JIS News

A delegation of publishers representing some of America’s most influential African-American newspapers will be visiting Jamaica from November 29 to December 4, to hold discussions with a range of interests within the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as private sector leaders, senior government officials and representatives from the Jamaican media.
The visit by the members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), which is being organized by the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Ministry of Tourism, was facilitated by the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington through its Office of Community Relations. The tour is designed to familiarize the African-American press with current economic and social developments occurring in the island and, specifically, to further acquaint the Black publishing community with the Jamaican tourism product.
The publishers represent several key community papers from the cities of Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Indianapolis, Atlanta, New York, St. Louis and Baltimore.
The visit was precipitated by consultations between the Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, Professor Gordon Shirley and Robert W. Bogle, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Tribune, America’s oldest daily newspaper, which serves the Philadelphia African-American community. The discussions centered on the development of a strategic approach involving the African-American media that would serve to increase awareness among Black Americans about current economic opportunities in the island and, particularly, acquaint the community with possibilities for investment, by African-American-owned businesses, in Jamaica.
Janet Madden, Community Relations Officer at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, described the visit as an “important new engagement between the African-American community and Jamaica, which will not only serve to deepen our natural cultural bonds but, more importantly, constitute a basis for a useful economic interchange that will be beneficial to Jamaica”.
She also stressed that the initiative would “not only benefit Jamaica’s tourism product in terms of greater patronage from the African-American community, but also potentially give greater exposure to the new and exciting investment opportunities that are emerging in Jamaica, particularly within the hospitality sector”.
The NNPA delegation has also expressed its interest in supporting a Jamaica Tourist Board media campaign to be initiated in the U.S. market, which will specifically target the African-American community and will seek to increase the volume of visitors.
Since the late 1990’s, several major players in the African-American media, such as Tom Joyner, have staged similar initiatives in the island, which have been directly focused on expanding Jamaica’s share of the African-American tourism market and establishing the island as the preferred Caribbean destination for Black Americans.
The group will hold in-depth discussions with key private sector and industry leaders including representatives of the Ministries of Commerce, Science and Technology and Industry and Tourism and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association. They will also visit the Gleaner Company.
In addition, the publishers will be hosted by Minister of Information, Burchell Whiteman and the Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Information Service, Carmen Tipling.
The NNPA, also known as the Black Press of America, is a 65-year-old federation representing more than 200 Black community newspapers from across the United States. Since World War II, it has also served as the Black community’s primary news service, particularly after the Associated Negro Press was dissolved by 1970.
In 2000, the NNPA launched NNPA Media Services – a print and web advertising-placement and press release distribution service. NNPA also moved in 2001 to establish the BlackPressUSA Network, America’s premier network of local Black community news and information portals, in association with the NNPA Foundation. The BlackPressUSA Network is anchored by BlackPressUSA.com – the national web portal for the Black Press of America.
The NNPA Media Services is also the gateway to over 200 weekly newspapers, which serve a community of more than 15 million readers, a target market audience with an estimated buying power of over US$572 billion.