Thanks Carol. Thanks for utilizing the principal of freedom of speech in your commercial forum to complain about freedom of speech in an on-line forum. I’ll try to be a bit more cognizant of basic journalistic tenets - and your fragile ego - the next time I’m outing an anonymous source.
Just a few points I’d like to make to your latest semi-logical ramblings.
To begin with, were we “internet writers” public figures we could expect to be held to the same high-levels of journalistic integrity that your paper routinely tries to convince everyone it has. However, we are but wee “internet writers” – hiding behind our anonymity, clever names and smiley face icons.
But let’s think about this for just a moment. Speaking for myself, I’ll agree with Carol that some “internet writers” exercise a certain amount of cowardice when exercising anonymity. I’m afraid, which is why I hide behind my awesomely clever and copyrighted name – sans smiley face icon.
I’m afraid that some brainless a-hole will follow through on one of the many threats of bodily harm or death as a result of me exercising my right of freedom of speech. Afraid that a Caymanian in authority might use that authority to affect my job, my status, my financial life, etc…
So I agree that anonymity can be a coward’s way out and I would love nothing more than to put my real name at the bottom of all of my posts and have that little discussion with you, Carol. But what I can’t agree with is anyone who uses the same principals of free speech to condemn others for their free speech simply because she doesn’t like the manner in which it’s delivered, or the fact that anonymous writers think her writing ability stinks.
We’re anonymous – you’re not. You get paid to write your columns and put your picture and your disclaimer on your op-ed piece. We don’t.
We “internet writers” do what we do as an exercise of a freedom for which few, if any, Caymanians have actually died to ensure; but more than a few (according to death threats I’ve received) would kill to abolish.
Like it or not, you’re a public figure and you put yourself out there as such. If you can’t take the criticism by named or unnamed critics - quit. But don’t blame another’s anonymity for the fact that you write garbage for a crappy newspaper. I mean think about it: the Net News is the worst publication in Cayman and their staff’s response isn’t to get better but rather to try and convince us that everyone else is worse than they are.
One day you utilize anonymity for your benefit; the next day you shame the anonymous for "hiding."
And now, Carol, you criticize the very right that you regularly exercise – for profit – because our anonymity somehow infringes upon your credibility? It's laughable.
Newsflash Carol: We live in a land where the government screams “transparency!” and “accountability!” yet behind closed doors it conspires to hide, to deceive or to negligently ignore protocol for good governance. Transparency with conditions is no better than the system currently in place - which necessitates the use of anonymous sources (which your paper does routinely) and precludes any confidence anyone may have of speaking freely without fear of reprisal.
And with the creative license the Not News takes with journalistic integrity it's no wonder the government doesn't hasten the implementation of greater transparency.
But instead of fighting for a right that would allow me to break my anonymity, you fire little darts at anonymous hobbyists or, in your words, “internet writers.” Instead of being a part of the answer for why ex-pats and Caymanians alike are afraid to speak out, you give us all reason to continue to hide behind our clever names and smiley face icons.
If you had any kind of journalistic integrity at all, you wouldn’t be pissing and moaning about the anonymity of “internet writers” – you’d be PISSED OFF that your publisher breached sacred journalistic law by outing an anonymous source. I’m guessing if you did that you’d be docked a day’s pay, suspended or perhaps even fired… At the very least you might actually exhibit the traits of a real journalist.
But instead you toe the line and spew the paper's self-serving platform while slagging off those of us who, in spite of or because of our anonymity, know right from wrong and will utilize this forum to express it - free of charge.
See Carol? You don't need to be anonymous to be a coward. You’re hiding in plane sight and you don’t even realize it; which is much more insulting to your integrity and journalistic ability than anything I or any other “internet writer” could ever write. Or perhaps you DO realize it, which is even sadder.
And just so I don’t leave you wanting, here comes my “needlessly offensive; hurtful, hateful, crass, bigoted, racial or assumptive remarks.” I’m not going to tell you “how wrong and stupid your opinions are” – I’ll just tell you, as I usually do, how bad your columns are and how poorly you construct your opinions.
And for the record, my comments are not an indictment on the type of person you are. I’m sure you’re a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, sister, etc… I just happen to think you’re an awful writer working for a horrible publication and your contradictory remarks are counter to the journalistic principals that your publication constantly tries to convince the public it has.
Anyone who cares to bridge the gap between the two concepts can be my guest.