Saturday, 19 November 2016


NOVEMBER 19, 2016
The Bahamas Press Club President Anthony Newbold
President Antony Newbold calls for media professionals to get involved in The Bahamas Press Club.

Here is his speech delivered at The Media Awards Banquet held Saturday, November 19, 2016 at the British Colonial Hilton:
The Hon Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Most Hon P J Patterson, Nominees, Invited Guests,Good evening!
Again and welcome to the first of what will be an annual recognition and celebration of you who report and produce the news. Thank you all for coming.
My congratulations to all Nominees, especially the Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, His Excellency Calsey Johnson.
You make us all proud!
Unfortunately there are some awards that will not be presented this year because we had no nominees. The Harcourt Rusty Bethel Award for Broadcast Journalism or The P Anthony White Award for Best Columnist for example.
There will also not be an award for Best Talk Show as the system did not work as we intended and so hopefully next year we get to present those awards and others that we will add.
The technical ones, for example, that the technical people have complained to me about, even though I have yet to see one cameraman or editor at a Bahamas Press Club Meeting. Go figure.
There was a Bahamian superstar entertainer from The Valley. People knew him as "Dr. Off". His name was Tyrone Fitzgerald & he had several hit songs, one of them was titled, “Get Involved”.
That is my theme for tonight.
Let me say to you members of the media tonight, we’ve truly only just begun. And as is the case in most beginnings, not as many of you participate, as you should in the business of The Bahamas Press Club. But there is room and desire for all of you to participate.
You’ve got to get involved! You can first begin by telling me what you would like to see from The Press Club. What it is that would cause you to be active. Early in the New Year, I will take some of my executives to Grand Bahama to find out how they would like to participate.
Last month, during my visit to Africa at the invitation of the African, Caribbean & Pacific Group of States, Kigali, Rwanda to be more specific, the ACP Federation of Press Clubs was formed to create a network across the three regions, and they were so excited to hear about the activities of The Bahamas Press Club. You should be too! And when I go to Brussels for the first executive council meeting (your president was the first person nominated for the 12 member executive council), they will be more excited when I report on tonight’s activities.
Yes, fellow journalists, The Bahamas Press Club is branching out to the world, and we want to take you with us. But you’ve got to get involved!
Speaking of involvement, I’ve been most pleased to see Crystal Darling and Don Sargent from the University of The Bahamas. Yes, we want them as young as they are because my team, and me we are part of the old guard, and while I enjoy this as much as the next fellow, I am only leading the way. I have no intention or desire to stay as president of the Bahamas Press Club for life!
Listen, as your leader, I am known across The Bahamas, in New York and California. In China and in Africa. In the Caribbean and in the Pacific. I want you all to be too. And I’m not just talking about a byline. I want you all to be in a position where you pick up the telephone and speak with someone you really know. But you gotta get involved!
I know that everyone wants to know what is in it for him or her? Well, after my trip to Africa, I received an email from Ernest Sagaga, head of Human Rights and Safety for the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) One of the issues raised was the plight of some journalists after they retire.
Too many of us fall on hard times. Well Ernest said to me, listen, IFJ has a safety fund. So if you know of a journalist who needs help with medical costs, legal costs, family support or educating their children, let me know and we will provide some help. That is what is potentially there for you. But you’ve got to get involved.
Another issue raised was funding and where do we get it. Some countries said they get funding from their government. Here, we would think that is heresy. No, they received funding with the understanding that it was all part of contributing to the common good and that the government should not expect any special treatment.
I say you will get objective treatment from a well-trained and duly qualified press corps. That is what you will get if you give us your support! By the way, Prime Minister, I want the old Gaming Board Building on Goodman’s Bay for the Press Club.
We will clean up the mold and do whatever is required to get it in a condition to be occupied, for a nominal fee of $10. Think about it.
Why is this night important? We must recognize good work, especially the work of journalists. Recognizing journalists for their work is not high on anyone’s list of priorities. Maybe after we die.
Well, The Press Club decided to change that and we are doing so tonight. Just beginning, but we are making a start! Speaking of good journalists, we’ve just lost a good one. Gwen Ifill of PBS. You can’t say enough about her! One of the most respected Black journalists in America. Here at home we lost Antoine Ferrier. A gentleman and a professional! Lets observe a minute of silence in their memory please! May they both Rest In Peace.
So lets recognize another good journalist. Deandre Williamson; the newest member of The Bahamas Press Club. Deandre won the Walter Cronkite Bust, first place finisher in the conference paper competition at the 3rd Annual Walter Cronkite Conference on Media Ethics and Integrity held recently in Missouri. Take a bow Deandre. First international winner and first person of color.
So those of us who bring credit to our profession must be recognized, because there are still too many whose actions, speaking of ethics and integrity, in fact, whose very presence in our profession, hold us up to ridicule, public odium and disrepute.
We know them. Their names are associated more with their nefarious undertakings than with good journalism, and we won’t give them the privilege of further sullying our time-honored profession tonight, by calling their names.
When we speak about credit to our profession, let me recognize my core team of executives whose efforts cannot be overstated and I cannot praise them enough. Lindsay Thompson, Vincent Vaughan, Anthony Capron, and other team members, Kermit Taylor, Charles Sawyer, Franklyn Ferguson, Rogan Smith and Ed fields. Couldn’t do it without them!
Mr. Capron co-coordinated the gorgeous souvenir magazine you see before you. For our advertisers and you who wonder about the reach of The Bahamas Press Club, last year’s booklet is in Rwanda, it is in Sierra Leone, it is in Brussels and in Poland.
The sky is truly the limit if you would only get involved. Let me apologize for Prime Minister Christie who could not be here. He has had a hectic schedule over the past two days. (Former) Prime Minister Patterson, thank you from the bottom of my heart from agreeing to speak to us tonight. We truly appreciate it.
Thanks to our MC, Jeffrey Lloyd, who was chosen before he was nominated!
A special thank you to Cable 12 for taking the lead in recording this for broadcast. That is the kind of partnership we need from our broadcast colleagues. I want to pay special tribute to Alexia Coakley who led this effort. Much appreciation!
Enjoy yourselves and congratulations to all of you who, and specifically the winners in this our first effort to give you your roses.

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