JIS News

Three decades is a long time to stick with something that started out as a compromise, but veteran journalist, Ian Boyne, is quite happy he found a way to bridge his first love, clinical psychology, with his need to reach as many people as possible.
This year, he has been conferred with the Order of Distinction (Commander Class), for his work in the field of journalism, but it was his love for delving into people’s personalities that first attracted him to the field.
“When I’m a clinical psychologist, I would work with one client,” Mr. Boyne reasoned, “why not go into journalism where the whole country, the whole world would become my couch?”
And so a career was spawned, with his earliest assignments being interviews with the likes of Professor Rex Nettleford; South African author, Peter Abrahams; and Lecturer and Journalist, John Maxwell, for cover stories for the Daily News’ ‘Xaymaca’ magazine. Those early tasks saw him receiving his first journalism award for the in-depth profiles he wrote.
This love for exploring people’s inner-workings also led to his creation of ‘Profile’, which has been running on television for 22 years. It is also the source of a niggling feeling he was conned during an interview about 15 years ago.
“There was a guy I interviewed, who told me some extraordinary story about how he had worn one pants for how long. When I was doing the interview I had a suspicion that it was not true. I never confirmed to this day that it wasn’t true, but I remember one person saying to me, ‘listen that story sounds too fantastic’. Over these years I’ve always felt that that guy conned me,” he says, laughing as he recalls the incident.
Today, in addition to ‘Profile’, he is the host of ‘Issues and Answers’ on JIS TV and the radio/TV programme ‘Religious Hardtalk’. He also writes a hugely popular weekly newspaper column, while holding down a steady job as Chief State Liaison at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS). Even with his heavy workload, Mr. Boyne still finds time for his pastoral duties at the Church of God International, for community outreach projects and fancy Saturday night dinners with his family. All this he attributes to good time management and an abhorrence of time wasting.
The media veteran is not modest about his accomplishments in the electronic media, pointing out that both ‘Religious Hardtalk’ and ‘Profile’ are the number one programmes in their slots. Despite these accomplishments, print remains his passion.
He subscribes to the quote by French writer Andre Breton, which states that: “Of all those arts in which the wise excel, Nature’s chief masterpiece is writing well”.
“I’m really a print person at heart, because print gives me an opportunity to indulge the full range of my skills and knowledge in a way that television doesn’t,” he explains to JIS News.
Mr. Boyne is a voracious reader who orders an average of five books per week through Amazon.com and subscribes to many international journals, such as the New York Times, British Economist, World Policy Journal and the New Left Review.
This scholarship is what buoys him against criticism, and gives him courage to put his ideas up for public scrutiny in his column each week.
“Because I know I have done the serious intellectual work, which can stand any scrutiny and pass any muster, I’m able to soldier on. So, I have the confidence, and if I were to be challenged to any serious public debate, I could engage very easily,” he says.
He believes that all young journalists should be keen on reading and scholarship, and stresses that education is central to his philosophy of journalism. “I want to expose people to the best ideas out there. I want to get them off their settled positions. I want them to know the range of ideas,” he argues.
The interview with Lee Malvo’s mother, Miss Una James, which propelled him to the front page of the Washington Post, an interview with FOX network and a deal with NBC, is among some of his proudest moments as a journalist. Mr. Malvo is a convicted sniper in the United States of America, serving life in prison. He also feels honoured to have acted as moderator in three political debates ahead of general elections in Jamaica.
Next Monday (October 19), Mr. Boyne will receive another accolade of which he can be proud, that of being honoured in front of the whole country for what has been a lifelong passion.
“I really work for the particular achievement of that work, for the sense of satisfaction of doing something well, but when your country can honour you for doing that, then that’s an icing on the cake, and an icing which I appreciate,” he says.
Mr. Boyne is not taking the award or his other accomplishments as signs that he should slow down and relax. For him they are a call to soldier on and accomplish more. Currently, he is negotiating a deal to compile some of his past newspaper columns into a book.
He still has dreams of lecturing and writing for scholarly journals. “Ideally, I would love to work with a United Nations (UN) agency. I have very strong interests in international relations, foreign policy and development economics,” he tells JIS News.

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