Late Editor Emeritus of the Nation Publishing Company Limited Harold Hoyte has joined the “pantheon of media champions” in the Caribbean Media Hall Of Fame. Hoyte was one of two outstanding Caribbean media practitioners honoured posthumously by the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) on Monday night during the opening of its 54th General Assembly in Antigua.
The other inductee was Jamaican feminist, activist and writer Una Marson, who according to the citation, “blazed a trail for a generation of women to follow in media” and became the first black woman to be employed by the BBC during World War II.
The awardees were selected in accordance with the Hall Of Fame criterion of having attained outstanding achievements accumulated over a period of 20 or more years in service to media at regional, national and international levels.
“Harold Hoyte was not just a journalist, he was a true pioneer and trailblazer in the field of journalism. His lifelong dedication to journalism and his contribution to the profession have had an indelible mark on the media landscape of Barbados and the wider Caribbean,” chief executive officer of the Nation Group Noel Wood said in his citation read for Hoyte.
“His exceptional career spanned over six decades and during that time he established himself as a renowned journalist, editor and leader in the industry” Wood said of the late Barbadian media giant who began his career as a copy editor at the Advocate newspaper in 1959 and quickly rose through the ranks, “demonstrating his talent for writing and editing and his unwavering commitment to the highest standards of journalistic ethics and professionalism.”
Hoyte worked as a freelance journalist at the Globe and Mail in Canada; at Toronto Telegram, and also served as editor of the Contrast newspaper, bringing to light issues of importance to the Caribbean community in Canada.
In November 1973, he co-founded the Nation along with a group of other black Barbadians and served as the Nation’s first board chairman, editor-in-chief and president. He was Editor Emeritus when he passed away in 2017 at age 77.
The Hall Of Fame plaque was presented to Hoyte’s widow Noreen, by Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda, Steadroy Benjamin.
President of CBU, Dr Claire Grant told regional media personnel present at the opening ceremony “the continuing existence of legacy media is at stake,” but said the future was “filled with remarkable possibilities to embrace and understand and allow the business of media in the region to keep pace with what is happening globally.”
Basing his address on the theme of Social Justice, president of the Caribbean Development Bank Dr Gene Leon spoke of the media’s role in the advancement of social justice.
“We have to embrace social justice because social justice captures all of the elements the focus on people and the inequities that exist. The role of doing this, which is partly to change the social psyche, falls squarely in the domain, the province of influence of the media.”