Government is no longer considering the transition of Government Information Services TV (CIGTV) to a public broadcasting station.

Opposition legislators on Monday raised the issue of the absence of a local television to inform the community about general news and events following the closure of Cayman 27, the only local free-to-air TV station in the Cayman Islands.

When Cayman 27 folded in August, Premier Alden McLaughlin said then that government would move to help fill the void left through CIGTV.

“We certainly, but very briefly, considered whether it would be viable to develop CIGTV into something like a public broadcasting company, but there are costs involved in that and with the length of time all of that will have taken we just decided that some other government will have to do that,” McLaughlin said, as he addressed Finance Committee.

He said government has decided to continue to operate CIGTV as it is, which he contended in “some way addresses some of the deficits in the overall media reporting framework or apparatus caused by the closure of Cayman 27”.

Government also entered into a content-sharing agreement with the Cayman Compass.
Opposition Leader Arden McLean and George Town Central MLA Kenneth Bryan expressed concerns about that agreement.

The premier assured neither he nor his ministers have any knowledge or involvement in the content used on GIS and that includes whatever is sent to the station from the newspaper.

Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose said the agreement with the Compass was simple in that the newspaper provides three to five videos stories daily. GIS, he said, decides if and when the content is used.

News provided, Rose explained, comprises community events that GIS would not necessarily cover.

“It is soft news,” he added.

Finance Committee resumes Tuesday.