Gemma Handy responds to House Speaker Sir Gerald Watt, KC


Gemma Handy, the Editor of the Daily Observer has responded to house Speaker Sir Gerald Watt, KC.

Sir Gerald complained this morning that he was asked to pay over EC$1400 for an article he submitted to the paper.

This is Gemma’s response:

What the Speaker failed to point out is that the article in question was sent to the advertising department.

Consequently, it was never received by myself or anyone in the editorial department.

This also explains why he was told his five-page article would cost more than EC$1400 to publish.

Sir Gerald also acknowledged he did not follow up with a phone call.

It would have been appropriate to have contacted me directly before making his comments in Parliament this morning.


Observer would like to clarify a matter that arose in Parliament this morning during comments made by Speaker of the House, Sir Gerald Watt.

Sir Gerald claimed that he had sent an article to the newspaper by way of a rebuttal to a guest opinion piece.

He went on to state that the article had not been published and declared he was holding the editor personally responsible for this.

Sir Gerald also lamented the fact he had been asked to pay in excess of EC$1,400 for the piece to be published

Observer would like to point out that Sir Gerald’s article – which was more than five pages long – had been sent to the advertising department’s email address.

Consequently, it was never received by either the editor or anyone in the editorial department. Advertising and editorial departments operate separately for obvious reasons.

This also explains why Sir Gerald was given the standard cost for publishing a piece of this length.

During his comments, Sir Gerald acknowledged he should have called the Observer offices to follow up on his submission. It is indeed regrettable he did not do so.

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  1. Gerald watt before u ran ya st..king mouth find out details before u make a more of an ass out of yourself!!

  2. Clearly the Speaker owes Ms Handy and Observer an apology and in future should avoid making half cocked claims before he has checked whether or not the fault is with him himself

  3. In my opinion, just like how Gerald watt love to say ‘I am speaker of this parliament and my decision is final’, well unless observer newspaper belong to gerald watt, the owners are the one who have final say as to what their newspaper carry and what their newspaper do not carry, regardless of who believe what.

    Since a so it go, if I owned observer newspaper, only a trip to Heaven would get a letter written by gerald watt published.

    gerald watt could go kiss a d**k.

  4. A 5-page article. Gerald Watt is truly a dinosaur. Which paper would even consider reading, never mind publish such a manuscript? He is still living in the dark ages

  5. Gerry “Loud Mouthed” Watt: The truth always rises to the top. Why most of you so called bright persons are being caught with your pants down. Good of Observer to shed light on the TRUTH of this matter.

  6. Gerald Watt is not a poor man, What the hell PAY THE MONEY Gerald Watt — WHY YOU WANT FREE advertising WHY NOT GO TO POINT EXPRESS WHERE YOU BELONG AND GET IT DONE FREE.
    Observer has to pay their workers, plus light , phone and rent.

  7. Sorry but anyone working in the advertising department who didn’t refer the piece to the editorial team is surely to blame for this. Common sense should tell anyone who actually READ the piece and noted the source should have known that it was not an advert. But as always, we must politicise rather than accept that the ball was dropped and as editor, Ms. Handy must take responsibility; end of. If this had happened to one of the UK broad sheets… “It was sent to the wrong email address” would NOT be an acceptable excuse and Ms. Handy knows full well that this would not fly elsewhere. How about she take ownership for the error in her capacity as editor of the Observer and move on. Her response is unprofessional and should have been handled differently. A disappointed Observer reader and former Observer employee.

    • As Dave explained on his show yesterday, Sir Gerald wanted the article printed word for word in its entirety – but didn’t want to pay for it. Hence the reason it wasn’t forwarded on. Any journalist worth their salt should know that constitutes an advertisement rather than something for editorial consideration.

    • As Dave explained on his show yesterday, Sir Gerald wanted the article printed word for word in its entirety – but didn’t want to pay for it. Hence the reason it wasn’t forwarded on. Any journalist worth their salt should know that under those conditions such an article constitutes an advertisement rather than something for editorial consideration.

    • While i might agree that the advertising department should have forward the article to the right person/s, Mr. Must-already-be-retired-loud-mouth should have NEVER blamed the Editor and assume that she just refused to print it. THAT is surely unprofessional!

  8. Obviously the advertising department ought to know the document was misdirected. Why not forward it to the appropriate department. Is observer set up so hugh that there is a clear separation of advertising and editorial?
    That response was idiotic. Poor excuse.

    Surely I am no fan of Sir Gerald turn coat Watts.. however as an independent observer, my eyes are wide open to determine truth, practical, lies, reasonableness, just, etc…..

    Observer given the nature of your set up that response is absurd.

  9. Social media has become the hottest medium for everyone trying to get out information these days so much so that simple matters that normally would have been resolved by a phone call or even a personal visit happens no more. We have all become so impersonal wanting to literally “shoot and run” as social media allows. I just wish that we would all get back to being personal and direct instead of always using social media as our weapon of choice. That is the genesis of this misunderstanding between the Speaker and Observer Media. One simple phone call could have resolved this issue which ought not to have been the subject of Parliamentary discussion today.

  10. Wait….not avoiding the issue in the article, BUT as Tanny Rose would say…..$1,400 BROAD DOLLAR NOTE to have an article published????? Murderrrrrrrrrrrr.

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