Beating the Dinosaurs

| 30/03/2010

Has anyone paused to consider how valuable Cayman News Service has become to the Cayman Islands? In short time this humble Web-based news organisation has become thenational leader for fast and reliable news.

Every day CNS beats much larger and better-financed news companies to the punch. No one is as reliably fast as CNS. No one offers a more convenient and functional Web site than CNS.

What is even more remarkable about the meteoric rise of CNS is that virtually all of its news content is written and edited by only two people. Nicky Watson and Wendy Ledger are embarrassing Cayman’s news media giants, some of which have scores of reporters and editors to go up against Watson and Ledger. How do they do it? How are these two women able to scoop the competition day after day? While they are smart and that surely matters, the key to their success is likely due in large part to the arrogance and laziness of Cayman’s older news media. For example, print media in Cayman has traditionally been content to rake in profits while treating news articles as little more than filler to occupy the white space around the all-important ads on their pages. As the Web age dawned, it should have been clear that they would need to adapt and offer Web sites that are rapidly updated as news develops. But, true to form, they did not. Compare the news Web sites of other local media to CNS. Somehow, even though they are heavily out-numbered in personnel and out-gunned in resources, CNS manages to beat them on stories virtually every day. If nothing else, it shows that money and a staff the size of a small army aren’t everything.

No less important than their fast reporting, CNS has provided a desperately needed forum for the Caymanian people. The comments posted on CNS provide an invaluable window into Cayman society. By allowing anonymous comments, censoring only the blatantly evil and insane, CNS has become a unique measure of Cayman’s mood and mindset. When crazed politicians and media dinosaurs criticize CNS for allowing anonymous posts, they only insult the public’s intelligence. As if we don’t know that there are vindictive and wormy people in positions of power who would not hesitate to harm someone over a single disagreeable comment posted on a news site. For example, there is a current government minister who was a civil servant several years ago and openly admitted on a radio talk show that he had checked with the Immigration Department to seek out information about someone who wrote a letter to the editor that was critical of his work. It is difficult to determine which is worse, the fact that the person used the Immigration Department for this purpose or that the person felt sufficiently at ease about it to discuss it on the radio.

There are many passionate and intelligent people in the Cayman Islands who have ideas worth sharing. There are also many passionate lunatics who have ideas worth being afraid of. All of these thoughts should be heard and it is good that CNS has given them a home.

CNS is embarrassing the competition in this arena too. Compare the number of comments posted on CNS in response to a hot news story with the number of comments posted on the site of older and larger news companies. The difference is striking. There are often more than 100 comments posted on CNS in reaction to one report while their competition’s site usually has one or zero posts after a report on the same news event. Doesn’t this bother the dinosaurs? Doesn’t this tell them that something about their product and organization is missing the mark? Or do they even notice?

All of Cayman should be grateful to Watson and Ledger. Their efforts have given the Cayman public a reliable place to visit for breaking news as well as to share thoughts, make suggestions, or simply vent a bit of anger and frustration. Let’s hope CNS is here to stay. We need it. Cayman desperately needs a fast, intelligent and competent news source that sincerely cares about getting information to the public. Yes, Cayman’s lumbering dinosaurs should be very worried about what CNS is doing. But, chances are, they haven’t even noticed.

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Category: Viewpoint

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  1. Mike Hennessy says:

    Wendy and Nicky are doing a great job and showing that hustle is the most important quality a news organization can have.  What they are doing is a throwback to earliest days of journalism when people like Ben Franklin would gather information, write it up, set the type and sell copies of their newspapers by hand. 

    The more news outlets there are in a given market and the more competition there is, the less chance there is of nefarious forces operating with freedom in the shadows.  Jesus once said words to the effect that "all men who doeth evil hateth the light".  (Biblical scholars feel free to correct me if I"m wrong)

    I agree that the best way to show your support for this endeavour is to patronize the businesses that advertise here and be sure to let them know that you appreciate their support of this important service.

    Nicky, Wendy, keep up the good work!

  2. Joe Average says:

    It’s the "Smiths" of the world that I truly feel sorry for.  They wouldn’t know freedom of speech if came up and bit them in the XXX.

    Like rabbits who have the cage door opened for them……..and refuse to leave!


  3. Wet Stone says:

    Clearly someone has an axe to grind.  Did Wendy and Nikki upset Mr. Sensitive by not publishing some venom ridden post?  Did you not get to stir the $hit with some homophobic, racist, elitist, cuss-laden post?  Are you Mr(s) "I’m packing my bags" or Mr(s) "Don’t let the door hit you on the way out – we don’t need you anyway"?

    Clearly the writer posts some very valid points – try and see if any other news organization gives you the power and freedom of expression…

    Now, back to your conspiracy theoried life – someone really needs to expose the adulturous affair Elvis and Marilyn are having in that cottage on the sea floor off East End… 

    As someone who has had comments edited and not even posted, I am fully aware Nikki and Wendy have boundaries, and for that, I am glad – in retrospect, more than one would have been out of line or embarrassing…

    • the anti-smith says:

      I know what you mean – they just edited my post where I said XXXXX but they took that out and replaced it with XXXXX.  Of course that’s fine with me because I’d hate for people to start thinking of me as the sort of person who regularly calls people XXXXX.  Even if that XXXXX is a XXXXX XXXXX, who really should go XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXX and his cat too.  XXXXX.

      Thanks CNS.

      • Whetter & Stoned says:

        LOL. You XXxxX me out.  Seriously, though, don’t XXX with me unles you think you can XXX my XX on this XXXing forum.

        Just kidding – Wendy and Nikki ae pushing the envelope in so many ways – only people who have been in their positions (as Cayman Journalists) can know. 

        Bin Deh Dundat – And as a result, got a lotta R E S P E C T for them.

        Go girls – an’ if unna lukin’ fi a man tah help unna out…


  4. Caymanian at Heart says:

    I come from a broadcasting background and when I first moved here I was appalled at the lack of reporting.  People would claim there was no real news to report, which was a complete lie.  There are good stories out, things which need to be heard.

    CNS has now become my primary news source, the papers are too slow and I consider some of them real trashy tabloids.  I commend the CNS staff for their tireless efforts!

    • Anonymous says:

      It is true CNS is to be applauded for your fine workmanship. There are some contributors that always pull a majority of comments when they enter a forum. They have the right topics and always seem to have the most sound and informed answers. I guess its because the best writers do the most research. When certain people started contributing to CNS forum I knew it was moving up in the polls to be the most popular and busiest and successful forum. That’s what happens when you allow brilliant though-provoking minds to share their knowledge and education with the community. There are one or two writers that draws readers and comments like wild fire. They have that kind of controversial personality that provokes you to think and respond. That’s what our society needs.Thinkers, movers, and shakers. And CNS Forum has those people commenting in this forum.Some people are just simply thinking machines. Those are the ones that the politicians fear the most and want to silence them. because they see too much and know too much.Govt. don’t like you if you’re too smart they prefer dummies.

      Is it possible to tell us which idiot we elected that acted so base?

      A reminder.  Please purchase your ads from CNS, and remember to make your donations.  It takes money to run the mail, and they have to pay mortgage , rent, buy gas, pay for their IPod and Cell phone and buy clothes, pay medical insurance and everything just like me and you so don’t buy your ads from those who stifle your voice as much as they can. 


  5. smith says:

    LOL… some ignorant commentators here. Just pathetic!

    If the moderator and management of CNS is told or paid not to publish a comment, what do you think he will do?  It doesn’t take a rocket science!

    CNS still cherry-picks comments for political or FCO reasons!  The last thing they want is to be branded by the authorities as an anti-government outlet. 


    CNS: Clearly this is rubbish. You have not been paying attention to what is being said about us by those in power.

    I suspect you have come to this conclusion because I have deleted some of your comments. Freedom of speech does not mean that you can say what you like. For example, you’ve have just used the fact that we allow anonymous comments to make a totally false accusation about us and don’t see anything wrong with that.

    Take the time to read this and this and this, especially the discussion following that last one.

    • the anti-smith says:

      I am posting here as the anti-smith in the hope that if a smith and an anti-smith meet, they will cancel each other out in a flash of light and burst of putrid energy (kind of like the brain fart you just released). 

      This because smith is such a XXXXX that he deserves total annihilation at the nuclear particulate level.  What a putz. May your sub-atomic particles cease to pollute the universe.  Jackass.

      See?? There is free speech here!!!


    • NorthSideSue says:

      "If the moderator and management of CNS is told or paid not to publish a comment, what do you think he will do?  It doesn’t take a rocket science!"


      Excuse me, but where is the "he" in the Nicky and Wendy?

  6. Spiritualist says:

    Totally agreed! Thanks CNS for providing this much needed service.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CNS for all you are doing for our country. May God continue to direct, lead and give you great success. Highly appreciated.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Actually please click on the advertising banners more people.

    CNS: is this one of the ways you get money?

    Also it would be interesting to see the number of hits you get and from where, do you keep that kind of information??

    CNS: We don’t charge advertisers per click because it’s a system that’s open to abuse and we like to think we offer a legitimate advertising platform. Some advertisers want to know how many people are clicking onto their site but the bottom line for them is whether or not their ads work, which mean does it turn into sales. So if you use the vendors that advertise here, just let them know where you saw the ad – that would really help us and them.

    As for stats, we’re getting about 45,000 unique readers/month right now, but this goes up every month. Over 70% of hits are from the Cayman Islands.

  9. Anonymous says:

    cns: never get rid of peoples ability to post anonymously here……. it has given so many expats (and locals) a voice of speaking the truth without fear of retribution..

    cns has become of a cornerstone of democracy and free speech in cayaman

  10. Joe Average says:

    Agreed…  but, aside from your viewpoint C. Conscience, Nicky and Wendy are also not Breatharians.  In other words they gotta eat.  So if we all do appreciate what they are doing….and who doesn’t we could also donate to the cause:

    CNS  Cayman Brac  P.O. Box 132   KY2-2101

    They do put this up every so often.  Although it can’t be inexpensive and quite the opposite is true they’re also not in our faces asking for donations.

    How about it?

    This is not a paid political advertisement.

    CNS: All donations gratefully received but it also helps us if people just use the site – we’re developing more interactive features over on the classifieds site so people can post their own press releases (click here for more info), PSAs, notices, etc. You can also use it to announce births, weddings, etc.

  11. Lachlan MacTavish says:

     Bravo…….I totally agree….finally a media site that combines up to date news, great reporting and a forum for the voters and residents of Cayman. CNS is also not intimidated by power brokers, appointed and elected officials.

    " Press on " ladies………

    Lachlan MacTavish

    Lachlan MacTavish

  12. Soon to be gone says:

     I whole heartily agree with this article. 

    I only came across CNS about 9 months ago, it has given me an insight in what the local people really feel about politics, crime, expats etc, and if the reader agrees or disagrees then if they so wish they can have their say.  I have read some thought provoking, passionate and funny comments over the last few months. 

     If only the "powers that be" would see this as a positive and take on board what the people of this island really feel and maybe go with some of the suggestions put forward instead of thinking it’s a slight against them. 






    • anonymus says:

      CNS forum is so very successful and not at all boring it is full of excitement. It is because CNS does not tolerate label and slander and for that they should be respected.

      Other newspaper forums have failed because they allowed some vindictive or malicious comments to be made unfairly against others. Everyone has the right to voice his or her opinion provided it is within the confines of respect for another individuals identity, privacy and their freedom of life and liberty.

      That did not happen in the forum of one particular newspaper who tortured their contributors by using other individuals comments to attack and disrespect some of their best contributors that made their forum what it was!

      Have you noticed there has been a shift, and now CNS forum is at the very top of the polls.


  13. Anonymous says:

    Ouch…..a hard swipe at the other media. Whilst it may be true, this smacks of patting yourselves on the back just a little too much.

    CNS – you are very good, you are the sorely needed output that the island needs, but don’t let it go to your heads.

    The dinosaurs will die out by themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      It could only smack of CNS patting themselves on the back if they wrote this (excellent and very truthful) article.

      Personally I think to date both Wendy and Nicky have been very humble.

      I’ve already emailed them previously to congratulate them on providing an excellent, reliable and timely news service.  Not only do I get the news the same day it happens (as is comparable to other countries newspapers), I also don’t have to pay for it. 

      CNS hands-down beats the Compass and the NetNews.  I no longer buy either of the latter two publications just to read news two or three days after it has happened.

  14. GR says:

     CNS is my primary source of news!  If it isn’t on CNS it hasn’t happened!

  15. Anonymous says:

    "Doesn’t this bother the dinosaurs? "


    Dinosaurs have pea-sized brains, why would it bother them ?