Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Journalists excel | Jovan Johnson - Chevening Scholar

Published:Tuesday | September 12, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Jovan Johnson receives a congratulatory kiss from mentor and former lecturer Fae Ellington.

A few weeks ago when Jovan Johnson was confirmed as a Chevening Scholar, he beamed with pride and joy. The 27-year-old expects that the training he will gain in his pursuit of a Master of Science in Development Management at the London School of Economics (LSE), in addition to his expertise as a communicator, will empower rural residents and assist them in understanding laws and policies.

The Edwin Allen High School past student told The Gleaner that the scholarship provided the perfect avenue to fulfil a childhood dream of wanting better for rural communities.

"Long before I entered journalism, I was always very curious about the law-making and policy-making process. And, growing up in rural Jamaica, Red Hills, Clarendon, I always questioned, how is it that laws and policies got implemented with little consultation? I grew up wanting to change that, and since covering Parliament, there have been improvements. But, still we're not seeing enough of the meaningful input of people in decisions and policy targeted at them. Imposition remains a troubling issue," he said.

"The degree programme I will pursue at LSE looks precisely at those things and the role of institutions in creating enabling environments for people to become their best self. Development has to be participatory and I hope to use my training in communication and development to leverage global best-practices from a leading institution in the field with local realities to help create the best environment," he continued.

The award-winning journalist said he is looking forward to deepening the cooperation between Jamaica and the United Kingdom (UK).

"Chevening is special because it simply does not just demand academics - which undoubtedly has to be at an extremely high standard. Chevening expressly demands evidence of leadership, influence, and networking. It takes seriously building relationships and using those for bilateral and national good.

"As a result, I had to ensure that I had clarity of purpose and not solely applying because I want to go to school abroad. Chevening forces you to have a conversation with yourself, assessing how you are able to make a positive impact on society while deepening the bond between the UK with Jamaica."