Monday, December 3, 2012

We should be proud of our media

PAJ President Jenni Campbell (centre) flanked by members of the Executive (l-r) Audley Boyd, Helene Coley-Nicholson, Milton Walker, Arthur Hall (2nd VP), Archibald Gordon (1st VP), Ingrid Brown (Secretary), Rohan Powell (Asst Secretary) and Ceila Morgan (Treasurer).
Excerpt from today's Observer column by Jean Lowrie-Chin

The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) led by President Jenni Campbell, is celebrating Journalism Week and, as we get reports of the internet going down in Syria, we must give thanks that we have a free and active press in Jamaica.  One theory why Jamaica remains one of the happiest countries in the world, is that the various talk shows help us to let off steam.

But seriously, we should be proud of our press – they have been exposing wrongs, educating, entertaining and encouraging compassion for the less fortunate.  Kerlyn Brown’s series on sick children on CVM-TV is also very touching, and we are amazed at the bravery of those young mothers who have dedicated their lives to the care of their children.  

Through TVJ’s ‘All Angles’ with Dionne Jackson-Miller, Cliff Hughes’ ‘Impact’ and Garfield Burford’s ‘Direct’ we get to dig deep into national issues.  We have a refreshing new talk show on CVM, ‘The Naked Truth’ with host Paula Kerr-Jarrett and panelists Barbara Ellington, Terri Salmon and Terry Ann Weeks, while Ian Boyne’s ‘Profile’ continues to have a big following.   

The seamless relationship between media houses and social media takes ‘vox pops’ off the streets and on to Facebook pages, and anyone can be a blogger. What a contrast to our early years in the communications business. I remember that sad day in the 80s when we had to send out a release telling the public that Reynolds was pulling out of Jamaica.  We booked two motorcycle bearers in addition to our team member and had them leave together to hand-deliver the release to Gleaner, RJR and JBC.  That was the sum total of our main media.  Now at the click of a mouse we reach over 30 media houses.  Then we blog the release and tweet the link.  Broadcast interviews are no longer fleeting – they are podcasts on a website and uploaded on YouTube.

With so much information at our fingertips, media now have an even more important role to separate the wheat from the chaff and to project what is true and most beneficial to their audience.  

Events for the rest of Journalism week: 

Tues Dec. 04        PAJ/NIA  Breakfast Forum:
Fighting the Corruption Scourge
Knutsford Court Hotel; 8:00 a.m.
Wed Dec 05                   Veterans' Luncheon:
Honouring News Anchors of Excellence
J. Wray and Nephew Hospitality Room
Spanish Town Road

Thurs Dec 06      
Meet The Press Lyme - 6.00pm
After work Jam
PAJ Headquarters
5East Ave

Fri Dec 07    National Journalism Award Ceremony
7.00 pm    Jamaica Pegasus Hotel

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