By way of information, this website, Independent Thoughts or IT will also contain news, yes news, including EXCLUSIVE news, so watch this space, leave a comment and share.

Incoming DFP leader

Information reaching Independent Thoughts aka IT indicates that Economist, Kent Vital is set to become the new political leader of the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP).

Vital grew up in River Street, Roseau, is a former Director of Invest Dominica.

He looks set to take over the post of Political Leader from current interim leader and businessman, Michael Astaphan.

Astaphan himself became interim leader after Judith Pestaina announced her retirement from active politics on October 30, 2012. This is his second stint as leader after initially being elected on August 5, 2007.

Pestaina led the party in the 2009 general elections where it failed to win a seat.

IT also understands that marketing professional, Cedric C. Sookhoo Sr. is tipped to become the party’s candidate for the Roseau Central constituency.

Marketing professional, Cedric Sookhoo Sr. is tipped to become Dominica Freedom Party's Roseau Central constituency at the next general elections due in 2015

Marketing professional, Cedric Sookhoo Sr. is tipped to become Dominica Freedom Party’s Roseau Central constituency at the next general elections due in 2015

Elections are constitutionally due in 2015.

The DFP was once led by former Prime Minister, the late Dame Mary Eugenia Charles and formed the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica for the period 1980 to 1995.

Under former party leader and current President, Charles Savarin, it was a minority party in a Dominica Labour Party led coalition government for the period 2000 to 2005.

The 45 year old party has not won a seat since the 2005 general elections.

Vital has his work cut out for him at reviving the party’s fortunes with the Dominican people at large and at the polls.

IT will keep watching the situation.

At this time, we don’t have a photo of Vital but here he is in this YouTube video:


Consultation Importance


This blogpost is intended to point the need for more consultation.

Consultation is defined as the action or process of formally discussing.

Alot of this is needed in our society, just think of the number of conflicting situations and conflict that could have been avoided.

The idea of sharing different viewpoints so that we can try to arrive at some common understanding is necessary. It is makes no sense that a select individual(s) or group of individual(s) those in and out power just ride ruthlessly over the wishes of those they represent or are in their charge.

Consultation, importantly, open the doors to enlightenment and education. Information that is important to planning anything between two or more people usually comes to light through consultations…..You’ll find out more on your next doctor’s visit.

It is improper when governments, of all groups, do not consult. Example, how can you build infrastructure without directly engaging the people it is expected to impact the most, and sometimes impact the worst?

Lack of consultation creates speculation and who can blame speculators when the people with the information do not share it.

Continue to consult.


Journalists’ safety must remain a priority even ahead of getting the story. The United Nations sees it fit and so must newsroom management.


As the International Press Institute’s North American Chairman, I released the statement below earlier this week about sending journalists to Syria, where it’s becoming increasingly dangerous for correspondents to do their jobs. Let me know what you think.


“VIENNA, Nov 18, 2013 – The North American Committee of the International Press Institute (IPI) today called on media outlets worldwide to exercise greater care in deploying correspondents to Syria, citing an epidemic of kidnappings of journalists in the war-torn country.

The Associated Press (AP) recently reported that at least 30 journalists have been detained in Syria and 52 killed since the current conflict between loyalist and anti-government forces began in March 2011.

Those figures are consistent with the records of IPI, which in September calculated that at least 34 journalists were held or missing in Syria and that 51 journalists had died during the conflict.

“The number of journalists who have…

View original post 51 more words


THIS is an open letter to my colleagues in Trinidad and Tobago. It is not a secret that Trinidad and Tobago boasts one of the freest environments for the media in the Caribbean and, I would dare say, in the Americas. That many countries in the region continue to repress the media is, though, deeply troubling.

While the International Press Institute (IPI) works diligently to promote press freedom around the globe, it also understands—and demands—the need for responsible journalism wherever it is practiced.

With media freedom comes responsibility, not statutory responsibility as defined by governments seeking to limit independent reporting, but voluntary standards and ethical practices rigorously adhered to by journalists who are proud of their profession and the fundamental standards of accuracy, fairness and balance it must at all times uphold.

In my focus on press freedom and best journalistic practices in Trinidad and Tobago, I am served by my decades of experience as a journalist and editor in Africa, the Caribbean and the United States.

Throughout the Americas, in a digital age marked by virtually instantaneous sharing through a breathtaking variety of cutting-edge platforms of information gathered in an array of innovative ways, citizens are increasingly demanding accurate, fair and, in particular, independent news coverage. Theirs is a quest for information. The gauntlet they have thrown down is not just to politicians who have long embraced opacity at the expense of transparency, good governance, accountability and human rights, but also to the media, which they are challenging to provide more balanced, accurate, integrity-driven and incisive reporting.

Read more here:



by Raymond Henderson

The media is an important part of our history, development, economy, culture and politics. It is an integral part of our democracy. In a broader sense, the mass media with Internet and new media technology form a galaxy dotted with bright stars I choose to call Sensational Media Personalities for the purpose of this article. They add new energy, they bring in new audiences and new voices, and they churn an industry forward. They also make politicians nervous – very nervous. But seasoned politicians have five good reasons to snob these sensations.

Firstly, sensational media personalities are not politicians. They have not declared themselves as politicians; they are not yet in the game of politics and have not said what team they are on. However, they have a right under the constitution to associate with whoever they want after the show.

Secondly, they are not a movement of any kind. They could be media activists by default and do very constructive media intervention if they are able to.  Investigative journalism skills are an asset here. This is good for democracy.

Thirdly, they can be alternative opinion leaders but they are not agenda setters. There are many around and they are among the best in the field. Again, by default, they have taken up the tough, long, un-ending task of building and/or repairing Civil Society – not building a political party, (whether they are aware of it or not). When and where both the established media and the established political opposition are weak, media personalities can fill that void in political processes but they are still not significant factors in political outcomes – not yet.

Fourthly, they are part of a Public Relations (PR) industry that thrives on long and negative political campaigns. They are a brand of very special interest groups. Call them sharks; they construe every pigment as blood in the water of politics. They feed on people’s fears and failures and will turn a government’s term of office into a four-year campaign because it is good business.

And finally, they have a visibility imperative. They must or have to remain visible in the media to stay relevant or be relegated to a permanent non-factor status in the realm of influence. So their purpose and existence is and will remain issue-driven.

Keep in mind that not all these reasons necessarily apply to one and the same sensational media personality. So what do we do with those sparkles anyway?

The late Prime Minister, Rosie Douglas had a way of focusing on the person he was conversing with, with one eye and at the same time, scanning the surroundings with the other. This is not as easy as it sounds.

But to make the point, media personalities have limited or little political influence. However, this could change with the winds of fortune or fate and both politician and private citizen will want to notice if and when it does. In the interim, call them watchdog, gatekeeper, mirror, conscience, educator or observer…they sound political but they do not hold power and certainly do not make or shape laws at this time. They entertain.