Today’s Editorial April 03: A call to candidates

As we mentioned last week, Cayman Free Press has undertaken to provide unprecedented coverage of the 2009 General Election campaign through its newspapers and through its caycompass.com website.

In addition, we have developed a special election website at www.caycompass.com/elections, which Internet browsers can access through a link on our regular website. The new election website, which was launched last week, includes archived news from the campaign trail, important announcements from the Elections Office, and interactive features like blogs, polls and man-on-the-street interviews.

Cayman Free Press staff is also in the process of creating detailed information about each of the candidates, including bios and articles on their stances on the issues. Today and Monday we will also conduct video interviews with the candidates, which will be posted on our website.

The coverage on our websites mentioned above is being offered free to all 43 candidates. There are also opportunities for the candidates to place paid advertisements on the website, but that is entirely optional.

Unfortunately, we’ve received some complaints from members of the public that think Cayman Free Press is biased in its coverage because the website doesn’t have bios on all candidates. That is not for the want of trying; we have tried to make contact with all of the candidates, but we have found it inexplicably difficult to do so. It seems some candidates have made themselves quite difficult to reach.

We are also having difficulty contacting some of the 43 candidates to arrange the video interviews. Although we assumed the candidates would jump at the chance to have their voices heard free of cost through the various media of the largest news organisation in the Cayman Islands, some have been uncooperative.

However, there are many other candidates who have recognised the value of what Cayman Free Press is doing and have been more than willing to accommodate our requests for information and interviews. As a result, these are the people who will get more coverage on our website.

Those who decline or fail to respond to requests will not have as much coverage on our website, but we’d like to make it clear that is their choice. We will still state their names as candidates on our website, but we’ll simply state next to their bio or video interview that we’re either awaiting information or that the candidate declined.

We’ll try to accommodate special timing requests the best we can for the candidates, but ultimately we would hope they would put some effort into responding to our offers.

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