Sark Newspaper 11 January 2019

2 AMEDIAVISITOR PROMPTED BYA STRAIGHT-FORWARD BRIEF OR BYA HIDDEN AGENDA? On Wednesday evening a journalist by the name of Jemima Kelly arrived on Sark with a photogra- pher in tow. Supposedly writing about Sark’s electricity problems, it soon become apparent that Ms Kelly had a far broader agenda, included writ- ing about the largest inward investor in the Is- land’s history. Ms Kelly had contacted the Editor of The Sark Newspaper explaining: “I am writing a story for the FT (which must be filed by Friday) about the energy crisis on Sark.” On the face of it, it is difficult to imagine a great newspaper such as the Financial Times with a worldwide reputation and readership commission- ing Ms Kelly to write an article for their publica- tion about a small Island with less than 390 year- round residents. It is also doubtful that advertis- ers such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, or Chanel, to name but a few, would gain anything from this kind of article. Nevertheless, the Editor of The Sark Newspaper agreed to meet Ms Kelly, explain- ing in a text message that: “Whilst I endeavour to report the news, not make it, I am happy to assist the occasional visiting journal- ist provided I am able to ascertain what story they are actually looking to write.” Numerous international, national and local jour- nalists have travelled to Sark professing to want to ‘tell it as it is’. For years, with a few notable ex- ceptions, most have left their brains and journal- istic credentials behind on the Guernsey quay. Once in Sark they have had no problem waxing lyrical about the natural beauty of the Island, but few have had the time or the inclination to investi- gate the real issues. Most, having enjoyed a jolly break, have returned and merely regurgitated government propaganda and submitted it as news. Journalists of this ilk have caused immense hard- ship to the people of Sark over the years by help- ing to perpetuate the myth this idyllic Island has miraculously escaped the social, economic and po- litical issues with which all other self-legislating jurisdictions have to deal with. However, of far greater concern are journalists who come to Sark purporting to be reporting on one subject whilst all the time pursuing a wholly different agenda. The most notable in recent years is the German film-maker Bettina Borgfeld. Being less than honest, she hoodwinked many Sark residents into giving her interviews, whilst failing to declare that she was in fact working in conjunction with members of the powerful Guille family, the head of which is the Island’s current wholly unelected ‘chief minister’. Nevertheless, the Editor of this publication accept- ed Ms Kelly at face value and spent a couple of hours late yesterday afternoon in discussions with her. She seemed genuinely interested in getting to the bottom of the electricity story but regularly strayed away from the core subject in pursuit of something to body her article out with. She showed a great interest in the largest inward in- vestors in Sark’s history, who have, over the years, donated £200,000 towards the Island Hall on Sark and £80,000 towards the Flying Christine, the ambulance boat on which Sark residents de- pend for emergency medical evacuations to Guernsey. A journalist’s natural instinct is to try to find an angle on a story ahead of a competitor? Is this what prompted Ms Kelly’s inquisitiveness, or was she yet another a wolf in sheep's clothing who has been less than straight with the people of Sark? Her article is due to be published over the weekend, so we will know very soon. Ms Kelly, whilst having the occasional article pub- lished in the FT, is in fact a blogger for their online site FT Alphaville. The website https:// reports that: “Jemima Kelly writes for the Financial Times’ Al- phaville blog where she writes about blockchain and crypto, among other things. She was previously a correspondent at Reuters, where she reported mainly on the foreign exchange market, cryptocur- rencies and fintech.” Very informative for sure, but it begs the ques- tion, what or who on earth brought her to Sark in the first place?