CHARDEL HAS REGGAE STAR FACTOR
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The Newspaper of Choice For Jamaicans In The UK
BY SIMPLY reading this publication, you are actively creating history.
This is the first edition of Jamaica Times, a newspaper publication designed for the Jamaican community in the UK.
The two questions I have most been asked since I put this idea into the public domain are:
1. Why a newspaper, when the Internet has created a revolutionary communication platform and the printed press seems to be dying?
2. Why a Jamaican newspaper and not a Caribbean or ‘black’ publication?
My responses have been clear and simple.
The printed word will always be the most accessible form of literature. The receiver requires no special contraption or configuration to receive and digest the contents of a newspaper. It has been an integral part of the tradition of enlightened societies for centuries. I recognise and appreciate the value of technology and that is the reason Jamaica Times is not just a physically printed entity. It has a fully integrated online component (www.jamaicatimesuk.com) that is sure to get your PC’s, tablets and mobile phones worked up.
In response to the second question, I believe sufficiently in the strength of the Jamaican brand. While I am all embracing of my Caribbean and ‘black’ neighbours and friends, the passion I have for the ‘Jamaica Project’ does not allow me to divert attention anywhere else; at least for now.
Jamaica has a deep and proud history in the UK and the time has come that we should have our own platform of expression and interaction.
Jamaica Times is launched at a very special time in Jamaica’s life as a nation and indeed, at a very special time for Jamaican expatriates here in the United Kingdom.
On August 6, 2012, Jamaica will celebrate 50 years of independence as a nation. The milestone will be marked here in the UK, as in other parts of the world where Jamaicans reside. We hope that the events in the UK will be spectacular and that Jamaicans in all corners will celebrate with pride, in a similar manner to the fervour shown by the British in the Queen’s recent Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Jamaica Times is the product of many years of hard graft. I have been a journalist for the past 18 years, working in newsrooms in Jamaica, the United States and Great Britain. I have made my living from media and communication but I have always been attracted to entrepreneurship.
I spent a short time but very productive time in the public service, my last stint being Community Relations Officer at the Jamaican High Commission in London.
It gave me an opportunity to interact with the Jamaican community across the UK and to learn much about how it is fuelled and driven. It is painfully obvious that while we have made steps as people, we have not fulfilled the rich potential we boast.
It is disheartening that other nations that arrived in the UK after us have advanced economically and socially to the point where they dictate and influence much of what goes on in our community.
Jamaica Times is a medium which provides a platform on which Jamaicans can perform effectively in the trade of ideas, through the kind of dialogue that leads to advanced thinking and beneficial actions.
This is a newspaper for the people, produced by the people.
While we will at times pay some attention to developments in Jamaica, we will often do so with a focus on how those activities affect us in the UK. Our primary focus will be on getting your stories and issues out there to the general public. We have many channels of communication that are open to you and you are encouraged to utilise them.
Jamaica Times is a community newspaper. It relies on you, the readers and the business community at large.
The stories that appear on these pages will be largely about you. It is a fantastic opportunity for you to determine what comprises the news and for you to attract public attention to the issues that concern you at the community and national levels.
There are many unsung heroes among us and these pages will, quite regularly, tell their stories and highlight the great work they have been doing in the community. We will focus heavily on a wide range of issues including health, education, politics, religion, business, culture and sport.
There will be times when we get things wrong but we will always try to be fair and responsible in the work we do.
Let me thank the advertisers who have taken a plunge with me in this first issue. We invite others to join us and use this medium to get your products and services to a wider audience.
Thank you, the readers for being a part of this journey and we look forward to a very successful ride together