Today’s Editorial for July 5: Another attack on the media

Yet
again, Premier McKeeva Bush has lashed out against the media, including Cayman
Free Press, this time in a statement made in the Legislative Assembly last
week.

With
all the serious problems facing the Cayman Islands, we are astounded that Mr.
Bush finds it necessary to spend valuable time complaining about how bad he
believes the local media is.  However, we
believe everyone is entitled to an opinion, and Mr. Bush is no different. But
we would like to respond to some of his comments.

Mr.
Bush complained about how the media selects the news. Just speaking for Cayman
Free Press, we select news based on what we feel would be most interesting, or
newsworthy, to the public.  Granted, this
process is subjective, but we’ve been in this business for almost 45 years, so
we have a good idea of what is newsworthy. Politicians might have other ideas
about what they think is interesting, but we’re not going to be pressured into
printing what the government wants us to print. That, dear public, is censorship
and we uphold the principles of freedom of speech.

Mr.
Bush also wants the media to form an association to establish a code of ethics
and regulate itself.  As for the code of
ethics, Cayman Free Press already has this and we don’t need to become part of
an association to follow those ethics. The self-regulating association idea
might sound good in theory, but just how does Mr. Bush think this would work?
If one media house broke rules of ethics, what could the association do other than
tell it to stop or kick it out of the association? Such an association would recommend
best practices at best and would be a complete waste of time at worst.

Mr.
Bush also said the Cayman Islands is being watched internationally and that
exaggerated or sensationalised reports damage the country. We do not
sensationalise any news and Cayman Free Press always tries its best to ensure
our reports are fair, accurate and balanced. 
But we also have to say that when the leader of a country publicly and
continually attacks the press, that also damages the reputation of a country.
We don’t make the news; we merely report it.

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