Monday, December 1, 2014

Tribute to Jamaica media from Bishop Everton Thomas

Bishop Everton Thomas
PAJ President Dionne Jackson-Miller
The Press Association of Jamaica Journalism Week was launched on Sunday November 23 with a spirited Church Service at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church on Slipe Road in Kingston.  PAJ President Dionne Jackson- Miller addressed the congregation, thanking them for their warm welcome and asking God's blessings on the Week's proceedings. 
Their inspiring Pastor, Bishop Everton Thomas surprised PAJ Members with his witty commentary on the media and current affairs.  Below is the Tribute:
There's never a dull moment in the Radio, Television, and Print media landscape here in Jamaica. Our airwaves provide a literal HOTLINE every day, WITH NOT JUST TALK, BUT SUBSTANCE. Whether it's during DRIVE TIME, or seeing the different perspectives on hot button issues from ALL ANGLES, especially those who practice investigative journalism and probe "Beyond the Headlines"; or some serious religious Hard Talk; Or whether it's The ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL  that's taking place  THIS MORNING on a NATIONWIDE scale, or the EVENING EDITION of some breaking news, there's always so much that is interwoven into the rich cultural, social and racial tapestry of our nation.  After all, our diversity as a people, is succinctly stated in our very prominent Motto, "OUT OF MANY, ….ONE PEOPLE… …. Never a dull moment!
If there's one thing of which we are certain, it's that we don't suffer from xenophobia: 'the dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries'. (I wish we say the same about people from other political parties)
And if you don't believe it, just look around you! From the north south EAST AND west… It's Out of many… one people!!! But some persons are asking if we really need, a "ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY …degrees turn- around in our moral direction…. Seriously???!!! Matter of fact, on the other hand, some persons are asking if we should LEND ANY support, to the LITTLE WHITE/BLACK controversial race card that is pulled from time to time. You know what I'm referring to. Every day it rings out like a clanging bell on all media.
Anyway, under legal advisement, I'd better not say much more on the 'Out Of Many, One' MOTTO at this time. I leave that now, because I don't want to fall off the 'CLIFF' like one of youse in your noble journalistic craft.
You know, I can't help but wonder, what kind of IMPACT this is having on him.  I wonder how he gets out of his 'pajama suit' every morning – or as we sometimes call pajamas, 'PJ's'… I wonder how he gets out of his 'PJ's' suit every morning and face the day!
But then again maybe he is ok because every morning he's ONLINE with a theme song that says..
My hands were steady
My eyes were clear and bright
My walk had purpose
My steps were quick and light
And I held firmly
To what I felt was right
Like a rock
Like a rock, I was strong as I could be
Like a rock, nothin' ever got to me
Like a rock, I was something to see
Like a rock
And I stood arrow straight
Unencumbered by the weight
Of all these hustlers and their schemes
I stood proud, I stood tall
High above it all
I still believed in my dreams
WOW!!! 'Nuff said.

Anyway, there's one station with so much KLAS… Dat Dem gone abroad wid dem sports  programming yuh nuh! I guess you can chalk that up to their Extra sense of perception or "on this day in sports' you could say Extra Sense of Perspiration… AKA ESP…N their shrewd business acumen.


And then there's one that has so much POWER….. that just when you were missing a certain veteran icon, who was "WILLING" to stand alone, with his one-of-a-kind loud "MUTTERINGS'' from the airwaves, they  decided to "PERK" you up, and made a surprise  announcement that left people in suspense; suspense… not just about a CLIFF-hanger… but  a "HUGE" Cliff –hanger!!! When rumors of that historic amalgamated fusion occurred, which demonstrated the POWER that they wield NATIONWIDE, , everybody was scrambling to hear "Both sides of the story"… so that they could get the inside scoop about the Power and The Glory!!!

Now…moving right along, if you want to feel good on a Sunday morning wid some good old-fashion foot-stomping Jamaican gospel music on radio, just go the far right of the spectrum, and you bound to feel IRIE in the spirit! But then there are a few stations that don't wait for Sunday to provide a "BREATH OF CHANGE", N SEE U and your preference, for a daily dose, of the Holy Ghost.
Time would fail me to talk about all the others…. and their claim to "FAME" and those that play the JAMS in a MEGGA way, and all of that is "KOOL"!!! But there is one that is so "HOT"… They say… they're "The only station you'll ever need"…..

Ahhh… Now I'm not trying to burst their bubble, but at the risk of getting into trouble, (matter of fact… I can't get into trouble; because the Bible says: "But now these three remain. Faith Hope and LOVE….. But the greatest of these is LOVE!!!" (Don't you look at me in that tone of voice!!!) I respect your POWER and your FAME; I know you're "HOT" and I know you reign "SUPREME" …  But is not me seh so yuh nuh! This is not even some interesting results emerging from the 2014 All-media Survey yuh nuh… The Bible 'seh'…the greatest of these is LOVE!!! My God!!! We need "LOVE!!!".  LOVE in the morning, LOVE in the evening, LOVE all the time ….. as they seek to TELL-A-VISION. "LOVE… TELL A VISION! Yeah!!

Meanwhile, it is so good, that there are programs on Television that if companies like our Building Societies for example, want to advertise, we can C VM, at SUNRISE, or sundown for that matter. And then, in spite of all our problems as a nation, because there's never a dull moment, we can still SMILE JAMAICA! YEAH!!!
Finally, kudos to the print media for their consistent delivery of daily news in written form. The TYPE that you can pick up and put down at your own convenience. We salute you.
But now, as I end my tribute to all journalists here today, and the others who could not make it, my wish is that every one of you here today, as a GLEANER who gathers information, and every one of you as an OBSERVER of the church service to celebrate Journalism Week 2014, my wish is that you will see, more than anything else…if there is one 'take away' from this service this morning, it should be that 'JESUS'… is the only…'STAR'…in this once upon-a-time theatre.  My father Bishop SU Thomas,… who's not well…and for whom we send out prayerful thoughts…  had the vision and faith to acquire this property in 1986. When persons remarked about this being the former Tropical theater, he frequently retorted,  "Yes… and we still have shows here. It's only that the pictures are much better."
God bless you journalists as you execute your craft in the pursuit of  guarding democracy.
Remember the core principles of journalism. There are hundreds of codes of conduct, charters and statements made by media and professional groups outlining the principles, values and obligations of the craft of journalism.

Most focus on five common themes:

Truth and Accuracy
Journalists cannot always guarantee 'truth', but getting the facts right is the cardinal principle of journalism.

Journalists must be independent voices; You should not act, formally or informally, on behalf of special interests whether political, corporate or cultural. In some countries you are expected to declare to your editors – or the audience – any of your political affiliations, financial arrangements or other personal information that might constitute a conflict of interest.

Fairness and Impartiality
Most stories have at least two sides. While there is no obligation to present every side in every piece, stories should be balanced and add context. Objectivity is not always possible, and may not always be desirable  but impartial reporting builds trust and confidence.

Journalists should do no harm. What you publish or broadcast may be hurtful, but you should be aware of the impact of your words and images on the lives of others.

A sure sign of professionalism and responsible journalism is the ability to hold yourselves accountable. When you commit errors you must correct them and your expressions of regret must be sincere not cynical.

I charge you to be the impartial voice of Jamaicans rich or poor, from uptown or downtown, dark skinned or brown.

Ethical and unbiased journalism is the best way to guard democracy.

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