RJR celebrates its 65th year - Clergyman charges journalists to speak truth without fear
A senior Anglican clergyman has called for a return to traditional values centred on telling the truth no matter the consequences, as a start to addressing in a meaningful way the ills of today's society.
"Speak the truth, and speak it ever. Cost it what it will. For he who hides the wrong the he did, did the wrong thing still," was the preamble of the sermon presented by The Reverend Canon Major Sirrano Kitson, rector of the St Andrew Parish Church, during yesterday's service of thanksgiving to mark the 65th anniversary celebrations of RJR.
Without any prompting, the congregation joined the church leader, reciting word for word the lines that had been drilled into their minds as children. It was a time Kitson insisted, when the church, school and family worked in harmony in the formation of the character of children and adults with sound values and sacred principles as a platform on which to build community and a nation.
Kitson likened the challenges faced by journalists today in unearthing and presenting the truth to those of the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel while the Israelites were held captive in Babylon.
"Somehow it sounds like Jamaica," the clergyman noted, "That in our long history, we very often have made bad choices, the consequences of which have come back to haunt us."
Meanwhile, Lester Spaulding, chairman of the RJR Communications Group, who has worked with the company for more than 50 years, admitted that while electronic media is comparatively young in relation to print, it has proven immensely powerful in binding together billions of people on a global basis.
"We do not fully understand where this power will lead us, but I know that RJR intends to stride to secure for Jamaica, a role in this movement to provide our nation with information that will allow us to preserve a democratic and just society and for the global world to see our efforts," he promised.
Spaulding said RJR sees it as a duty to ensure that Jamaicans enjoy uninterrupted information and programming in the context of its dedication to integrity, accuracy and fairness in our content.
"We intend to keep pace with the modern media environment, not the least to ensure that Brand Jamaica of our own culture, personalities, ideas and priorities continues to be available globally, in spite of the juggernaut that it is amid in the modern global media produced in key foreign countries and the capitals of the world."
Declaring he was proud "of our achievements", the group chairman paid tribute to staff members past and present, admitting, "I did not do it alone".