Veteran journalists thrilled by recognition
Being recognised for almost five very active and successful decades in Jamaican media comes as a pleasant surprise for Errol Lee, veteran television and radio presenter.
Three of the country's best journalists, Lee included, were recognised recently for their longstanding work and contribution to both local print and broadcast media at a special Press Association of Jamaica Veteran's Luncheon at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.
Lloyd B. Smith, managing director and editor-in-chief of the Montego Bay-based newspaper, The Western Mirror and Doreen Brown, former head of the Jamaica Information Service radio and television departments (at different times, were recognised alongside Lee.
"I was a veteran about 20 years ago, (so) it's a pleasant surprise but not totally unexpected, if one bears in mind that I have been in the media business since 1969," Lee told The Gleaner.
SENSE OF SATISFACTION
He said that media is not the best paying field in Jamaica, at least, so his motivation and encouragement to continue came from being recognised everyday by the general public.
"It's been a long road. I feel honoured because media in Jamaica is not the profession that pays the most. However, you get some sense of satisfaction when you get a good story or when you get a byline as a young reporter."
"In my case I came out of the newsroom and ended up on the television screen as a presenter and that didn't pay a lot of money either but that made me famous within the context of Jamaica. In later years, I was able to parlay this popularity into a life time because I am involved not just in media, but also in music and in the advertising industry," he told The Gleaner.
Western Jamaica newspaper pioneer Lloyd B. Smith, the force behind The Western Mirror, said he was thrilled to be honoured as his journey has been challenging throughout.
"I am very thrilled by this occasion, when your fellow journalists see it fit to honour you. It is not often that we in western Jamaica get recognised at the national level so it's good for me as one of the pioneers of the west, to have been so rewarded. It has been a very challenging but exciting one. I enjoy what I do most of all so it has enabled me to continue. Even when there has been serious challenges and hardships I have continued," said Smith.
Doreen Brown was simply flattered.
"I am honoured and flattered. I appreciate it very much because you do this work over the years and you're getting paid to do it and you enjoy doing it but then to be honoured by my associates and colleagues, is bigger than the pay I got for the job," Brown said.
Brown's journey in journalism began in 1960 at the Gleaner Company as a reporter.
She was assigned to work at Gordon House because of her excellent shorthand skills, capturing the parliamentary proceedings, word for word.
Brown moved on to the public service, working at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) as an information officer in the press department.
She was later assigned to the Ministry of Development and Welfare, as then Prime Minister Edward Seaga's press officer. Brown did journalism training stints in England with the British Broadcasting Corporation and other entities, as well as in Canada and Germany.
She held the position of head of the JIS television department as director until she retired.