Veteran communications specialist Evelyn James Barnett has been selected to the Media Council of Bermuda’s Board.
First introduced to the media industry at the tender age of 16 during a career day, Mrs. James-Barnett began formal study after graduating from high school by obtaining her undergraduate degree in Communications with a double minor in journalism and marketing from Indiana State University. Mrs. James Barnett returned to the Island and worked at Bermuda Broadcasting Company, first as a radio deejay, then moved to the newsroom and was responsible for reading early morning news and preparing the groundwork for lunchtime and afternoon newscasts. She later became an assistant producer, and then co-producer and presenter for the local one-hour News & Views Television programme, and was programme director of the religious station FM 105, which was later re-branded Spirit 105.
She became the first civilian public and media relations manager for the Bermuda Police Service and later moved on to Bermuda College where she continues to serve as the communication director for the school.
Of her appointment, Mrs. James Barnett said, “I am honoured to have been chosen and look forward to serving. I am very pleased to be appointed to the Council. In a day when media outlets and journalists are coming under increasing public scrutiny and criticism, it is critical that as a Council, the long-held principles of integrity and objectivity in journalism are preserved, and in the meantime, journalists are allowed to get on with their job of informing their publics.”
Dwayne Caines and Bruce Swan have also been selected to the Board. They now bring the Board members up to eight, which will make it ready to hear cases.
The trio join chair Christian Luthi, Amanda Outerbridge, and previously announced broadcast rep Darlene Livingston, print rep Laura Bell, and digital rep Dejon Simmons.
In addition, Mr Swan, a lawyer at Apex has been selected as deputy chair. He holds a postgraduate diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Leicester. Amongst the courses he completed were Ethics, and Sports and Media Law & Practice.
Mr Swan is involved in the community serving on the executive of Wolves Sports Club and as a member of the Bermuda Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee. He is also the director of Compliance for The Gina Spence Productions Foundation.
“I feel extremely proud of the fact that I have been chosen to assist on a Board that helps to maintain the public’s confidence in the media,” he said.
Mr Caines is the public and media relations manager for the Bermuda Police Service. He has also served as the Acting Director at the Department of Communications and Information for the Government of Bermuda as well as the public relations manager for the Bermuda Department of Tourism in New York. He also served a stint as a middle school teacher and started his post-college career as a news and sports reporter for the Bermuda Broadcasting Company where he also hosted and produced the TV show Youth Talk.
Mr Caines earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an emphasis on public relations from Oakwood College.
Mr Caines, said, “I am delighted and humbled to serve my community.”
Patrina Paynter, chair of the Media Council’s Appointment’s Committee said, “The Appointments Committee had a tough decision as we had nine quality candidates who all would have made excellent board members. Bruce, Dwayne and Evelyn all have familiarity with the media, but more importantly, they espouse a high level of fairness and will be able to examine any complaints against the media in an ethical manner.”
Don Burgess, chief executive officer of the Media Council, said “The Appointments Committee have selected three outstanding individuals to serve on the Board. I am confident they were judge wisely on any cases that may come before them.”