Question: I read some comments on CNS that Cayman Marl Road is a blog and you all are not a journalist or newspaper. Is that true? What qualifications are required to be a journalist in the Cayman Islands?
Answer: Let's start with your last question first. There are no qualifications to be a “journalist” in this jurisdiction per se. There are some procedures if you wish to obtain GIS press releases and court access as a journalist – all of which CMR has satisfied.
Further, CMR contributor Sandra Hill has both an academic writing background and experience in news media. Many persons will make uneducated commentary and not realize that her first bachelor's degree is in Professional and Technical Writing. Additionally, back in the early 1990's, she wrote for her university school newspaper. At that time the university had a campus size that's the equivalent of the current population size of the Cayman Islands. They may be surprised to know that in this capacity she interviewed some highly esteemed academics and political figures.
Additionally, Hill has written for several Cayman publications; some of which inaccurately refer to her as a blogger.
It's amazing how confused people get about such a term. Several recent comments regarding CMR have left us baffled as to why some persons which to call what we do “blogging” and make it sound as though it is a lesser form of writing that “traditional journalism”. They throw the term blog around in such an insulting manner whilst at the same time apparently have no true understanding of the concept.
People appear to be genuinely confused about what CMR does and incorrectly refer to it as blogging. So it appears necessary to start with that most basic definition.
Blogging is defined as:
blogging is the process of writing a blog, an online journal in which you share your thoughts about a particular subject with readers.
By that very simple and accurate definition CMR has never been a blog and what we do is not blogging and therefore no administrator is a blogger. We are not writing a journal or diary. Most bloggers focus on a particular area of interest such as photography, parenting etc. None of these basic criteria for what a blog is describes with CMR does.
It's important to recognize that often when people misuse the term blog they are seeking to not legitimize you as a news source. You may not, for example, like the Daily Mail but they are still an online newspaper. They write about a wide variety of news and topical issues.
There are different quality journalists and publications. CMR was established and founded on the principle that we are for the common person on the street. People don't need to be college-educated in order to read and understand our content. We are not a high brow publication. Despite this, ironically we have been widely accepted in the Cayman Islands and around the world by people from all walks of life.
With CMR's newly launched and revised website we now have the appearance of traditional news forums. The web format previously used was not a blog but was a forum – two entirely different things. The site has content contributors who write and provide articles for publication; just like a traditional newspaper.
The concept of the original “marl road” was that everyone had access to the news no matter who there were. So we have digitized that process and made the news available online. We carry traditional content such as government releases and information. However, CMR knows that people want the news behind the news – often, the true untold stories. That is where we are willing to go that others are not.
In fact, some of the methods that we introduced such as naming arrested persons is now being obviously adopted by other new mediums on this island.
CMR appeals to people and makes no real attempts to sugar coat what we do. We are a combination of traditional news, investigative pieces, commentary, gossip and so much more. We are relatable and will touch on topics often seen as taboo. Precisely what the average person is looking for.
Truth be told we like to give our viewers news as its fresh and we do push the envelope in doing so. The competition has meant that many others have followed suit. We have had “journalists” from other organizations inform us they watch us to know what news is breaking.
The popularity of our unusual format has been no mistake. We are experts at marketing and understand the true desires of the people – some who are unwilling to admit that they love the marl road the most. We bring you stories about people – people just like you living in a less than perfect place we call paradise.
Admittedly we are not everyone's cup of tea but the beauty of the online news options is there is something for everyone.