James, Best get award from PAHO
December 10, 2004
James, Best get award from PAHO

Last Tuesday, two Vincentian media practitioners received recognition from the local Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

Carlos James and Jessica Bess had both earlier been cited for certificates of merit during the 12th Annual PAHO Media Awards for Excellence in Health Journalism held Friday, November 5 in Barbados .{{more}}

Eventually receiving the awards for their work on health-related topics, Tuesday, Bess who works at Nice Radio said that she is glad to know that her hard work has paid off.

Bess’s radio piece was on asthma. “I highlighted a disease that people don’t really talk about,” said Bess who is encouraging other media practitioners to enter the awards. She sees the awards as a good way of getting information out to the public therefore helping in nation building. She also received an award last year.

James who is employed at the SEARCHLIGHT Newspaper was awarded a certificate of merit for his work on child abuse. His stories “Healing the Scars After Abuse” and “Child Abuse In the Ghetto” received a merit award. The stories were published in the annual Carimac Times magazine this year, while James was pursuing studies in Media and Communications, specializing in print and online journalism at the University of the West Indies, CARIMAC.

James said bringing the issues related to child abuse to the fore is something he is happy to be given recognition for. “We have to be cognizant of the problems youths are facing,” James said. “Many of the societal ills we are faced with today are credited most times to the psychological problems the victims and perpetrators all go through at some point in time during their lives.”

James said he hopes other media practitioners can join in the awareness of highlighting social problems as it affects all of us within the society.

“Though my articles were researched and written in Jamaica, it is something all of us in the Caribbean region are facing and continue to ignore,” he pointed out.

The awards ceremony, which took place at the conference room of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture was attended by Minister of Health and the Environment Dr. Douglas Slater, Chief Health Educator Patsy Wyllie and Permanent Secretary Verlene Saunders among others.

Last year, SEARCHLIGHT reporters Lyf Compton and Hawkins Nanton received a joint PAHO Merit Award for an article “Life With HIV/Aids”, which brought to the forefront the plight of a young father of two living with the disease.