(Update)TTT apologises to Peter Minshall, family, cultural fraternity

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Master masman Peter Minshall. FILE PHOTO –

TTT has apologised to master masman Peter Minshall, his family, friends, and the wider cultural diaspora, for its erroneous report that the national icon had died, made during its live coverage of Carnival Tuesday’s Parade of the Bands.

In a media release from the office of the CEO, TTT Ltd said, “On Tuesday February 21, at the Queen’s Park Savannah, during the live broadcast of the Parade of the Bands, a contractor engaged by TTT, erroneously reported that national icon Peter Minshall had passed away.

“TTT extends its sincerest apology to Mr Minshall, his family, friends, and fans throughout TT and the wider diaspora.”

The release said the company first received the information from a trusted partner via its in-house announcement.

“An external contractor repeated the announcement during the TTT Carnival broadcast. While the contractor failed to exercise due diligence in the media industry, we hold ourselves vicariously liable for the error in judgement.

“In this connection, TTT remains committed to delivering the highest quality standards in its journalistic and operating procedures and for making occasions like this failsafe. We will hold our contractors accountable for the same standards and continuous improvement we expect from our industry and our staff.”

Around 5.30 pm on Tuesday, announcer David Mc Intyre spoke of Minshall’s death. TTT announcer Nicola Barriteau then made an emotional statement during the Parade of the Bands broadcast. “News” of Minshall’s “demise” spread rapidly on social media.

However, Newsday spoke to Minshall via his cellphone on Tuesday evening and reported that the claim was false.

Speaking on Wednesday before TTT’s formal apology, Braithwaite said he had not heard the initial announcement on Tuesday as he was on the road, but began investigating immediately.

“I heard rumours it was mentioned on our news, I heard it was mentioned on our online platforms, so I was crossing my i’s and dotting my t’s as to where exactly this particular post was made,” Braithwaite said.

“It was only made live online, when there was an in-house announcement by the NCC, and our presenter, who is actually an independent contractor, we hired to do presenting at these particular shows, repeated it when it was heard on the in-house announcement. And because we are doing it live online, it was on our platforms.”

The release ended by again extending an apology to Minshall on behalf of the chairman, board of directors, and management at TTT Ltd.  Minshall could not be reached for comment on Wednesday evening.