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Searchlight duo wins regional media awards

Searchlight duo wins regional media awards

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SEARCHLIGHT newspaper has received regional recognition for its coverage of health related issues, and has brought home two awards from the Jennifer Jones Barbados/OECS Media Health Awards held in Grenada over the weekend.{{more}}

At the awards ceremony that took place at the Grenada Trade Centre on Saturday, August 31, SEARCHLIGHT’s Chief Executive Officer and editor Clare Keizer received the award for Best Coverage on Autism, and senior reporter Junior Jarvis received a Special Award for Health Coverage.

SEARCHLIGHT was one of two newspapers receiving recognition at the event, named in the memory of Grenadian journalist Jennifer Jones, who died in 2010 after a battle with cancer.

The other member of the regional print media to receive awards was The Nation Publishing Company of Barbados, which received the award for the most outstanding media house. The Nation’s Better Health magazine received 22 nods from the judges, in categories such as Best Non-communicable Disease Story, Best Drug Abuse Coverage, Best Child Story on Cancer, Best Story on Cancer, and Best Story on Hypertension.

Editor of Better Health magazine Tracy Moore won the most individual awards: seven in total.

Keizer’s winning article on autism chronicled the journey of a young Vincentian living with autism, Shaka Bowman, who travelled to South Africa with his mother in 2010, for the FIFA World Cup on a prize trip sponsored by Digicel. Jarvis, who has been covering health related issues over the years, submitted an article depicting a family’s financial woes after the principal earner lost his battle with prostate cancer.

On receiving her award, Keizer expressed thanks to the organizers for the award and for encouraging journalists to give more coverage to health related issues. She said she wrote the article to raise awareness about autism and the fact that there are autistic people in our society, many of whom are marginalized, misunderstood and even abused.

“This award is great encouragement to work even harder and do even better with every publication we put out. We publish far too few health related stories and that is a pity. Searchlight is certainly going to make an effort to address that going forward,” Keizer said.

Jarvis said that he was thankful for the recognition he has received, and that the award has motivated him to highlight more health related issues, on and off the pages of SEARCHLIGHT.

“I feel and know that there is much more to be done with regard to health coverage in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and I intend to do my part to bring to light problems and solutions that could save the lives of Vincentians, as best as I can.

“If the information in an article can save a life, that’s huge satisfaction for me,” Jarvis said.

According to organizers of the event, more than 80 submissions from newspapers, television and radio stations were entered, with 36 awards being given.

Apart from St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados, entries were submitted from Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Maarten and Guyana.

The feature address at the ceremony was given by Minister of Health in the Grenada government Dr Clarice Modeste. Addresses also came from Caricom/Pancap representative Valerie Beache-Horne, Secretary General of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union Patrick Cozier, and head of the University of the West Indies Open Campus in Grenada Dr Curtis Jacobs, who also delivered the judges’ report.

During the ceremony, a number of business houses were rewarded for their contribution to health awareness and media development, in the Prime Minister’s Media Regional Corporation Awards. (JJ)

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