Robyn Skinner and Jennifer Attride-Stirling *File photos
Robyn Skinner and Jennifer Attride-Stirling *File photos

“A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize; it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny… the vigilant guardian of the rights of the ordinary citizen.” 

Sir Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The Bermuda Health Council (BHeC) is grateful for our chance to provide a farewell to one of the island’s guardians — the Bermuda Sun

Since 2010, we have produced a monthly Q&A column called “Matters in Healthcare” for the Bermuda Sun. The articles answered the public’s questions about our Island’s health system and addressed concerns from everyday people. 

The space provided by the Bermuda Sun was invaluable to our stakeholders and the public at large, who benefited from the regular updates and information about health issues.

Luckily, the archives of these articles will remain on the Bermuda Sun’s website and for this we are grateful.

The commitment the Bermuda Sun had to running this feature speaks to the overall commitment they had to delivering innovative information and quality news to the community.  

Not only did the Bermuda Sun understand their community’s interests, they also understood how to create an interest in a community issue. 

Their dedication to featuring a range of columns by independent and greatly diverse sources, and to running health-related articles in their regular supplement, the Healthcare Directory, indicates a level of commitment to their audience. 

They wished, and succeeded, in highlighting issues that that got little coverage elsewhere, and exposing their audience to areas they may not have been aware of.

The Bermuda Health Council is very sorry to say good bye to the Bermuda Sun, which has, over the years, ensured we are delivering on our mandate as a healthcare watchdog and provided us with a space to educate.

Of course, with the loss of the Bermuda Sun, there are also the persons who made this all possible and BHeC extends sincere condolences to the reporters and other staff.

BHeC, as a healthcare watchdog, fully appreciates the work and respect needed for a fully independent and vigilant press. 

While a call from a Bermuda Sun reporter may not always be for a positive story, the reporters always provided BHeC with a chance for explanation and allowed us to provide context to any stories. Without their inquiries, the public would have had less insight to the health system.

With one guardian shutting its doors, the responsibility for maintaining a healthy democracy on the Island must be distributed. 

Tomorrow that vigilance will have to be carried on by those left standing.

In the words of Edward R Murrow, we say: “Good night, and good luck.”