Journalist Carole Embden-Peterson passes
Journalist Carole Embden-Peterson, who served as the first news editor of the Jamaica Observer when it was founded in 1992, passed on Wednesday in Atlanta, United States.
Embden-Peterson, who, before joining the Observer became a household name as a news reporter and presenter at JBC Television, was reportedly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in March this year.
She had migrated to the United States after her tenure with the Observer.
Reacting to news of Embden-Peterson’s passing, Observer Founding Editor Desmond Allen said she was proud of what the newspaper has become.
“Even though I was aware that Carole was ailing, it still came as a blow to hear that she has passed. As she was the first news editor and only the second member of the foundation staff of the Jamaica Observer. We worked closely together and supported each other at a critical time in the life of the fledgling newspaper.
“Laying the foundation for the Observer was way more difficult than we like to let on, but Carole and the rest of the small team had the pleasure of seeing the paper grow to become the formidable competitor it is 30 years later. She many times expressed this,” said Allen, who is now executive editor, special assignment.
“Her pleasant personality and ability to keep calm under pressure served us well on those graveyard shifts that were inevitable features of creating a newspaper from scratch. And now she will edit the news for heaven’s celestial journal.
“Rest well, Carole, you’ll be missed,” added Allen.
Observer Editor-at-Large HG Helps, who was sports editor at the birth of the newspaper, said Embden-Peterson was one of a small number of Jamaican journalists who excelled in both print and electronic media.
“Armed with a solid background in television and radio, she made the historic stop at the newly founded Jamaica Observer in 1992 and immediately showed her class as the paper’s news editor. She was fun to work with and to be around in social circles.
“I remember when we went to the Trinidad Express in Trinidad and Tobago to do the prototype of the Observer in late 1992 how she played that key role in meeting our deadline, even when she and her other five colleagues went almost 48 hours without sleep,” said Helps.
“A tremendous woman has gone to sleep,” he lamented.
Observer Executive Editor, Publications Vernon Davidson, who had joined the newspaper as chief sub-editor ahead of its first publication in March 1993, recalled Embden-Peterson’s journalistic skills and fun personality.
“I remember Carole as a journalist with a nose for news who ran our news desk in those early days of the Observer with efficiency,” he said.
“She demonstrated a determination to get the story and would not accept any excuses. At the same time, she was a wonderful, fun-loving woman who added vibrancy and mirth to the newsroom. She made an invaluable contribution to the public’s acceptance of the Observer that has helped to transform the newspaper into one of this country’s major media houses today. Our condolence to her family and friends,” added Davidson.
Former journalist David Geddes remembered Embden-Peterson as “a beautiful, humble soul” who was very versed in English and journalism.
“We were on a US-funded training programme together,” he said, adding that she was positive, optimistic, and served the profession well, especially in the academic field.