Today’s Editorial: Respecting the press

Many aspects of Cayman society are developing at a rapid pace.

There is, however, one particular area that seems to require a nudge forward.

Too often, Cayman’s journalists are not given the basic respect and freedoms required to do their job properly when attempting to cover local events.

Probably every journalist in this country has more than a few examples of bizarre behaviour by hosts of events.

It is not uncommon for security guards, employees and volunteers to treat journalists as if they are unwanted intruders to be watched closely and corralled at all costs-and these are at events the press is asked to attend by the organisers.

In fairness, it should be noted that the chief organisers of most events are probably sensible enough to understand that the press helps them by promoting and reporting on their efforts.

Most undoubtedly know that to treat journalist as an annoyance or nuisance is counterproductive to their goals.

The problem is that this understanding does not always filter down to the lower-level employees and volunteers who may confront members of the press with a negative attitude or absurd restrictions.

This may come as a surprise to some, but there are people in the Cayman Islands and in other countries who host events and make an effort to make reporters and photographers feel welcome and appreciated.

They provide things such as chairs, tables, water, etc. They also provide as much freedom as is reasonably possible to allow journalists to do their job well.

Reporters and photographers in the Cayman Islands enjoy a fun and fascinating career but they are often challenged with deadlines, heavy workloads and events that don’t start on time.

When obstacles in the guise of uninformed gatekeepers and overzealous volunteers are placed before journalists, the result is usually a less-than-optimal result for all concerned.