American Media Group To Forge Partnerships With Caribbean Journalists

Closer ties between a major American journalists’ organization and the Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) could increase the flow of people and information between the United States and the Caribbean.

Speaking at last month’s Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism in Jamaica, Deirdre M. Childress, Vice President-Print for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), said a partnership between NABJ and CMEx “perfectly aligned” with the association’s strategic plan to connect journalists across the globe.

Discussions with CMEx about forming linkages between the two organizations, she reported, resulted in a number of important suggestions, including ways to incorporate NABJ into connections with Caribbean media and plans to “expose Caribbean media workers to North American approaches to covering sustainable development,” she reported. Furthermore, journalists in the Caribbean could benefit from internship opportunities with their American counterparts.

Childress, who currently serves as Home & Design/Weekend editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer, asserted a partnership with CMEx would also mean working “together to enhance understanding of US audiences to issues and concerns of the Caribbean region.” Increasing understanding between Caribbean and North American cultures, the exchange of lessons learned in educating audiences, and examining common African heritage and rich diverse cultures are all important issues to be considered under the new collaboration.

Childress noted the proposed CMEx agreement could also have “significant positive results” for Caribbean tourism, as the region seeks to further tap into the African American market. She believes both organizations could “work together to highlight the value of African Americans to the Caribbean tourism industry,” resulting in tourists from this group traveling to the region in increased numbers.

“This is just the beginning of a new relationship (and) I want us to fully embrace the idea of a linkage,” Childress declared.

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is an organization of journalists, students and media-related professionals that provides quality programs and services to and advocates on behalf of black journalists worldwide. Founded by 44 men and women on December 12, 1975, in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation.

Many of NABJ’s 3,300 members also belong to one of the dozens of professional and student chapters that serve black journalists nationwide. The organization is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.

The CMEx meeting in Jamaica was supported by the Jamaica Tourist Board and Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism. Additional contributors included: Air Jamaica/Caribbean Airlines, Altamont Court Hotel, American Airlines, Anse Chastanet Resort, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Barbara Pyle Foundation, Bay Gardens Resorts, Bob Marley Museum, British Virgin Islands Tourist Board, Caribbean Broadcasting Union, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust, Caribbean Tourism Organization, CaribWorldNews, Choice Hotels International, Coco Palm, Community Benefit Development, Courtleigh Hotel & Suites, Devon House, 4P Group, Jade Mountain, Knutsford Court Hotel, LIAT, Marketplace Excellence, Mayberry Investments Ltd., michael D. communications, Princess Hotel Guyana, Rastafari Indigenous Village, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Ruder Finn, Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Scotchies Tree, Spanish Court Hotel, Spirit Airlines, SuperClubs, St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, The SpeakEasy M.E.D.I.A. Foundation, Tourism Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago, United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, and Wyndham Kingston Jamaica.