Editorial for December 07: Lead by Example

 

The irony created by two of the front-page stories in
yesterday’s Caymanian Compass should not go unnoticed.

In one story, local musicians complained that the Department
of Tourism paid to have a song written by a New York agency to advertise the
Cayman Islands. In the other story, we told about Caymanian musician Jason
Gilbert being nominated for two Grammy awards for writing a song on Eminem’s
album, Recovery.

As is too often the case in government and the private
sector, the Department of Tourism apparently believed there was no one in the
Cayman Islands capable of writing an advertising jingle about the Cayman
Islands, so they sought out a foreigner to do it.

It makes us wonder how many Grammy award nominations the New
York advertising company has received.

We realise that writing jingles takes a different mindset
than writing songs for albums, as the goal of advertising goes beyond mere
artistic expression, but we cannot understand why the DoT wouldn’t at least
give local musicians a chance.

After all, it’s the local musicians who know and love the
Cayman Islands, and who better to try and write a song enticing tourists to
come here?

The problem is the deep-rooted belief that talent from
overseas is always better than local talent.

This isn’t to say that sometimes – even often – there is no
one capable of doing a particular task for a reasonable price in Cayman. But
before assuming there is no one for the job here, employers – particularly the
government – should see what is available locally.

It is very difficult for private sector employers to take
seriously the pleas of government to hire locally when the government so often
ignores local companies when doing such things as consulting, designing schools
and writing advertising jingles.

If the government really wants to address the malcontent of
some Caymanians who feel they aren’t getting a fair shake, it should lead by
example and use local talent whenever possible before spending the taxpayers
dollars overseas on foreign talent that doesn’t really know Cayman.

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