THERE was a time when it was quite difficult to find anyone working in the news media in St Lucia who had not had his or her initiation in journalism from working at THE VOICE OF ST. LUCIA.
The overwhelming majority of the good journalists that St Lucia has produced will testify that they all got their start at THE VOICE OF ST. LUCIA.
Current Editorial Consultant and former Managing Editor Guy Ellis recalls his own experience. “I left St Mary’s College one day in 1962 and started work at THE VOICE OF ST. LUCIA the next. As luck would have it, the paper was at the time reorganizing and I walked right into it when I was offered the job of reporter.”
For nine years Ellis worked under the editorship of the late Wilfred St-Clair Daniel and quickly went up the ladder. “The training was all there for the taking, if you had the discipline and the desire to learn and although I had never planned a career as a journalist, once I got a taste of it, I decided that was what I was going to be.”
A short training course at the Trinidad MIRROR in 1966 provided the required impetus for his career, but Ellis insists that it was opportunity that THE VOICE provided for self-training that proved most useful.
“I learned the simple rule that constant reading of other newspapers was itself a means of training, since you get to see how things are done”, Ellis said. “In those days, we received in St Lucia papers like the Trinidad Guardian, The Barbados Advocate and Daily News and The Trinidad Mirror and they all helped me sharpen my writing skills. Also, I was fortunate to have had an Editor who made time to impart knowledge, plus the fact that I was always looking over his shoulder observing the way he did things, whether it was laying out pages or editing.”
Ellis recalled being constantly receiving advice and instruction from St Clair-Daniel during the working day, a practice he said he himself continues to employ to this day in working with younger journalists under his care.
He said: “The newsroom itself must be considered a training ground, and at THE VOICE it was and still is very much that.”
Ellis who has been in journalism for more than 53 years, 30 of them spent at THE VOICE returned to the paper nearly a year ago as Editorial consultant. One of his tasks is to assist in the search for the next editor of the paper and secure its leadership for the future.