Demos not happy

Thursday June 12, 2014 Published in Letters to the Editor
Democratic Party leader Wilkie Rasmussen. 14031902 Democratic Party leader Wilkie Rasmussen. 14031902

Dear Editor, It seems to me and my team that you are deliberately favouring the Cook Islands Party government and disapproving of the Democratic Opposition Party.

I am not sure why, except you claim that the press releases the Democrats send you don’t stack up in substance. And yet you run photo captions stories constantly of Ministers of the Crown, a plug therefore for the Government. One recent edition had two caption stories of the Minister of Finance, his relevancy to the text of one was hard to find.

Sir, you used words like “diatribe”, “rants” in your responses to Democratic Party statements. On one occasion you attached your editorial comment to a story you ran on the back page, lambasting the Democratic Party for not giving you policy statements. Now we have launched our policies and provided them to a reporter, you still choose not to publish them.

Frankly sir, I am bewildered and getting angry because your editorial license is now starting to curb free speech, a fundamental right in the Cook Islands. A newspaper is to disseminate information not suppress. Is the Cook Islands News a news service or a propaganda vessel for the Government? Is it also censoring political information that the public ought to read?

Putting aside your excellent decision not to run letters by anonymous writers belittling others, I say to you, your newspaper is becoming a bore to read or worse it is defining your character to the public. It does not auger well as a champion of free press.

Wilkie Rasmussen

Leader of the Democratic Party

Editor’s note: The story about the Demo pledges in yesterday’s paper was planned and committed before this billet-doux arrived in my inbox.

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