EDITORIAL – ‘Censorship’ and editing

We’d like to take this opportunity to inform (or remind) our readers about some general guidelines on what the Cayman Compass will — and won’t — publish, in our print newspaper and our website online.

We, like nearly all publications, from time to time field complaints from individuals who allege that the Compass is “censoring” them by not publishing comments that contradict the editorial opinions of the newspaper.

As regular readers of this opinion page will be aware, that is not how we operate. We celebrate the diversity of viewpoints in this community and embrace the opportunity to engage in dialogues, even with (and often especially with) people who happen to be ideological opponents on a specific issue. Promoting public conversation on important topics is, of course, one of the primary goals of having an opinion page at all — and it is a primary responsibility of a responsible newspaper.

And so, just to get it on the record, let us state categorically that the Compass never will refuse to publish a reader’s submission simply because it does not accord with our own views. As we say in the newspaper business, “Period. Full stop.”

We do, however, reserve the right to refuse to publish certain kinds of commentary — specifically submissions that contain libelous, inaccurate, incendiary or offensive language.

In that context, our editors do act as filters. And it is our editors (along with our other journalists) that differentiate and distinguish the pages of the Compass from the row of stools at a bar, or the soapbox on a street corner, or the anonymous forums on the Internet.