Barbara Gloudon, journalist extraordinaire and great Jamaican

Barbara Gloudon

We a great sense of loss following the death of our esteemed colleague, Mrs. Barbara Gloudon, on Wednesday evening.

Ms. Gloudon wrote a column for this newspaper, beginning with our third issue on Sunday, March 21, 1993 until April 10, 2020, when health issues forced her to quit.

Over the years, our readers have benefited from his thought-provoking views on a wide range of national issues, his ability to twist sentences and “tek bad ting mek laugh”, and his vast and very rich knowledge. of the cultural and political history of Jamaica.

We at this newspaper have found that she is always willing to share her experience as part of her efforts to develop young journalists into masters of the craft.

Her advice was much appreciated, as we knew that Mrs. Gloudon was an old hand in the profession and was well respected in Jamaica and among the large population of Jamaicans living abroad.

Ms Gloudon will be remembered by many Jamaicans as the host of Radio Jamaica’s mid-morning talk show Hotline, as she was the one they turned to with their tetras on just about any aspect of life, or simply to have an intelligent discussion on matters that concern them.

Older Jamaicans, however, will remember that she began her career in journalism at the Gleaner in the early 1950s and, over time, established herself as the equal of the best practitioners in the profession. Indeed, Ms. Gloudon was the second editor of the flagship Children’s Own newspaper which targets elementary school children.

Apart from Ms Gloudon’s journalistic accomplishments, however, she excelled in theatre, serving as president of the Little Theater Movement (LTM) for decades, and was a screenwriter for 29 of the LTM’s annual pantomimes between 1969 and 2017.

We also recall that she served as Deputy Director of Tourism of Jamaica, after which she founded her own PR company.

That Ms Gloudon was invested with the Order of Distinction in 1975 for her contribution to journalism was no surprise, nor was she made a Member of the Order of Jamaica in 1992.

His induction into the Press Association of Jamaica Hall of Fame in 2013 was well deserved, as it capped a distinguished career fueled by his unwavering belief that journalism has a very important role in the development of the country and of his people.

Our tribute to Mme Gloudon would not be complete without reproducing the welcome she gave to this newspaper in her first column and the advice she gave:

“Welcome to the Jamaica Observer. The birth of a newspaper is always exciting, with the promise of new avenues of expression. As a newspaper lover myself, I must say that I find the choice of the currently offered print support is all ready. May I wish my colleagues respect to the gods of spelling, syntax and all the other gods… And not to stress this too much, I recommend to everyone that old newsroom motto: “Get the facts.”

A brilliant chapter in Jamaican journalism has come to an end. Ms Barbara Gloudon joined her husband, Ancile, a former actor, food technologist and orchid enthusiast, who died just over a week ago on April 30. May their souls rest in peace.