I wrote previously about the 18 Degrees North team winning an award from the Press Association of Jamaica. We assumed it was for the stories on the Tivoli incursion. However, upon further investigation, we discovered that the award- The Carl Wint Award for Best Feature Story (Electronic) was for a story I worked on earlier this year.
Myself and colleague Karen, Zahra and Oneil put together a story on the “unattached youth” living on Kingston’s streets. Also called street boys, they wash windscreens, hustle, sell their bodies or do whatever they have to do to survive. They have usually been kicked out of their homes at an early age and do not attend school They have no skills so they cannot support themselves.
One of the things I love about journalism is the privilege of telling people’s stories. The stories that need to be told, by people who are not privileged with a platform to do so. But the very thing I love is also the difficult part of the profession, witnessing and accounting for suffering and then losing contact. I don’t know how the young men in the piece are now faring. It is hard to keep track of them. But I wonder often.
In any case, it is always positive when investigative journalism is recognized and awarded. It is a profession that takes hours and hours of painstaking research, tortured writing and editing and only sometimes leads to change.