JIS News

Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, has lauded members of the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ), for the contributions they have made to the nation, and the integral role they have played in keeping Jamaicans informed.
She noted they have always made their country and profession proud, as they seek to inform the public on issues affecting the island.
Miss Grange was speaking, yesterday (July 2), at the launch of the 65th anniversary celebrations of the PAJ, at the association’s headquarters in Kingston.
The Minister implored members of the association to involve more young persons in the organization, in an effort to ensure its sustainability.
“I think it is extremely important that you do that.if you do not, you would have done a dis-service to this organization which has served Jamaica well,” she pointed out.
The Minister said that the various modes of accessing information are expanding and as such, the media landscape is becoming more interesting.
She implored journalists “to use your imagination and seize the moment and really get into all the areas of media, and use those areas very effectively in the interest and the benefit of Jamaica, in ensuring that the information flows in a timely way and it flows in an accurate way.”
Miss Grange also encouraged the two candidates vying for the Presidency of the association, which is slated for July 27. She said that the successful candidate should continue to display the level of professionalism for which the organization is known for. The candidates are: Bryon Buckley, Secretary of the association and Desmond Richards, current President.
The election of officers will take place at the association’s headquarters at 5 East Avenue, St Andrew.
In his address, Mr. Richards noted that over the years, the association has grown significantly.
“The PAJ has been in the forefront for press freedom. My predecessors all fought for this because we all felt that freedom of expression is the oxygen of a democratic society,” he said.
“Over the years the PAJ has done a lot to ensure that members of the profession are properly trained and I implore all the relevant media houses to continue to ensure that this is done and place more emphasis on training,” Mr. Richards added.
Several activities have been planned over the next 12 months to commemorate the PAJ’s 65th anniversary. These include: monthly Friday frenzy events, which will commence on July 25; special events to honour veteran PAJ members; a PAJ week and awards ceremony, slated for November; publication of a PAJ 65th anniversary magazine; launch of the PAJ website in November; a media exposition in March 2009; special media fora; and regular publication of the PAJ Advocate.

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