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ISSUES....
Inside, confidential and off the record

 

 

 

 

 

Tribute to a Energy Journalist

 

MEP Publishers

David Renwick



Tribute to a media pioneer: The media has lost a pioneer
with the passing of Caribbean journalist David Renwick.

 

 

An enduring figure in the field of journalism, Renwick was closely associated with the storied history of this newspaper. Like many of the journalists who banded together to pioneer the Trinidad Express as the first fully locally-owned newspaper, David had worked at the British-owned Trinidad Daily Mirror up to the point of its collapse in 1966. As the Mirror's features editor he launched the entertainment magazine Calypso which stirred national outrage from the sedate sector who found its coverage of Port of Spain's clubs and nightlife too risque´ for their taste. In the Trinidad Express Story writer Raoul Pantin describes the “scream of horror” from the PNM Women's League. In 1972, Renwick became editor of the Express following the departure of Owen Baptiste, founding editor of this newspaper in 1967.

Soon, however, his entrepreneurial impulses and passion for writing and reporting would lead him away from running newsrooms and managing staff, although he would later be wooed back for a stint with Newsday in the 1990s. By then he had already carved his name as a pioneer in energy journalism for which he was honoured by a grateful nation with the Hummingbird Medal (Gold) award in 2008. His foray into energy journalism followed the 1974 OPEC oil embargo which dramatically altered the T&T economy and opened up a massive information void to which he was uniquely equipped to respond. In contrast to many of his media colleagues who left to explore burgeoning opportunities in corporate communications, David turned himself into a content producer, working as a regular freelance writer for the Express and correspondent for other publications including the international industry publication, Oil & Gas Journal. He also ventured into publishing with his friend Jeremy Taylor, founder of Media and Editorial Projects (MEP) Ltd, with whom he co-founded ENERGY Caribbean.

His reputation made him the go-to media personality for energy sector officials and executives. Until relatively recently, he dominated the field as the only journalist completely dedicated to covering the energy sector which he did with diligence. His career outlived that of many government ministers, dating back to Errol Mahabir who headed the ministry of petroleum and mines, forerunner to today's Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries.

Many are known to have leaned on David Renwick's storehouse of information. In a career of over 60 years, he witnessed the media industry's expansion from two daily newspapers, two radio stations and one television station into a multi-media sector with multiple players.

Although he explored options wherever possible he did so within the context of a singular pursuit of energy journalism, weaving in and out of generations of journalists, many of whom were in awe of his experience until they encountered his disarming and curious nature. Three Wednesdays ago, on December 4, David Renwick's last column appeared in the Express Business under the headline “NGC must change to survive”. We join the media fraternity and the national community in expressing our gratitude for David Renwick's contribution to our profession and to the nation and offer our condolences to his family.

 

Tecnavia / Trinidad Express / Dec. 21, 2019

 

Original article


ISSUES.... 12 / 30 2019

Inside, confidential and off the record

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