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Journalists must remain steadfast and resolute, charges Wray and Nephew chairman

Published:Thursday | November 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Yesterday, the Press Association of Jamaica honoured four veteran journalists at a Veterans’ Luncheon at the Alhambra Inn in Kingston for their years of service to the media industry. From left: Erica Virtue (The Gleaner), Kerlyn Brown (CVM Television), Clinton Pickering, and Phyllis Thomas (The Gleaner).
Singer Gem Myers entertained media practitioners yesterday at the Press Association of Jamaica Veterans’ Luncheon at the Alhambra Inn in Kingston.

Local traditional journalists are being implored to remain steadfast and committed to fulfilling their duty of keeping citizens informed in spite of attacks across the world and the imminent threat social media poses to the profession.

The charge came from chairman of J. Wray & Nephew Limited, Clement 'Jimmy' Lawrence, who was the guest speaker at the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) Veterans' Luncheon at the Alhambra Inn in Kingston, yesterday.

"In Jamaica, you continue to bravely pursue stories that challenge our officials and force them to act appropriately and in the interest of the majority while giving the minority a voice. Indeed, journalists are also bringing private sector leaders to book, forcing us to examine our roles in developing Jamaica, land we love," he said.

Lawrence said the many ways in which people consume news have changed, with social media being their main source. He noted that with fake news being as pervasive as authentic news, traditional media must set itself apart.

"Newsrooms must grapple with the challenge to be instantaneous, while delivering quality, well-researched, accurate and balanced content. The competition for the advertising dollar is intense and even greater now, with social media's global and instant reach through the many apps and portals that are widely available. It is my sincere hope that journalism will land on the right side of history," said Lawrence.

The annual luncheon was held as part of PAJ's National Journalism Week of celebrations.




Yesterday, the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) honoured four veteran journalists at a Veterans' Luncheon at the Alhambra Inn in Kingston, for their years of service to the media industry. They are: The Gleaner's Phyllis Thomas and Erica Virtue; Clinton Pickering and CVM Television's Kerlyn Brown.

PHYLLIS THOMAS - 45 years of service

"I would just like to caution young reporters to pay attention to details when they write their stories. The story is not complete if there remain questions to be answered. It is not complete if only one party to an issue is given a voice in it. It is certainly incomplete, not to mention unethical, if you were not fair in how you treat members of the public in these stories. And, for goodness sake, keep yourselves out of the news story; it is not about you."

CLINTON PICKERING - 49 years of service

"Those of us in media must take seriously the influence we have as the eyes and ears of our readers, listeners and viewers. It is still the responsibility of media to seek to uplift the people by informing, entertaining and educating them."

KERLYN BROWN - 30 years of service

"It has often been said if you love what you are doing, you will never work a day in your life. While I love this profession, it has, on many days, been hard work, but I would not change it for the world."

ERICA VIRTUE - 25 years of service

"My journey in journalism is like no other. It has been exciting, pulsating, worrying and satisfying for the most part. The problems of journalism do not begin or end with me, but I would not be true if I didn't thank some people along the way, such as Wyvolyn Gager, for giving me a chance fresh out of university when she took me on at The Gleaner. I have been blessed with three of the finest journalistic minds throughout the years - Gordon Williams, Paget deFreitas and Arthur Hall."