The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has recognized the Jamaica Information Service for its outstanding work in journalism when it awarded three trophies to the agency at its 61st award ceremony held on December 1 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
JIS Public Relations Officer, Miss Suzette Campbell receives the Supreme Ventures Award for Early Childhood Education, from Charm Edwards, Draw Officer, Supreme Ventures Limited, one of the sponsors of the Press Association of Jamaica awards.
Suzette Campbell, Public Relations Officer, won the Carl Wint Award for Feature and the Supreme Ventures Award on Early Childhood Development while photographer Dave Reid, won the Aston Rhoden Award for News Photography.
Miss Campbell’s story, which won the Carl Wint Award for Feature was entitled ‘RGD – Emotional Reunion, Father and Daughter after 35 years’ and it chronicled the process that was facilitated by the Registrar General’s Department to reunite a father and daughter after more than three decades of separation.
Her entry in the early childhood education category looked at the Early Childhood Commission, a body established to monitor the standards for early childhood institutions. The feature focused attention on the early years of a child’s life and noted how critical these years were to a child’s development.
In the news photography category, Mr. Reid’s photograph captured an extraordinary ‘Wash Day’ immediately after the passage of Hurricane Ivan.
The other award recipients were: The Impact Team, who received the President’s award for Investigative Journalism; Cliff Hughes who was named the Journalist of the Year for the third consecutive time; Lascelles ‘Las’ May, of the Gleaner who received the Livingston McLaren Award for Cartoon; and Bryan Cummings from The Daily Observer who received the Junior Dowie Award for Sports Photography.
In addition, Ian Boyne won the Morris Cargill Award for Opinion Journalism; the Sunday Herald, won the Canute James Award for Finance and Business; The Voice was presented with the Maurice Garrison Award for Small Newspaper Publication; TVJ received the Ken Dawson Award for Videography and Anthony Foster of the Gleaner received the Hugh Crosskill/Raymond Sharp Award for Sport.
The National Press Award for service to Jamaica went to the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre.
President of the PAJ, Desmond Richards, said that one of the main objectives of the award ceremony is “to reward media workers who have made sterling contributions to the field of journalism.as it was felt that at the end of a year, those who did outstanding work should be awarded.”
The PAJ awards not only aims to reward journalists who have done outstanding work, but is also designed to improve the standard of the profession, which was highlighted in this year’s theme, ‘Building Professional Standards and Independence in the Media.’
Guest speaker at the ceremony, Local Government Community Development and Sport Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, said the press and journalists in particular have great influence in shaping public opinion.
She noted therefore that, “the press has a responsibility to set the tone of civility, respectful discourse and engage in dialogue, which the country can emulate.”