Our nominations for Person of the Year certainly garnered a lot of responses.
Our choices were based on
who made headline news in 2017. As a media outlet, our hint should have given our readers an idea as to what our choice would be and why.
However, we did receive via email some good arguments why others should have been on this list of nominees.
AJ wrote: "
Person of the year should be Glen Carty and or the Laser 101 storm watch team. He may not have made as many headlines as your other nominees but they played a critical role for everyone on the island in the most challenging of times."
MD also wrote: "
I just saw your person of the year nominations. I'm very disappointed you did not include the actual person of the year Mr. Glen Carty. His continuous broadcast on Laser 101 kept our nation informed when our own government just stood by and did nothing before, during and after Hurricane Irma. I hereby request you consider him as a candidate. If it wasn't for Mr. Glen Carty and his daughter Jennifer Carty the passing of the hurricane would have been so much worse for so any of us. They gave us a sense of hope, understanding and security."
PP wrote: "
I really do enjoy reading the StMaartenNews newsletter, but I have to respond to the editorial statements of the December 30th edition: "So when we stop to think about who our Person of the Year would be, we think about those who have consistently made the headlines in 2017. That is why our nominees for Person of the Year 2017 are people who have made the headline news one way or the other. Some dominating the headlines even more than others. Some willingly, some unwittingly. Some from behind the scenes. Some from far away. Some from near. Some just by using the power of their pens."
And then you present your readers a list of 5 nominees to vote for Person of the Year 2017. I'm not from St. Maarten but I believe they're all politicians. I don't believe it is right to present to your readers a list of politicians in a year where politics failed St. Maarten so bad. And just because they were in the news is not a good enough reason. It is the people of St. Maarten that should be on the list. They were in news with or without names but continuously starting September 5th. They were inspiring, hardworking, suffering, recovering, rebuilding etc. etc. They should be in the spotlight and be persons of the year. Just because someone is in the news often should not make him or her person of the year. Time Magazine did not choose Donald Trump person of the year, although he must have made the headlines more than any other individual in 2017. No, Time Magazine chose the #MeToo movement person of the year. Life is more than politics. Readers want to read more in their newspaper than politics, they want to read articles on what really matters. I know The Daily Herald already chose the people of St. Maarten to be person of the year, but stillI I think you should be able to come up with something more inspiring than the list of people you're presenting us right now."
We tend to agree with these writers. That is why StMaartenNews.com uses its medium as a platform to highlight the actions, the activities and the achievements of those who work tirelessly in the community executing their civic duties to help others. But we need help from others to bring these people and their work to our attention. Having a good PR person in any organization goes a long way in helping us know about the works of these people.
The popular vote in the poll went to Sarah Wescot-Williams, followed by William Marlin. No surprises there. We also nominated Wycliffe Smith because he has written extensively over the past year about Parliament and its functioning. For this he was a strong second place choice for us. We therefore urge many to write and to submit their articles for publication. We at StMaartenNews.com will gladly publish your writings.
Minister Ronald Plasterk was chosen because he managed to dominate how St. Maarten was perceived in the Dutch and local media. This to the detriment of
, whose downfall as Prime Minister of Country St. Maarten we believe is more a public relations failure than anything else. Instead, he has been made to be perceived as a leader who did not take decisive actions before, during and after a natural disaster of epic proportions on St. Maarten. Even worst, St. Maarten has been made out to be a country full of incompetent, ineffective and untrustworthy politicians who are not worthy of being in charge of the disbursement of some 550 million euros in recovery aid to rebuild the island.
Hence, our selection as an online media outlet for
Person of the Year
. His body of work speaks volume. Just do a search on our website using the keyword "
" and see the
The lesson we want to impart with our selection is that in today's world of social media, fake news and spin doctors working their media magic to influence the public, as a minister, especially a prime minister, a ministry, a department, an organization, a company, basically any public or private entity, you have to be aware of the power of the media and be able to effectively respond to any publication or effectively direct the publication of news regarding your organization. You cannot let anyone else dictate how you are perceived in the media. It is unavoidable that a (Prime) Minister or CEO will be in the news, sometimes even with bad press. But having a competent and effective PR person working on your behalf goes a long way in mitigating the effects of bad publicity.
St. Maarten as a country has had a lot of bad publicity in 2017 for a lot of reasons and the media plays a great role in that process and we are the first to admit that a lot of that bad press is directed from behind the scenes by person or persons for ulterior reasons and often we have to see the bigger picture to understand who is doing that and for what reasons. As such, we the media have to always remain critical of the news we publish and understand its effect and consequences.
But the media is also helped to be effective when we have public relations officers who know their jobs and communicate effectively with the press. Therefore, we congratulate Michael Granger and thank him for all his press releases.
With that said, we wish everyone no bad press but only good publicity for 2018.
: Please email your press releases, public announcements and bulletin board notices to
. We urge to always include a photo as often as possible.