Jamaica is a country with a rich colorful vibrancy and culture. This is reflected in the daily newspapers since there is always something surprising to discover. It may be the latest national debate or just fresh and informative local and international news. Whether you are home or abroad, you can depend on these papers for the latest news, sports, business, politics, commentary, entertainment and much more. The Gleaner is mostly seen as the leader in news print in Jamaica. You can read the papers online courtesy of our two major Jamaican newspapers. See links below!
The Major Newspapers in Jamaica:
1. The Jamaica Gleaner (www.jamaica-gleaner.com)
2. Jamaica Observer (www.jamaicaobserver.com)
Other Jamaican Newspapers are:
- The Star
- The Sunday Herald
- North Coast Times
- Jamaica Sunrise (Jamaica Online Newspaper)
- Western Mirror
History of The Gleaner newspapers:
Jamaica newspaper history was made in 1830’s when the brothers, Jacob and Joshua deCordova launched The Daily Gleaner. It all started at an important time in the island’s history, when the period of slavery was coming to an end and there was an atmosphere of inevitable change. The deCordova brothers used it at the time mainly as advertising sheets to publicize goods for sale. In 1834, the first production of “The Gleaner” started.
The first Gleaner, known as The Gleaner and Weekly Compendium of News was printed on Saturdays and sold to subscribers for ten shillings per quarter in the city and thirteen shillings per quarter in rural areas. The first issue included a mission statement of sorts with the editors promising to “please, amuse and to inform while holding domestic life sacred no attacks on private lives would be made.” Three months later the paper’s name changed to The Gleaner. It became a weekly family Newspaper devoted to Literature, Morality, the Arts and Sciences and Amusements. Two years later the paper expanded to 4 pages and was being published daily except for Sundays. Advertisement sheets were distributed for free and subscribers could get the paper by 6 a.m.
From 1834 until mid-1969, The Gleaner Company was situated at various locations on Harbour Street; mainly at 148–156 Harbour Street with some departments operating from 146-161 Harbour Street. The continued growth motivated the company to construct the present building at 7 North Street, where construction work on the plant commenced on February 1, 1967. It was completed in 1969. It was blessed by religious leaders in the community on May 26, of the same year. By Monday, July 14, 1969, the company conducted its business entirely on the new premises.
Although the paper became a public company in 1897, Michael deCordova served as managing director until 1948. By that time the Daily Gleaner was involved in charitable causes, and in book publishing, having started to print the “Gleaner Geography and History of Jamaica” in the 1920s for use in schools nationally. It also created its own imprint, Pioneer Press, which published books by Claude McKay and Tom Redcam, Jamaica’s first Poet Laureate. The Children’s Own started publication in 1950 and the Overseas Weekly Gleaner began in 1951 as did The Star.
Today, Jamaica has multiple newspapers, magazines and journals including the Gleaner, Star, Observer, and Herald, and various media and publishing houses. The Gleaner has definitely been a rich part of the Jamaican history and elevated cultural awareness in many aspects. It continues its growth and contribution to Jamaica and have earned a well deserve credibility and respect that has a ever current echo of the people’s voices. The paper has spread internationally somewhat to keep you posted wherever you are in the world.
History of the Jamaica Observer:
The Jamaica Observer is a daily newspaper published in our very own Kingston, Jamaica. The paper is owned by Butch Stewart, who chartered the paper in January 1993 as a competitor to Jamaica’s oldest daily paper, The Gleaner. The Observer founding editor is Desmond Allen who is currently its executive editor – operations. At the time, it became Jamaica’s fourth national newspaper. In first began as a weekly newspaper in March 1993, and in December 1994 it began daily publication. The Observer was moved to a larger and more equipped facility in 2004 as part of it’s tenth anniversary celebrations. The readership continues to grow over the years and it has become a favorite for many. The following is an excerpt from a publication in March 1993:
“Jamaican entrepreneurs Gordon “Butch” Stewart and Delroy Lindsay have announced their partnership in newspaper publishing, pledging to invest as much as necessary to insure the survival of the Jamaica Observer in a market that has proved a veritable graveyard for competitors of the 158-year-old Gleaner newspaper. The project is expected to require investment of at least J$100 million, which Lindsay said would all be met from equity, leaving the paper free of debt. The paper will go daily within a year, he says: Stewart, who controls the Sandals chain of Caribbean hotels, holds 45% of the stock through his ATL Group….”