Media colleagues pay tribute to late journalist Janice Budd
The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has hailed the contribution of journalist and communications professional Janice Budd, who passed away Tuesday after a brief battle with cancer.
The PAJ is remembering Budd as “one of the hardest-working and most talented people in the business.”
“Her death is a significant loss to the profession, as well as a deeply personal loss to the many people whose lives she touched,” said Dionne Jackson Miller, President of the PAJ, in a news release.
According to Jackson Miller, Budd was a joy to work with.
“She was multi-talented, and moved seamlessly between radio, TV and print, a testament to her core skills of news reporting and writing. She was an exceptionally talented writer, an excellent editor and excelled at almost every task in the newsroom, from radio or TV presenting, to hard news reporting and feature and documentary writing,” added Jackson Miller, who worked with Budd in the RJR Newsroom.
She’s described as a proud graduate of Westwood High School and the Caribbean School of Media and Communications, CARIMAC, where she pursued a communications degree.
The PAJ noted that during her more than two decades in journalism, Budd worked at most of Jamaica’s major media houses, including the Jamaica Information Service, where she began her career and spent three years, and where her duties included anchoring JIS News, and working as Features/Show Creator/Producer and Presenter/ Parliamentary Reporter.
She spent a short time at the former Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation where she produced and presented news, and produced the weekly televised current affairs discussion programme, “Perspective”, hosted by Cliff Hughes. This was followed by six years at CVM TV where she entered the living rooms of Jamaicans every evening as one of the station’s news anchors, and where she was also a senior editor and reporter for CVM’s prime time news package, “Newswatch.”
While at CVM, she also produced, hosted and reported for the award-winning investigative news series “Probe.”
Budd spent 10 years at RJR/TVJ, where her accomplishments included creating, producing and presenting the award-winning human interest/ current affairs feature programme “On Assignment.” During her final two years at RJR, Budd was the Radio News Editor, after which she left to take up duties at the Jamaica Observer newspaper as Sunday Editor.
During her time in media, Budd won several PAJ awards for journalistic excellence, one of the most recent being the 2011 Carl Wint prize for Human Interest Feature stories; which she shared with Observer feature editor Kimone Thompson. The award was for a series on mental health called 'Matters of the Mind.’
“Apart from being an excellent journalist, Janice was a generous, loving person who made friends wherever she went,” said PAJ Vice President Karen Madden, who was a close friend.
“She was also, however, an outspoken, feisty, no-nonsense woman who spoke up for what she believed in. She was passionate about issues involving children and the environment, both themes that often figured in her work, and she loved having the opportunity to bring people’s stories to life and to national attention,” Madden added.
Vernon Davidson, Executive Editor, Publications at the Jamaica Observer, where Budd joined in November 2010, reportedly said of the late journalist: "Although she spent most of her career in broadcast journalism, she adapted to print with amazing speed and ease, so much so that I once told her in jest that the writer in her was being suppressed during her time in electronic media.
“Janice's stewardship of the Sunday Observer resulted in the paper publishing some of its best investigative pieces, especially those written by her,” Davidson added.
Loop News executive editor Al Edwards, who worked with Budd at the Jamaica Observer, said: "Janice was a much-admired professional who was a credit to both Jamaican journalism and the Observer. I would like to further add that she was very personable and a great presence in the news room.
"She had an even-tempered demeanor, was a voice of reason and could be counted upon to give you an insightful perspective," Edwards continued.
Veteran journalist Karyl Walker, who worked with Budd at RJR and the Jamaica Observer, said he was moved to tears when he received news that she passed away.
"I heard them say that a man is not supposed to cry... I cried unashamedly when the reality hit me that I will no longer hear that infectious laughter, lock horns with or just lyme with my dear friend, Janice Budd," Walker wrote on Facebook., adding "You made an indelible mark on my heart. My sister and friend. Nobody can do it like you. I just cant stop loving you."
Rohan Powell recalled his days with Budd at RJR, noting that, "She would make a dull story transform into one worth listening and watching. A voice so smooth......pleasing to the ear....Janice was a champion for what we could describe as a jazzy lead for a news story."
In 2013, Budd left journalism to pursue other opportunities at NCB and then at the Shipping Association of Jamaica, but remained a member of the PAJ, and continued to provide the organisation with support and encouragement.