Some people loathe CNS and want us to disappear forever, including several (all?) politicians, possibly some senior public servants and prominent business leaders, as well as people who just disagree with the things that we stand for. But thankfully, some people love us. Either way, for the last ten years we have done our level best to report the news as we find it, without fear or favour, and as accurately as we possibly can.
But while our news is free to read, it’s not free to produce. At CNS we cut expenses down to a minimum. We don’t have a flashy office (actually no office at all), we don’t drive fancy cars and you probably won’t find us at the Ritz. But sadly, we still need to live and pay our bills.
When online news first appeared, most of it was free. But now reliable local news outlets, and even big international media houses, are in trouble the world over and having to change their business model, increasingly relying on funding by their readers. If you’re in the habit of reading news from elsewhere, you’ll have noticed that news websites are increasingly putting all or part of their content behind a paywall. The exceptions to this tend to be highly partisan publications receiving funding from very rich backers.
Since the first newspapers were printed in the 17th Century, news has relied on advertising to support it. But these days, massive global companies like Google and Facebook not only accelerate the distribution of fake news and absurd conspiracy theories, they are also increasingly gobbling up advertising money.
And Cayman News Service does not, like the local print media, benefit from mandated revenue streams resulting from local laws that make businesses advertise jobs in order to get work permits.
We don’t think a paywall will work in the Cayman Islands — there just aren’t enough people. And anyway, we want all those people who continue to disagree with us to continue reading our sites and engage in discussion in the comment section. There’s no debate if everyone agrees, and although it gets contentious at times, that’s what makes democracy work. One of the problems with everyone getting their news just from Facebook, especially government-sponsored pages, is that they all end up in their various silos. Whatever your political slant, that’s not good.
Now, according to popular myth, we are in league with or supported by whatever political party people dislike, or (and yes, people actually believe this) we are secretly working for MI5. If that’s true, we’re owed some serious back-pay and an Aston Martin each, at the very least.
But here’s the truth: we owe no allegiance to anyone, we do not now and never have pandered to government, and we’re not indebted to big business, which hasn’t always made us popular with some of the major advertisers on-island. We write the news as we find it, whatever the reaction, however many angry phone calls, text messages and emails we get. (Oh yes we do!)
So we need your help, those of you who love us and appreciate the coverage we give to topics that would otherwise be buried — and we are hoping that you can find your way to leaving a tip to help keep us going.
We will be delighted to list any contributors by name, whether they are individuals, businesses or entities, right here on this site if they’re OK with that, though we understand that many people would prefer to remain anonymous. However, in the interests of transparency, if any CNS supporters with deep pockets wish to tip more than KYD 1,000 (we should be so lucky!) we will publish who they are and how much they contributed.
There are other ways to help. Businesses that buy an ad help both of us, and you can find our price lists here.
It would help if you just shared our articles with friends, family and co-workers.
You can also help us out by sending news tips, and you can do so here.
If you have any messages, comments or suggestions for CNS, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can comment anonymously here.
And to all our supporters, we love you, too!