As PAJ Celebrates Journalism Week, Calls For Improved Standards




The four 2018 veteran journalists honoured by the press Association of Jamaica

are seen here at the annual veteran’s luncheon in St Andrew Wednesday.

(From left) Phyllis Thomas, Kerlyn Brown, Clinton Pickering and Erica Virtue.



Calls for increased journalistic standards were made by a leader of industry as well as a veteran journalist as members of the media celebrate Journalism Week this week

Clinton Pickering, a journalist with over 40 years in print and electronic media called on colleagues to help lift the standards in journalism. He said the increased number of media houses compared to years ago was welcome but the standards in writing, production and content left much to be desired.


“While welcoming the expansion in media houses, I must lament the decline in professional standards. Those of us in media must take seriously the influence we have as the eyes and ears of our readers listeners and viewers. …what I hear on some programmes when I scan stations does leave much to be desired in both content and production,” Pickering said.


Mr. Pickering was speaking at the annual Veteran’s Luncheon of the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) at the Alhambra Inn Kingston on Wednesday, November 21. He was responding on behalf of his three colleague veteran journalists and himself who were honoured.



Two of the four awardees honoured by the Press

Association of Jamaica Phyllis Thomas (left) and Kerlyn Brown.

The others are Clinton Pickering and Erica Virtue


The others honoured are: Phyllis Thomas, formerly of the Gleaner and Star; Erica Virtue of the Gleaner and Observer newspapers and Kerlyn Brown, CVM TV.

At the same function, sponsored by J Wray and Nephew, chairman of that company, Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence also spoke to standards. He referenced some issues and dangers faced by journalists as exemplified in the death of a Saudi journalist, US resident Jamal Khashoggi,


Mr. Lawrence said “with great power of the press comes great responsibility.” He said fake news and its lack of standards was a real issue to be faced as it was as pervasive as the real thing. “The media is being called on to assert its principles and standards,” Mr. Lawrence said. He said that in the present environment there was need for the “relentless pursuit of truth and justice.”

The function was attended by several senior journalists.

Master of ceremonies was Derrick Wilks.


Franklin McKnight

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