Veteran Barbadian publisher Harold Hoyte hailed as ‘colossus’
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
Barbados is mourning the passing of veteran journalist Harold Hoyte, one of the founders of the Nation Publishing Company, who died on Sunday following a long illness.
He was 78.
Hoyte, who retired in December 2006, was editor emeritus of the Nation newspaper up until the time of his death and had a long and distinguished career in journalism, having started his in the profession as a copywriter at the Barbados Advocate in 1959.
He later moved to Canada, where he worked for the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Telegram, and as editor of the Contrast.
On his return to Barbados, Hoyte, along with several other colleagues, founded the Nation newspaper in 1973, where he served as editor-in-chief for three decades.
In recognition of his outstanding career, the Barbados government rewarded Hoyte with the Gold Crown of Merit in 2003. In 2005, he was conferred with an honorary doctorate by The University of the West Indies.
“The country has lost a prized son who has contributed more than his fair share to the development of post-Independence Barbados,” said Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley yesterday.
“It would be impossible to separate the name Harold Hoyte from the path of journalism in Barbados and the Caribbean over the past 60 years.”
And the Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers (BARJAM) said his death had left a gaping hole in the media fraternity.
“He was a colossus in the news information profession as a founder of the Nation Publishing Company Ltd, a mentor and coach to an array of journalists in this country. His intellectual acumen and fearlessness as a professional media Goliath will remain etched in my mind and, I have no doubt, in the minds of us all,” said Emmanuel Joseph of BARJAM.
Earlier this month, Nation House on Fontabelle was renamed the Harold Hoyte and Fred Gollop Media Complex in honour of two of the founding members of the Nation newspaper.
Hoyte had, in 2006, charged Jamaican media to lobby for changes to the country’s libel laws.
“I, too, am aware of the size of at least two awards in Jamaica in recent years, both of which would have closed down many a newspaper in the Eastern Caribbean,” said Hoyte while delivering the keynote lecture at the fourth biennial Excellence in Media Lecture Forum and the Jamaica Broilers Group Fair Play Awards in September 2006.
“You must insist on amendments that are consistent with modern trends.”