November 23, 2020

Editorial: iNews Cayman: Our first “year”

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I almost cannot believe we have come to the end of our first year (since May from the first published edition). Joan and I started planning this around November last year but it was from January when we really started the wheels turning.  It was non-stop from then. I had spent nearly seven years in semi-retirement, doing a little quantity surveying (I am a Chartered Builder) from an office by Burger King and then working from home trying to make a living out of writing stage and screen plays. It was carried out all in my own sweet time and at a very leisurely pace.

So what possessed Joan and I to start a newspaper? Not just a copycat of the two newspapers currently being published here, but a new concept. A piece of madness? Probably. Our first month’s publications were met with very mixed reviews. Some liked the size and others didn’t comparing it to a “school newspaper.” The “old school” – the professional bankers, accountants, lawyers, etc. – nearly all hated it. Some even laughed. A media mogul, who I had thought was a friend and had helped in his early days here, was almost vitriolic in his opinion. He hated it and said so. Some other businessmen who had been my partners in the Television Station CITN voiced a similar opinion albeit not as viciously. It was a general opinion we wouldn’t last three months.

Joan and I did listen to the criticism and did make some changes but not to the size of the publication. We also completely changed the website (www.ieyenews.com) making it interactive so people could post comments and allowing videos to be shown. You can also download the whole publication in its printed form and/or view it online for free. We also publish nearly the entire printed edition in colour because that’s what our advertisers wanted and without them we don’t have a publication. The style and content of the publication has changed. We feature more local stories and in a ‘punchy’ UK tabloid style which includes all the facts without the ‘fluff’. My editorials have become more controversial – sometimes enraging our leaders – but not done with any malice. Written after listening to you, the public, and our loyal readers.

As for the size of the publication? Opinions on that are changing. Gradually we are winning more and more of you around – even the “old school”. There are still some doubters (even Steve Jobs had them) and I still get emails “strongly advising” me to change to tabloid newsprint size from a very trusted friend but that is not the way forward. It is my opinion and I will stand or fall by it.  It was once the opinion the world was flat! We are, however, going to make a minor change. The frontispiece (which includes the original back page) will be 11” x 17” in size and to all appearances will mimic the size of the other news publications. However, appearances aren’t always what they seem and once it is in your hands it will fold up and inside will read and look exactly as it does now including the stapling. The reason for this is on the news stands, especially in the supermarkets, the newspaper gets almost lost alongside the other publications and doesn’t look like a newspaper. The other newspapers very often get placed on top of it and we hear this complaint almost every day from you. You often have difficulty in finding it and we can’t have that.

It is my turn now to thank all of you. We now sell nearly all our printed copies, with requests to print more, and our website now attracts a staggering ten thousand visitors per day! Every month this figure increases. We must be doing something right! International major publications in the UK and the USA have quoted from us and linked back to our website. A lot of our features are republished in web magazines with some translated into Chinese! We have come a long way in such a very short time.

Last and not least we thank our advertisers. It has been a very hard year for you and money has and still is tight. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is shining brighter. The US and UK economies are starting to improve and I expect to see a big improvement here, too. iNews Cayman is branching out into other fields, too, but still closely allied to this newspaper. Watch this space for some very exciting developments. We will be offering advertisers some great deals and promotions in the coming weeks and our readers will also see more pages, more stories, more features, etc. Bigger, brighter, bolder and better.

A very Happy New Year to each and every one of you. And again – THANK YOU!

Joan and Colin Wilson

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