Today’s Editorial for May 22: Both sides need airing

We must be doing something right.

Both the Government and the Opposition seem to think we’re out to get them these days. Both complain we cover the other too much.

In the latest round of media bashing, Cabinet Minister Alden McLaughlin complained about our article reporting the results of a recent caycompass.com online poll.

In that poll, we asked how the government should make up for its expected revenue shortfall.

This poll question came in response to a pronouncement by the government that revenue projections for the 2008/09 financial year would be less than originally expected.

We gave respondents several choices as to how government could offset the expected revenue decrease, including implementing new revenue measures, spending less on projects and reducing the size of government. In the end, the largest segment of respondents – 45 per cent – suggested the government spend less on projects, which is exactly how the government has decided to deal with the revenue shortage.

Because of the story, however, Mr. McLaughlin found it necessary to complain about us for apparently being under the premise that government was operating under a deficit budget. He immediately followed up that statement by saying that Cayman and the press in particular had a preoccupation with bad news to the point where we made it up if it weren’t so.

He also lamented that there seemed to be an ‘apparent new love affair’ between the media and Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush.

We’re not sure where Mr. McLaughlin is hearing his romance gossip, but just because we print stories coming from both sides of the political fence does not mean we’re in some kind of love affair with one or the other. Indeed, when the Cabinet press briefings take place, a member of the Compass staff is unfailingly there, listening and later reporting on what was said.

In these days of not-so-hidden agendas and sell-outs in Cayman media, we feel more strongly than ever that it is our job to report what both political sides say, short of things we know to be untrue, potentially libellous or particularly offensive.

While we do not expect either the Government or the Opposition to agree with everything we write, we would hope they would refrain from taking cheap shots at us from the floor of the House by suggesting we’re making things up that aren’t true. We’re not pre-occupied with bad news, just the facts and truth.

Perhaps it would be more useful to the entire country if Mr. McLaughlin paid a little more attention to what the respondents of our polls are saying, rather than to our reporting of poll results

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