Jamaican journalists clear up

Jamaica’s press dominated the 2005 edition of the UNFPA Caribbean Media Awards on “Gender Equality, Reproductive Health and the Millennium Development Goals” held at the Hilton Kingston on Tuesday, December 6, 2005.
During the awards presentation, Jamaican reporters copped four of the six awards
presented in radio, print and television categories, while their colleagues from
Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago secured the remaining honours.

Jamaica dominated the radio category of the competition with Damion Mitchell of
POWER 106 FM winning the top Platinum category for an entry titled “Murderous Rage,”
the harrowing story of a woman and her three children who were savaged and mutilated
by the man who should have been their protector; while IRIE FM’s Sonja Simms took
the runner-up Gold prize for her feature on “Prostitution in Jamaica.”

The Caribbean may be a region with strong taboos and prejudices, but the entries to
this competition showed that there is a strong and irrepressible corps of
journalists prepared to combat those prejudices with vigour and professional
exactitude.

Each of the winners, and indeed those who did not quite make it this time, went out
of their way to examine aspects of Caribbean society which many people are all too
comfortable ignoring: how traditional views of gender status and roles can reinforce
poverty and lack of education to bring about a cycle of economically enforced
prostitution on the streets and physical abuse, violence, and even murder, in the
home.

“UNFPA intends to continue to offer support to our media partners in the important
role that they are playing in highlighting and helping our people to understand
their sexual and reproductive health and rights, including those relating to gender
equality,” said Harold Robinson, the Kingston-based United Nations Population Fund
representative for the English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, who thanked all the
journalists who entered this year’s competition and invited all who did not do so to
get ready for next year’s awards.
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