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Jamaican Publisher gets Lifetime Achievement Award 2006

Peter Webley, publisher of the South Florida monthly newspaper, Caribbean Today, has been selected as a recipient of the Caribbean Peer Awards Life Time Achievement Award for 2006.

Mr. Webley was among four awardees, all Caribbean nationals, being honored for their sterling contribution to the growth and ongoing development of Caribbean media in the area of sales, marketing and advertising.

The other awardees include Messrs. Ken Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago, Lester Spaulding and Neville Blythe, both well-known Jamaican media personnel.

The honorees were selected from a list of ten Caribbean nationals, by the Peer Awards Foundation of AKM Communications.

Described as one of the pioneers of Caribbean news in South Florida, Mr. Webley launched the Caribbean monthly newspaper in December 1989. As the Caribbean Diaspora began to grow in the early eighties in this region, Mr. Webley told JIS News that he saw a need for greater and better news coverage of the Caribbean region and of the nationals here in Florida.

With a distribution of almost 40,000, circulation has grown outside the region to include Atlanta, Chicago, and other communities in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, as well as some of the Caribbean islands.

The paper is free to the public and covers news, features, entertainment and sports especially related to the Caribbean community. Earlier, this year, the paper developed a website to include on-line readers. “Readers of Caribbean Today would also note a refreshingly positive portrayal of minorities,” the publisher added.

A recent audit conducted by the City of Miami Metro Communications Department, indicated that among 72 publications Caribbean Today ranked sixth overall, and first among the black population in this region.

A recipient of several awards over the years, Mr. Webley was inducted in May last year, into the Miami Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution in the area of journalism.

Other outstanding awards for business development and community contribution include the United Coalition of Minority Business Enterprises 2003, the Minority Enterprise Development (MED Week) Award 2003, and the Broward Black Elected Officials’ Business Leader Award 2006.

He has also received other awards from several schools in the South Florida community, where he continues to work with students on varied educational projects.

Webley is also a founding member of the Florida-based Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce (JAUSACC) and the Kendal South Dade chapter of the Kiwanis Club.

According to Webley, Caribbean Today is now a thriving news magazine that has contributed greatly to raising the positive profile of South Florida’s Caribbean community. “Perhaps our most poignant achievement is that by providing the community with a positive reflection of its many faces, the paper has helped the community to understand the diverse cultures that embrace this community,” he added.

The Peer Awards Foundation was incepted in 1998 by AKM Communications to recognize Jamaican media personnel in the areas of marketing, advertising and sales. This year, the program was developed to include the Caribbean media community.

The awards presentation program will be held next Thursday, (Sept. 7) at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston at the close of the Caribbean Media Conference and Exposition.

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