EVEN though they worked behind the scenes in the media industry, the efforts of five veterans were too impressive to go unnoticed.
For their years of service, the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) honoured the experts with framed citations during its Veterans' Luncheon at Alhambra Inn in Kingston on Wednesday. The event forms the third activity in National Journalism Week being observed from January 29 to February 4.
Among the awardees was pre-press technician at the Jamaica Observer Ian Watkis for his 27 years in the business.
Expressing his gratitude for the framed citation, specifically for his accomplishments as a photo-lithographer and pre-press technician in the newspaper industry, Watkis told the Observer that he is sharing the honour with those who have mentored him in the industry.
"I feel great that my work and the hours — late nights, early mornings — paid off. The award I got is not only for me but for those before me who had taught me. This is a really good token," said Watkis with a bright smile during his interview after the luncheon.
When Watkis was given the opportunity to join a team at the Observer in 1995, he brought his expertise in commercial printing to help in setting up printers and ensuring that the newspaper was produced to the highest standards.
The fulfilling parts of the job, he said, is working at nights when his environment is quiet, and seeing error-free publications.
"I enjoy a lot of things. Pre-press is the hub [to] which everything from advertising to editorial is sent and we have to be the lookout team for every error, bad pictures, missing advertisements, and sign off the paper before it gets running," he added.
"It is a challenge, but real enjoyment is when you get a chance to work without noise, because you work late nights when everybody is off to sleep. You get the peace to concentrate 100 per cent and put out a good paper. I enjoy it, especially when you look at the copy of the paper the next morning and see that the paper was perfect," he said.
Cameraman and technical director at Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation and Television Jamaica Clevans Wilson was honoured for his 47 years of service in the field of videography and broadcasting. Librarian at Jamaica Information Service Maxine Shrouder was honoured for 35 years as an information specialist/researcher.
Cameraman, technical director, production manager, and CEO at Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica Keith Campbell was honoured for 35 years in the business. Jamaica's first camerawoman Pat Riley was also honoured for 25 years at Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation TV.
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