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PAJ to focus on future of traditional news and sport

Published:Friday | November 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM
President of the Press Association of Jamaica George Davis

With newspapers closing down all over the world, and an ever-growing emphasis on social media, the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) will be focusing on the future of traditional news and sports for this year's staging of National Journalism Week.

The PAJ's popular public forum entitled: "Do You Still Need Traditional News & Sports?" is intended to take a provocative and analytical look at the place of traditional news and sports in a fast-changing and increasingly digital world. The event will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, on Monday, November 19, starting at 6 p.m., and is free and open to all.

"We thought it important to take a critical look at the future of our traditional newsrooms and sports departments," said PAJ President George Davis. "News and sports departments will have to evolve and adapt to survive," added Davis.

"Many have already started to do so, but members of the public have been very critical about the pace of change and strategies being employed. We therefore thought it was an opportune time to engage the public on this issue, to hear their concerns and to share strategies for survival."

The main speaker at the forum will be president of the Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association, Kiran Maharaj. A former journalist, Maharaj is now a media manager, being managing director of Caribbean Lifestyle Communications Media Network, which includes four radio stations and a television station. 

She is also president of the Media Institute of the Caribbean, which aims to develop a network of investigative journalists throughout the Caribbean, and is developing innovative strategies for production and distribution of content from the region.

Other panelists include: Judith Bodley, vice-president of News and Current Affairs at CVM; Lance Whittaker, executive producer at Sportsmax; Cliff Hughes, managing director of Nationwide News Network; and digital expert Gordon Swaby, founder of Edu-Focal.

In keeping with the PAJ's ongoing thrust to involve members of the media community outside Kingston & St Andrew, Maharaj and the PAJ team will also be travelling to the Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville on Tuesday, November 20 and to the University of the West Indies Western Campus in Montego Bay on Wednesday, November 21 to present on the same topic.

The discussions fit neatly under the overarching umbrella of the 2018 theme for National Journalism Week: "Zealously Guarding Press Freedom."

Other events during the week include a church service on Sunday, November 18  at Tarrant Baptist Church, Molynes Road, starting at 10 a.m., and the annual Veterans' Luncheon on Wednesday, November 21.

The week of activities ends on Saturday, November 24, with the National Journalism Awards Show & After-Party at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston, starting at 7 p.m.

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