A special thank you!
Today, as Editor-in-Chief of Barbados TODAY, I ask that you forgive me for taking a personal approach with today’s Editorial.
On January 26, 2010 we published the first edition of Barbados TODAY. Tomorrow, therefore, though we will not be producing an edition — unless of course Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announces that much anticipated elections date, or there is some major breaking news event — we will be celebrating our third birthday.
It has not been an easy road, but it has always been fulfilling for us at Barbados TODAY. Without doubt, as a new business, formed in the heart of an international recession that has continued to worsen, there were days when we doubted we would have made it this far.
We are not in any doubt that we are not yet out of the woods, and that every day each member of the team must put in an extra effort to ensure we stay alive, but our real satisfaction comes at the end of each day when we launch a new edition into history.
That for three years we have been producing a daily publication, with at most four sub-editors, a few photographers (none of whom is full-time), just over half a dozen full-time writers, supported by a very small cast of advertising sales executives and administrative employees, has been nothing short of amazing.
Our success has been due in no small measure to the fact that all our employees, past and present, have gone well beyond the call of duty for three straight years, recognising that every edition is in so many ways a reflection of our pride in what we do.
Yes, we have not always got it right, but we have been willing to look back at our mistakes, take our licks as they come, and determine that we will not stay down.
We will not downplay the contribution of employee empowerment in this success. Our reporters and sub-editors own their tasks. They are an integral part of our decision-making process. They bring their own ideas to the table and they know they have the power to execute them.
With so few persons doing so many tasks, for so little pay, no other approach will work. Our driver, without prompting will take photos, whip out her recorder and/or her notepad and pass all she has collected to a reporter because she understands what serving you, our readers is all about. Our photographers do the same because they recognise that though we may be small we don’t have to think small.
Our reporters work seven days a week — and sometimes it seems like 24 hours per day — because they know that the confidence of you, our readers, demand nothing less. And they do this even when our paydays are delayed by our circumstances.
And in an organisation where our bills are paid entirely from advertising revenue, our sales executives have contributed in no small measure to our survival so far by working with you, our advertisers, even when all you have to spend is the proverbial dollar.
But we have not made it these three years only by our internal efforts. To you our many partners and friends in sports, business, Government, political circles and elsewhere, we say thanks. We thank you for delaying your event starts just long enough that our journalists could rush from one assignment to yours, for taking photos to ensure Barbados TODAY was not left out when we just could not stretch any farther, for recording the speeches and presentations and sending them to us, for calling after an assignment to share what occurred “because the others were here and we did not see Barbados TODAY”.
On behalf of the Barbados TODAY team I also offer a special “Thank you!” to the staff of the Barbados Government Information Service who have consistently gone out of their way to be our eyes and ears on those many occasions when assignments with ministers clash and we just don’t have the manpower to cover all.
We don’t know what 2013 holds, but with the help of God we intend to give it our best shot, in the hope that on January 26, 2014 we can speak from a position of greater strength on our fourth birthday.
Again, on behalf of the entire Barbados TODAY team: Thank you!
Roy R. Morris