authenticity to an issue they are reporting (Benjamin & LeGrand, 2012). The Nassau Guardian presented not only the current statistics but also compared and contrasts it with the statistics from the 2012 Labour Force Survey. Additionally, it delineates various parts of the data so that readers are aware of the unemployment rates among the youth (15-24), women and men in both New Providence and Grand Bahama. For instance, there was no large disparity in unemployment between men and women. The data showed 11,800 women and 11,380 men are unemployed in New Providence and 2,635 women and 2,265 men are unemployed in Grand Bahama (Thompson, 2013). Like The Nassau Guardian, The Tribune’s article contained statistical data from the 2013 Labour Force Survey; however, it went a step further by publishing the complete survey results. This approach allowed all the data to be reviewed from different angles because “the report provides statistical summaries… that show labour force components and characteristics of the employed, unemployed and discouraged workers” (The Department of Statistics, 2011, p. 7).
The Tribune, unlike The Nassau Guardian, painted a worrisome image of the unemployment rate increasing and a lack of government concern regarding this issue. It did this through statements made by Darron Cash, chairman of the oppositional party (The Free National Movement, FNM). For example, persons are losing jobs because of “the government’s decision not to renew contracts”, thousands of Bahamians are living in difficult conditions because they “have a hard time making ends meet every day” and “the Prime Minister’s team too often gives the impression that they do not understand how hard life is for average Bahamians” (Turnquest, 2013, p. A18). In contrast, The...

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