Editor Tim Caldwell's commentary about Cape Wide News

Year end commentary from the editor of Cape Wide News;
Over the next two days Cape Wide News will be presenting a special presentation of the year in review over and as 2006 draws to a close I'd like to say a few words about this publication. 2006 was a big year for CWN as we proudly joined the Cape Cod Today family. After some initial growing pains I think the column is better than ever-but I'm always open to comments and suggestions. The move allowed us to permanently archive all stories and incorporate a search engine. Readers can also now comment on any story by simply clicking a link at the bottom of each issue. People have often asked me why I do Cape Wide News. The purpose is two fold. First and perhaps most obvious is to inform the public about public safety news. People have a natural curiosity as to why that fire engine, ambulance or police car just whizzed by. The second is to showcase the dedicated professionals who "protect and serve" the Cape on a daily basis.

The cornerstone of CWN has always been breaking news. My secret is simple. I have a group of friends "reporters" who help me cover the news. Some are people who are or were in the public safety field, others are professional videographers who appreciate the exposure CWN gives them. These friends know how to cover a story without getting in the way or interfering with emergency workers. We can't be everywhere all the time so I invite our readers to play reporter and send in tips and stories. Anytime I catch even a whiff (and believe me I do hear it) of anyone interfering or refusing to follow orders of officials their submission will be rejected. In general CWN has received much praise for covering the news on an almost daily basis. CWN strives to be as accurate as possible. Errors will inevitably occur but are corrected as soon as they are brought to my attention.

2006 was unfortunately a very busy year of reporting for CWN as it seemed at times like crime stories were an almost daily event particularly in Hyannis and Yarmouth. Over the years I have worked hard to forge positive working relationships with many Cape departments who regularly provide CWN with official press releases and other information and sometimes even images from some of the scenes. But I recently was made aware a certain public safety agency took exception to a story I broke about an armed robbery in their jurisdiction. They apparently felt I was a little to quick to break the story. While my zeal may get the best of me at times I maintain my stringent personal policies insured that no information was posted that in anyway could have abetted any suspects still at large. However, discretion being the better part of valor I acquiesced and now wait much longer and make any criminal stories in their town purposely even vaguer until official details come out. Any agency with issues about CWN and the way we cover the news is welcome to contact me. Simply click the email link on the left side of each issue. I welcome the opportunity to meet with any department and discuss ways to mutually benefit us both.

Separately an individual from that same agency also recently contacted CWN and requested a photo showing that person at a different incident be removed which we immediately did. As I stated above CWN intends only to show public safety workers in a positive light doing their job. In hindsight I could see where the image may have been seen as less than flattering and I sincerely apologize to the individual involved for any discomfort they may have suffered.

Cape Wide News wishes all a healthy and safe 2007. We'll continue to strive to bring you the latest public safety news on the Cape first. -TC

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