December 11, 2010

John Maxwell, R.I.P.

John Maxwell, one of Jamaica's most respected journalists, and an adolescent hero of mine has died. He was 76 years old. 

It was  just a short time ago that Mr. Maxwell had retired from the Jamaica Observer, and in this time of Wiki Leaks and other journalistic scandals, his ethics, wisdom, and courage are surely needed. For if we had more writers like Mr. Maxwell, who was devoted to the discipline of journalism, then, I think, we would be able to make more informed choices.

I have written about John Maxwell several times on this blog, but I think this section from my post The Top Ten Things Every Writer Should Know says it best about Mr. Maxwell's commitment to writing:

“We are delegates of the people…We are …the sensory organs of the body politic….the body politic's immune system… heralding, detecting malignant intrusions...In the circulatory system of the body politic, we are the white corpuscles and the T-cells.”

“Ethical journalism is a human right: that people are entitled to the truth and that journalists are not entitled to tell lies or mislead.”

Walk good, John!

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For more of John's insights, please visit Maxwell's House:

This site presents a collection of columns by John Maxwell, a veteran Jamaican journalist and commentator who has covered Caribbean and international affairs for more than 40 years for the Jamaica Gleaner, the BBC, and the Jamaica Sunday Herald. He is currently a columnist for The Jamaica Observer.

In 1999 Maxwell single-handedly thwarted the Jamaican government's efforts to build houses at Hope, the nation's oldest and best known botanical gardens. His campaigning earned him the region's richest journalism prize in the 2000 Sandals Resort's annual Environmental Journalism Competition. He is also the author of How to Make Our Own News: A Primer for Environmentalists and Journalists.

All columns are copyright © John Maxwell.

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