This morning while poring over again last Friday's copies of Island Times and Palau Horizons I couldn't help but notice that of the two big stories of the week only one newspaper carried both.
I'm speaking of the two news reports regarding SP filing separate charges against Dr. Kuartei and Melekeok Gov. Kodep. Palau Ho rizon had both stories appear on the front page with Dr. Kuartei's article as the blaring headline. Island Times, however, didn't report anything regarding Dr. Kuartei, but reported only Gov. Kodep's charges and only as their second big story after making 'PPUC revised power outage schedule' as their banner article. However,information from the articles showed that both were charged on the the same day.
Island Times may have a good explanation as to why there was no report regarding Dr. Kuartei's DUI charges, but I would be suspicious of any reason other than business decision behind it. Few months ago I was told that Island Times has secured the ad account of Koror State Government and that is why they never fail to carry their advertisements. The same person also asserted that to be the reason the newspaper didn't carry the news of the indictment or the conviction of Koror Speaker Tero Uehara.
My suspicion led me to compare the advertisement of the Friday issues and from what I gathered Island Times seems to have corralled almost all the MOH program and activities advertisements for the Friday issues. Palau Horizon (Friday, April 24-27) had one 1/2 page ad on page 7, about the Framework Convention On Tobacco Control which was put out by the STUN program at MOH. While on the other hand Island Times (April 24) had four paid ads in its pages: on page 5 about the similar color 1/2 page ad on Framework Convention On Tobacco Control; another color 1/2 page on 'Public Announcement' on page 7; Full page colored ad on page 10 on STD awareness month; 1/2 page color on cigarette butts litter.
I'm not saying that the ads are enough proof that Island Times spiked the story to preserve their business, but it sure raises that question.