Categorized | National News

Jones Encourages Black Journalists to Raise the Consciousness of Black People

To add a cultural facet to its 40th anniversary celebration, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) navigated to New Providence as a part of its Region III Conference Cruise aboard the Carnival “Sensation” cruise line.

The Ministry of Tourism hosted the organization with a journalistic meet and greet at Poop Deck, Sandy Port, designed to allow the group to experience the Bahamian culture in addition to mixing and mingling with some of the country’s top journalists.

“The Ministry of Tourism just wanted to welcome the National Association of Black Journalist here to The Bahamas,” said Executive Producer of Tourism Today Nikia Deveaux.

“What we wanted to do is familiarize them with The Bahamas. We wanted them to experience our culture, experience our food, and of course, incorporate journalism in it.”

In attendance to deliver a dynamic keynote address to the distinguished guests was veteran journalist and Chairman and CEO of the Jones Communications Network Wendall Jones.

“It is said that the crisis in journalism has reached meltdown proportions. It is not possible to contemplate a time when some major cities will no longer have a newspaper and when magazines and network news operations will employ no more than a handful of reporters,” Mr. Jones said during his speech which included a detailed summary of the evolution of media in the country.

“The Bahamas is a work in progress as is media in our archipelagic nation. And the struggle for the portrayal of black people, their social life, culture and political interests in the Bahamian press has some similarities to the struggle in the U.S,” he added as he imparted the connection between journalists across the globe.

Mr. Jones noted that a responsibility of black journalists “is to raise consciousness of our people.” He outlined the importance of journalists of color in the community in assisting with leadership in society.

“Everyone should be conscious about something. Too often we are conscious about things that are not in our interest. Today, I ask you, ‘What are you conscious about as black Journalists?’ We need to have a singular message to nurture more black leaders in our respective countries,” Mr. Jones said.

Region III Director of the NABJ Gayle Hurd, who was pleased with the timely address that also covered the 50th Anniversary of the March on Selma known as “Bloody Sunday,” said the group hopes for more social dialogue among journalists of color in the nation.

“The National Association of Black Journalists, for a number of years, has always gone beyond our borders of the United States to reach out, connect, even bring in as members, journalist of color from other countries,” Ms. Hurd said.

“I hope in our dialogue we find out some of the issues we all face as journalists. No matter what country you live in, there’s always something when trying to tell our stories and trying to tell the stories in our communities. You may live hundreds and thousands of miles away, but sometimes it’s the same issues,” she added.

President of Perfect Pitch Media, former executive producer for CNN, and adjunct professor at Kennesaw State University Tenisha Bell said she was also touched by Mr. Jones’ address.

“He was just inspiring and he just hit the mark on so many things whether he was talking about Selma or whether he was talking about Dr. King, whether he was talking about just journalists of color having a united front with each other and standing for something,” Ms. Bell said.

She added, “If you don’t stand for something and you don’t believe for something then you’re not really pushing a cause. The question that he asked that really stuck with me was, ‘What is your cause?’ ‘What are you a champion of?’ and that was great to hear from him.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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