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Story Highlights

  • The book is a compilation of Mr. Boyne’s opinion columns, which have been published in The Gleaner newspaper over the past 12 years.
  • The book, featuring over 60 articles, explores an expansive range of topics from religion and philosophy to dancehall.
  • This publication follows his previous book, launched in April this year, Profile of Excellence.

Pre-eminent journalist, Ian Boyne, is on an ardent path to cementing his legacy of scholarly work, not only through the newspaper in their original form, but in the pages of his latest publication, Ideas Matter: Journey Into the Mind of a Veteran Journalist’.

On Tuesday, November 19, King’s House was a befitting backdrop for the launch of this compilation of Mr. Boyne’s opinion columns, which have been published in The Gleaner newspaper over the past 12 years.

The book, featuring over 60 articles, explores an expansive range of topics from religion and philosophy to dancehall, arts and culture. It also tackles issues relating to international affairs and foreign policy, Jamaican politics, and socioeconomic issues, all written with the level of fairness and balance, which is synonymous with Mr. Boyne’s work.

This publication follows his previous book, launched in April this year, Profile of Excellence: Strategies for extraordinary achievement from 25 years of interviewing remarkable people, which was written in collaboration with author and motivational speaker, Glenford Smith.

Among the distinguished persons in attendance were Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; Minister with Responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer; Minister of Education, Rev. Hon. Ronald Thwaites; former Governor-General, the Most Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall; and leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness. Master of Ceremonies for the event was communications consultant, Fae Ellington.

The Governor-General, in his congratulatory remarks, referred to the publication as “another gem into the repertoire of great Jamaican books”.

Ideas Matter flows powerfully from the mind of Ian Boyne, spanning an incredible array of themes.  We learn not only about the people, places and problems about which Ian writes, but we also journey through his mind to the place where we form our own opinions about the selected personages or subjects,” Sir Kenneth remarked.

Executive Director, National Integrity Action, Professor Trevor Munroe, who delivered the keynote address, describes the book as reflecting “the work of one of the Caribbean’s most outstanding journalists”.

He further contends that Mr. Boyne possesses a mind that is “needed more and more in the contemporary realities facing Jamaica, the region and, indeed, the entire human race – that is, a mind capable of extraordinary balance, devoid of one sidedness, impervious to seeing reality as black and white.”

“Ian Boyne is a truly dialectical thinker, as the philosophers would say. Or as we in Jamaica would say, a truly non-tribal personality. One able to pick sense out of nonsense and, conversely, to discern nonsense in what appears to the naked eye as incontrovertible truth,” he says.

He praises Mr. Boyne for taking “scholarship to the masses”, echoing the sentiments of the University of Cambridge’s, John Rapley, in the book’s foreword, who states that he has “always appreciated his (Mr. Boyne’s) determination to raise the level of public discourse in the country.”

“Put bluntly, Jamaica, and I dare say the region, and the world needs journalists who carry intellectual ideas to policy makers but who also carry these ideas to the masses. These are journalists who double as public intellectuals like Ian Boyne, a Wilmot Perkins or a John Maxwell,” Professor Monroe says.

Professor Monroe encourages persons to read the book, which as is professed by the Editor, Glenford Smith in the introduction, has the power to change the reader, by “changing your mind; by changing what you think and how you think about it. In other words, this book’s power to change your life is on the ideas it stimulate within your mind”.

“Ultimately, Boyne’s invitation to journey into his world and ideas is an encouragement to chart your journey into your own,” he says.

As revealed by Mr. Boyne in the Author’s Prologue, he is of the view that scholarship “should not be confined to recondite journals read by a few. My goal is to ‘democratise’ it and make it accessible to the masses.”

Describing what he does as positive journalism, Mr. Boyne further shares that he aims to “enlighten and intellectually stimulate,” through his columns.

During last night’s launch, Mr. Boyne, who is also Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the JIS, told his captive audience, including his colleagues in the media, that he has stood against the tradition of the type of journalism, which serves to “insult…and vilify.”

He however, believes that journalists have a responsibility to be fair and balanced, which he says is the legacy he wishes to leave, further pointing out that while he has criticized both political leaders “at least I try to be fair, I try to be civil and I try to be respectful.”

“I do not believe that one has to be rude or one has to be insolent in order to be incisive…I commend the Gleaner for giving me the forum to practice a scholarly journalism,” he says.

Mr. Boyne says he has always had a love for the “romance of knowledge and I wanted to put in one volume this compendium, because a number of my fine colleagues have died without leaving a testament and I wanted to leave something.”

On a night where he was serenaded by singer, Nadine Sutherland, with her rendition of ‘It’s My Day’, as well as by his daughter Kelly Ann, it was certainly Mr. Boyne’s night to make another mark in the annals of Jamaica’s literary history.