Government defends Radio Cayman policy

The Government issued a
statement Friday defending its decision not to allow people with strong ties to
the opposition People’s Progressive Movement to host the Radio Cayman Talk
Today programme.

The statement comes after
criticism of the government’s decision not to allow former People’s Progressive
Movement legislator Lucille Seymour and Denise Miller, the leader of PPM’s
youth arm called the Young Progressives, to host the radio show again after
they did so recently.

“Radio Cayman is a
government-owned radio station that reports to an elected member of Cabinet,”
the government’s statement said. “As such, it is important that presenters and
talk show hosts on Radio Cayman be politically neutral, not only in the content
they present on the station’s programmes, but also in their public political
stance.”

The statement pointed out
that the former PPM administration had a similar policy that allowed only civil
servants – who are required to remain politically neutral in their public
statements – to host the show.

“The neutrality of [the
host position] was compromised when several people who are known to have
partisan political positions were brought in or were scheduled as guest hosts
of Talk Today while the regular host was on vacation,” the statement said. “Of
the 16 shows that were scheduled to have guest hosts, 12 shows had people known
for their partisan political views scheduled as guest hosts.”

The government issued
directions to Radio Cayman management to correct the situation “to ensure that
the political neutrality of Talk Today was maintained”, the statement said.

“The directions were not
aimed at any person in particular, but rather at Radio Cayman’s decision to
have the overwhelming majority of the guest host spots filled by people who
take a public political position.”

The statement went on to
say that the United Democratic Party government had no objections to opposition
members or their supporters appearing as guests on the talk show.

“In fact [it] welcomes
everyone to call, email or write in to the programme,” the statement said. “The
government encourages and supports public debate by persons of all political
views and Radio Cayman’s Talk Today programme affords a good forum for such discussions.”

After the government’s
direction was made, opposition legislator Alden McLaughlin appeared on Talk
Today last week. Radio Cayman’s Jay Ehrhart spoke to Mr. McLaughlin, who was a
Cabinet minister during the previous administration, about the government’s
direction, bringing up the fact that the PPM government had a similar policy in
place.  Mr. McLaughlin, however, said he
was unaware of such a polity in his administration.

0
0

3 COMMENTS

  1. Once Radio Cayman had a good talk show going on… now it’s repetitious, christian centric, and less interactive with members of the public. I find now that have carefully selected members of the public to talk, instead of answering the random phone calls, many of them against government policy and certain traditional standards. The other day, they had a lady on the radio, associating Christianity with our Culture, and hence we should have prayer in the LA and certain Christian practices in public schools with no regard for the other faiths on the island. Also, there was a host one day, who voiced her Christian beliefs over the radio, denouncing gambling. I recall how it was like she was PUSHING her socall christian views on the caller. It was just deplorable!

    I think the host for Radio Cayman, should be neutral and never apt to censor someone’s freedom of speech when what they are saying conflicts with government’s policy, a faith, or a non-traditional standard. There has to be someone who can be a host – just for the sole reason of allowing people to voice their point of views, and not judging, giving some advice, pushing an opinion, or using the radio to teach people. I feel Cayman needs someone who will JUST LISTEN and allow them to talk!

    It concerns me alot that a media outlet could be controlled by government or special interest entities. This should not be!

    0

    0
  2. If you do not bring Christian values back into everyday discussion and actions on the Islands then Cayman will end up like Jamaica. One needs to only look at crime statistics to see that the PPM humanistic and relative views did not provide the hope and foundation for a safe Cayman.
    What is the problem with hearing a different voice than your own? If you do not like what is said then reach down and change the station.

    0

    0
  3. Was freedom of speech taken away when the new constitution was revamped. Are we going to join Cuba soon? A very touchy area in which you are digging.

    0

    0

Comments are closed.