History of the JIS
At the time of its establishment in 1956, the Agency embraced two main functions: the production and dissemination of information; functions that remain part of the Agency’s core responsibilities to this day.
The Agency was first known as the Government Public Relations Office (GPRO), which was primarily concerned with issuing press releases and maintaining good relations between the press and the Government. The scope of the GPRO was widened in 1957 when it was integrated with the Jamaica Film Unit and the Government Broadcasting Service. Subsequently, Photography, and a Publications unit were added to the structure of the organisation.
In 1963, the GPRO was renamed the Jamaica Information Service, and a Television unit was formed. During this period, the JIS focussed primarily on writing and distributing press releases and photographs, writing publications, mounting public education campaigns, and producing stories for radio, film and television. The Agency also had a mobile service which showed films in rural communities islandwide.
In 1974, the name of the organisation was changed to the Agency for Public Information (API) and reverted to Jamaica Information Service in 1980. In 1984, the print news and photography functions were turned over to the newly formed Jamaica Press (JAMPRESS), the national press agency. The public affairs (now public relations), radio, television and printing functions remained with the JIS.
As part of the Public Sector Modernisation Programme, the JIS and JAMPRESS were merged in 2001 to become an Executive Agency. Headed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the JIS is regarded as a semi-autonomous organisation, which is guided by the fundamental principles of delegated authority, accountability and transparency. In addition to providing communication services to all Ministries, Agencies, and Departments of Government, as an Executive Agency, the JIS earns revenue from services offered to Government and non-government institutions.
“To disseminate information that will enhance public awareness and increase knowledge of the policies and programmes of the Government of Jamaica and provide cutting edge media services to our clients, maximizing the skills of highly trained professionals in a technologically driven environment”
“To be the Agency of choice for credible Government and national information, cutting edge media services and employment, while maintaining the full confidence of all Jamaicans.”