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Bahama Journal Celebrates 25th Anniversary – “Faith Kept The Journal Alive”


The prime minister, Cabinet ministers, the religious community, journalists and throngs of advertisers all turned out last night to celebrate a newspaper that critics predicted would fail months after its launch.

The Bahama Journal marked its 25th anniversary at a cocktail reception at the British Colonial Hilton yesterday.

Jones Communications CEO Wendall Jones said faith kept the Bahama Journal “thriving” as a staple in news over the years.

The Journal – which started in 1987 – has become one of the leading newspapers in the country over the years, publishing a number of exposés that have led to the resignations of many top government officials.

“The Bahama Journal was a journey of faith and action,” Mr. Jones told those gathered at a reception at the British Colonial Hilton last night.

“We swam among the sharks and survived. We ignored the purveyors of doom and gloom and held on to our faith. This is a difficult place and to survive in the newspapering business for 25 years is no mean achievement. Life has its challenges – you have to meet them or they beat you. While challenges remain, we will endeavor to maintain to a keen sense of independence and objectivity at all times.”

Mr. Jones said his company, which is also made up of Love 97.5 FM and JCN Channel 14, has taken some “heavy blows” over the years, but has kept the faith.

“You see faith in commitment to God is of little or no practical value to us unless by means of it, new and abundant energy is released to aid in our present struggles of life,” he said.

“These times demand new ideas, approaches and a new vision as to what nation-building and development should be about in this era of rapid globalisation. In addition, the search is also on for solutions to some of the social problems we face in our society. So on this occasion of our 25 anniversary of the Bahama Journal, we pledge anew to uphold the tenets of professional journalism, to ask questions, to arrest rhetoric, to reach consensus and to be a catalyst for positive change.”

Also bringing remarks at the reception was Prime Minister Perry Christie who served as the attorney for the Bahama Journal’s incorporation.

He said that Mr. Jones is a true example of a Bahamian who came from humble beginnings and has made it and continues to contribute to Bahamian society in a “great way.”

“Wendall Jones has achieved a lot,” he said.

“He has bucked the odds and addressed aggressively all of the tendencies that militate against success for someone who starts off with very little. It is work in progress in a developing country where we have to work hard at recognising there are good people on both sides of the political divide. For me, I want to be able to recognise, in this historic hotel in the presence of the leadership of the county, that there are still young black Bahamians who are overcoming the odds. He is an exemplar in our country and someone who aspiring young Bahamians can look to and say I want to be like Wendall.”

Mr. Christie said the story of Wendall Jones is a part of the sociology of the country that delivers the message “keep on keeping on.”

JCN Director, Godfrey Eneas and Issues of The Day host, Algernon Allen also brought remarks and well-wishes to Mr. Jones.

“Twenty-five years have passed and The Journal has grown from strength to strength. It has survived in the public domain despite the early skepticism by naysayers and prophets of doom. It has also remained competitive in an environment where one of its competitors has been around for 109 years and the other 168 years,” Mr. Eneas said.

“The Bahamas has become, over the years, increasingly polarised politically; yet, The Journal more than any other newspaper in The Bahamas, has maintained a centrist political outlook. It represents even handedness, fairness and calls a spade a spade. Read its editorials and one will come to the conclusion that no one or organisation is above criticism and credit is given where credit is due.”

Some of Mr. Jones’ closest friends including several members of the Christie Cabinet, businessmen Franklyn Wilson, Raymond Winder and Craig Flowers as well as fashion designer, Peter Nygard all came out to celebrate Mr. Jones’ achievements.

Mr. Jones thanked his family for their support over the years, especially his mother and daughters, and all those who have contributed to the paper’s growth over the last 25 years.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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