Wednesday, 4 November 2015

STATE OF THE ART: Local stakeholders welcome the first-ever digital publishing conference

HOT TOPIC: Paulwell, Grange, Newman and McClure field questions from a few high-schoolers at Monday's opening session.

The first of its kind in Jamaica, The Online Mind Caribbean digital publishing conference has its opening inside the Jamaica Pegasus’ Legacy Suite on Monday evening, drawing a room full of local and regional media reps, publishing world personnel, and Members of Parliament, including Minister Philip Paulwell and the Opposition’s Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange.

The main aim of the conference, taking place Nov. 2-5, is to increase awareness among Jamaicans about trends and changes in digital publishing, while providing local writers, artists and publishers with tips (via discussions and seminars) on how to evolve with the times. “There are many opportunities in the digital environment, and we want to educate the public on how to make the most of what’s now happening in the publishing world,” explains Dianne Daley McClure, acting chair of Jamcopy, the conference’s chief organizers. “We will also be teaching persons how to take advantage of self-publishing opportunities and highlight the many opportunities for networking as well.”

For her part, Grange feels the conference is both timely and supremely important for Jamaica’s publishing industry. “I think this is an excellent move by Jamcopy, and to have this conference hosted here in Jamaica is just fantastic. I hope the information coming out of this Caribbean conference will contribute to the development of our own digital publishing industry,” Grange noted in an interview with TALLAWAH.

At the same time, the JLP spokeswoman was quick to draw attention to the vast international scope that Jamaican publishers not have at their finger-tips. “We now have access to the world, serious global access that we must make the most of. There are so many doors that can now be opened now that we have the world as our stage. There are so many things to be impacted on when you think of digital publishing. As Jamaicans, our creative minds have no limits when it comes to impacting the world.”

Also set to explore ubiquitous concepts like intellectual property, The Online Mind conference has received tremendous backing from a range of local sponsors and partners, like the Jamaica Library Service, Carlong Publishers, the Jamaica Observer, Power 106 FM, MAPCO Printers and Phase 3 Productions.

Publishing industry veterans like Glynis Salmon, who now works with MAPCO, are over the moon that an event of this nature is unfolding in city Kingston at this time. “It is certainly my hope that people will be awakened to this dynamic phenomenon called digital publishing,” Salmon tells TALLAWAH. “It is the new frontier. Well, it’s an established frontier, but people were avoiding it. But now it’s inescapable.” In Salmon’s book, progressive change is always a good thing. “Print people need have no fear,” she continues, with a chuckle, “because print and digital will soon have to coexist whether we like it or not.”

> INTERVIEW: Jamcopy's General Manager Carol A. Newman in the spotlight

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