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Jamaica Gleaner

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Jamaica Gleaner

The Gleaner Company Ltd is a newspaper publishing enterprise in Jamaica. Established in 1834 by Joshua and Jacob De Cordova, the company's primary product is The Gleaner, a morning broadsheet published six days each week. It also publishes a Sunday paper, the Sunday Gleaner, and an evening tabloid, The Star. Overseas weekly editions are published in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The company is headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica.[1]


The Gleaner Company Limited is a Jamaica-based newspaper company. The principal activities of the Company and its subsidiaries are the publication and printing of newspapers and radio broadcasting. The Company’s subsidiaries include Independent Radio Company Limited (IRC)- Power 106, and Music 99 FM, Gleaner Online Limited, Creek Investments Limited, Selectco Publications Limited, GV Media Group Limited and The Gleaner Company (Canada) Inc. and The Gleaner Company (USA) Limited.

There were approximately 417 direct employees. In addition to these direct employees, the Company’s business depends on contractors and vendors who are business people trading in their own right. Then there are also motor contractors, rural agents, space writers, correspondents, freelance photographers and contributors. In total, some 4,000 people in Jamaica are involved in the Gleaner's operations.


The Gleaner commenced publication in the year 1834. It was founded by two brothers, Jacob and Joshua deCordova.

In 1898 it became a publicly registered company and is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

From 1834 until mid-1969, the Gleaner Company was situated at various locations on Harbour Street, principally at 148–156 Harbour Street, with some departments operating from 146-161 Harbour Street. Continued growth prompted the company to erect the present building at 7 North Street, where construction work on the plant commenced on 1 February 1967. It was completed in 1969 and blessed by religious leaders in the community on 26 May of that year. By Monday, 14 July of the same year, the company conducted its business entirely on the new premises.

As the need became apparent for the western end of the island to be better serviced, a branch office was established in Montego Bay in 1966, and later advertising offices were opened in Ocho Rios and Mandeville.

Gleaner Publications

  • The Gleaner: published Monday through Saturday. The Gleaner, a morning broadsheet, is the flagship of the group, containing news, views, sports and in-depth reporting. The Gleaner contains the following regular sections and features:
Western Focus: provides for the needs of the people lining in the five western parishes, this special edition carries news, features and advertisements from those parishes.
The Flair Magazine: designed to address topics of concerns to women.
The Financial Gleaner: for the business and financial community.
Youthlink: a magazine for the youth, by the youth, addressing educational and other issues of concerns to the youth and highlighting their achievements.
  • The Sunday Gleaner: first published in 1939, The Sunday Gleaner is a weekend paper reaching twice as many readers as the daily paper.
  • The Star: an afternoon tabloid. “The people paper”, it provides investigative reports, news, special columns and stories.
  • The Weekend Star: reviews of Jamaican music, dance, theatre and culture. First published in 1951.
  • Track and Pools: for the horse-racing fraternity. It features computer-calculated tips for each race.
  • The Children’s Own: published each week during the school term.
  • Hospitality Jamaica: Tourist industry news.

Publications in North America

  • The Weekly Star: the Entertainment Paper, covering Jamaican music, arts and theatre, with human interest features and news about community life.
  • The Weekly Gleaner with North America Extra: the top Caribbean newspaper distributed in 22 American and 8 Canadian cities.

Publication in England

  • The Weekly Gleaner (UK): carrying news of interest to West Indians in Britain, the paper offers coverage of important issues and events in both the Caribbean and the United Kingdom.

Around the world

GO-JAMAICA Internet Web Site: The Gleaner’s web site provides people throughout the world with current news and tourism information and for returning residents, a special package explaining customs procedures, duty structures, important guidelines and the like.

GO-LOCAL Internet Web Sites: These web sites feature city/parish news and information. The content and feature areas include community awareness, family, business, education, entertainment and games, news and communication (chats rooms & hot issues forum – discussion areas).

Other products and services

The Gleaner Archive is an online database containing more than 970,000 historical newspaper pages from the Gleaner newspaper. The full-page newspapers, dating back to 1834, are added to the site three months after publication and are searchable by keyword and date, making it easy for subscribers to quickly explore historical content. This database allows subscribers to gain a local perspective on historical news, to research family history or to simply read about persons or events of interest.

The Jamaica Directory of Personalities The Jamaica Directory of Personalities, published by Selectco Publications Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Gleaner Company Limited, is a representation of personalities in Jamaica who have contributed to the country’s development. There continues to be much support for and interest in this publication

Black Pages The Black Pages Directory is a resource guide created to help users find products and services within Canada’s Black and Caribbean communities in the Greater Toronto area and Hamilton Ontario. The directory is also available online at

Social programmes

The Gleaner Company has a long history of public service and is committed to the development of the nations through its corporate projects. Among these are:

The Gleaner Honour Awards -- this is the Company’s annual flagship event programme that recognises individuals and organizations having contributed significantly to improving Jamaica’s quality of life.

The Gleaner’s Children’s Own Spelling Bee, which in 2009 celebrated 51 years with the 2009 champion, Shari-Jo Miller, who represented Jamaica in the Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington DC.

Newspaper in Education -- a programme, which distributes Gleaner publications to 100 schools each year.

PALS Jamaica -- a non-profit organization, established in conjunction with other media houses and private sector companies to teach and encourage conflict resolution in schools.

CSEC Seminars -- The Gleaner provides face-to-face assistance to students and teachers through seminars in Kingston, St. James and Westmoreland each year. Its Youthlink CSEC Seminar is a very popular annual seminar teaching students strategies o earn the best grades on the CSEC examination. In the pre-Easter week of each year, graders of these regional examinations are used to give the students the highest level of exposure and the best opportunity to succeed at the examination. Thousands of students and scores of teachers have benefited free of cost from this programme so far.

Teacher’s Day -- On Teacher’s Day the Gleaner management team engage students in several primary and secondary-level schools as they provided relief for teachers in honour of Teacher’s Day.

Crime Stop -- In association with the other media houses, the Gleaner publishes information relating to crimes to assist the police.

Award programmes

The Governor General’s Achievement Award, co-sponsored by the Gleaner Company in association with Jamaica National Building Society, Scotia Jamaica Building Society, Victoria Mutual Building Society and First Caribbean International Building Society, gives recognition to a person from each parish who has secured social and economical mobility in spite of challenging circumstances, and has been involved in community outreach. Youth Awards are given to persons under 35 years old who embody the principles of excellence in various fields of endeavour.

Other awards programmes sponsored by the Gleaner Company included the NCB Nation Builders Award, First Global Vision Awards, the JIM Manager of the Year Awards and the Youth View Awards.

Entertainment events

In 2009 The Star increased its promotional involvement in the Digicel Rising Stars programme. The contestants visited the Gleaner Company and video clips of this were televised over a period of one week on TVJ. An Editors forum was held with the group and a Star Celebrity Vendor promotion was conducted with the top 3 contestants in Half-Way-Tree.

Other entertainment events sponsored by the company included the Shaggy & Friends Dare to Care Concert, dancing Dynamites, Osmosis, Miss Jamaica World, Ity and Fancy Cat Show, take me away, Jam Reggae Opera Yes, and Downtown Carnival.

Restaurant Week, organized by SSCO in association with the Gleaner, was another successful Gleaner sponsorship. The event offers discounted dining in restaurants for one week in November of each year and has become an important part of Jamaica’s entertainment calendar. For the first time in 2009, restaurants in Montego Bay and Ochio Rios were included in the promotion, necessitating the change of its name from ‘Kingston Restaurant Week’ to ‘Restaurant Week’.

Education and youth programmes

Each year, through the Burger King National Schools Debate, a number of students are given the opportunity to hone their research, analytical and presentation skills in the annual Burger King National Schools Debates competition. The Gleaner, through its Youthlink magazine, has been a long-standing partner of the programme.

Other Education and Youth programmes supported by the Gleaner Company included the TVJ All Together Sing Competition, The JLS National Reading Competition, Choices Expo and its Publications, and JTA activities.

Economic stimulation

In December 2009, The Gleaner Company Limited partnered with the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation and other organizations to host ‘Christmas in the City: Downtown Kingston Comes Alive’. The objective was to stimulate economic activity in Downtown Kingston in response to the reduction in business activity.Widely promoted and covered by Gleaner properties, this one-day event was well received by merchants and shoppers filled the streets in a festive and safe environment. Others have approached The Gleaner Company with an interest in replicating the project.

The Gleaner Company continues its support of trade expos and activities of organizations such as the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, The Jamaica Stock Exchange and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) in their pursuit of supporting national economic objectives.

Corporate awards

The Gleaner Company received the Award for Excellence at the Pineapple Ball, Ritz Carlton Rose Hall in Montego Bay on October 3, 2009.

Notable years in the life of the company

1834 September 13: first publication was a 4-page weekly newspaper printed at 66 West Harbour Street along with the Mercantile Intelligencer. It began life as The Gleaner and Weekly Compendium of News, published on Saturdays only, at a quarterly subscription rate of 10 shillings in Kingston, and 13 shillings and four pence in the rural areas. December: changed the name to The Gleaner: A weekly family newspaper devoted to literature, morality, the arts and sciences, and amusements.

1836 Merger of deCordova’s Advertising Sheet with The Gleaner to produce a 4-page paper, published every day except Sundays.

1875 The Gleaner was printed on a steam-driven press.

1882 Fire destroyed its plant at 148 Harbour Street and The Gleaner was printed at The Government Printing Office for two weeks.

1897 June 10: The Gleaner became a public company.

1902 The Gleaner increased its size to 16-pages and sold for one penny.

1907 January 14: An earthquake and subsequent fire destroyed the building on Harbour Street, four days later the newspaper was on the streets again, and printing being done at the Government Printing Office for a time.

1908 Rapid expansion with the introduction of three linotype machines.

1912 A Photo-engraving department was installed.

1917 Hoe Rotary Press was installed.

1920 Motor delivery routes were established.

1925 The Pink Sheet magazine was added to the Saturday Gleaner.

1939 September 10: The first Sunday Gleaner was published, right after World War II started.

1950 June 11: The first Children's Own newspaper was published.

1951 July: The first Overseas Gleaner (now The Weekly Gleaner) was published. November 24: The first Star was published.

1959 The Company installed a Crabtree rotary press, which allowed the Gleaner to print nine(9) colours and the Star six(6) colours.

1960 Branch offices were established, the first was located in Montego Bay.

1962 The Weekend Star was introduced, 24-pages with an eight (8) -page entertainment section, priced at three (3) pence.

1963 The Sunday Magazine was added to The Sunday Gleaner.

1964 Gleaner shares quoted on the Jamaica Stock Market at 12 shillings per five-shilling share.

1969 The Gleaner “The Old Lady of Harbour Street” began operating at 7 North Street, Central Kingston, its current location, where a six-unit Crabtree rotary press was installed.

1982 Major computer system installed - making it one of the first newspapers in the Caribbean to switch over to new technology.

1992 7 December: Name change from The Daily Gleaner to The Gleaner.

1993 The Company signed an agreement with System Integrators, Inc. (SII) to provide news publishing solutions.

1994 The Company installed a 16-unit Goss Urbanite press and a new Pre-Press system with facility to fully paginate each newspaper page.

1997 February 16: Launch of web site at June 9, The Gleaner Company Ltd. begun printing of The Miami Herald - International Satellite Edition on daily basis. This operation discontinued on March 31, 1999

1999 March 31, The Gleaner stopped printing The Miami Herald - International Satellite Version

2000 April: The Story of The Gleaner: Memoirs and Reminiscences of the newspaper was published.

  • June: The Digital Laboratory was established.
  • September Gleaner started subscription route in Mandeville
  • October New telephone system, Nortel Meridian PBX, was installed.

2001 Local websites launched go-Kingston and go-Montego Bay.

  • February The Gleaner’s evening tabloid, The Star, staged its fist inaugural Star Awards-

recognizing excellence in local music.

  • March 20 the first issue of Youthlink magazine launched.

2002 London Extra first published - October 25

  • Canada Extra first published - December 19
  • Portmore Star first published - January 19

2004 Hospitality Jamaica was first published. (October 13)


External links

  • The Daily Gleaner
  • Jamaica Publishing
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