Editorial for September 3: What’s a free press to do?

For years, the Cayman Free Press
has been the subject of allegations about how we “cover up the news”.

Well, it seems those claims don’t
hold much water anymore – particularly in the view of some in the local
business community.

As the world economy has worsened,
we continue to receive a number of comments from individuals who apparently
feel that the job of the independent press in the Cayman Islands is to perform
as an ad-hoc public relations service.

They feel that the Cayman Free
Press, the Compass in particular, isn’t providing the services expected and is,
in effect, being “sensational” in reporting news about crimes that occur in
Cayman. 

Strangely enough, we just wrote an
editorial about people who feel there isn’t enough democracy here considering
the recent exclusion of opposition party politicians and supporters from
hosting duties on the government-run radio station. We often field comments and
questions from people who wonder why the Cayman Islands’ press doesn’t do more
“investigative reporting”. We then field questions – sometimes from those same
individuals – about why we did a story when our investigative reporting rubs
these folks the wrong way. The public, it seems, is not speaking with one voice
when it comes to what it wants, expects, or needs from its free press.

And, folks, that is exactly as it
should be.

Only in a very different type of
government and society are members of the public allowed to have just one view
of their country’s situation, or one view of the press that reports daily on
that situation. 

It is the job of an independently-owned
press in any democratic society to fairly and accurately report the news of the
day. We press people are left to our own devices, then, to determine where we
place those news items; hence the words “free” and “independent”. We would ask
everyone to ponder these two questions: Do you believe those who wish the press
to ignore crime and social problems within the Cayman Islands truly want what
is best for the country? Wouldn’t they be better served to assist in righting
these matters, rather than hollering at the media to cover them up? Readers are
– as always – free to form their own opinions.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. There are many things one might suggest to be in our national interest not to report; Crime and political misconduct should not be on that list. There is a belief that the level of crime in Cayman is not new, just the reporting of it. Withholding information deemed to be in the national interest should be done by government officials consulting the media with a logical point, not with threats of increased fees and posturing.

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  2. I believe its the competition coming from CNS the people seem to have a little bit more liberty in that forum. However they are withholding information as well. The PPM seems to be influencing their commentary so no one can point fingers at the Compass.
    Keep on allowing us to comment, I would not advise any to incite a libel and slander lawsuit at the Compass expense, so you have to legally protect yourself and your purse as well.
    I believe that all the Media that we are blessed with are really doing the best they can this difficult society that we live in.

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