As far as Jamaican radio goes, Paula Anne Porter Jones has one of the smoothest and most easily distinguished voices.
Her trademark cool demeanor, the ease with which she speaks, and the outstanding command of the language have been some of the notable features that have landed her in the hearts of many Jamaicans for the 15 years she has been involved with broadcasting.
She is the familiar voice on the Cable and Wireless’ voicemail system, as well as on Air Jamaica’s in flight programme ‘Sky Writings'. She has also voiced all of their North American and Caribbean campaigns. Added to this, she has voiced dozens of local commercials. As a Master of Ceremonies, she has hosted some of the island’s most prestigious events, such as the World Cup Cricket Opening Ceremony, the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, Reggae Sumfest, and a myriad of other public and private events.
For the past several years, she has been a Voice and Speech lecturer at the Creative Production and Training Centre, as well as offering private consultant services to companies and businesses.
She was born in Jamaica’s old capital Spanish Town St Catherine, but grew up in May pen Clarendon. Her early school years were spent at the May Pen Infant School and then the St Thomas Moore Prep school. Before she was 10 years old, her family moved to Kingston where she enrolled at the Holy Childhood High School.
At High School, Paula’s trademark was her high level of activity. She confesses she became involved in everything there was to become involved in, from athletics to academics.
“I’ve always been like that. I volunteered for several things in school that no one else did. Seminars, presentations you name it, I just did them,” she states.
It was this initiative that got her proverbial feet wet in the broadcasting world so to speak, and sewed the seeds that have borne the fruits of today. Teachers at her school would make daily announcements to the students through the PA system. Paula volunteered to do it one day, and unofficially took over the duty every day for her remaining years there.
As she became accustomed to speaking to mass audiences, she responded to a notice from the Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC) that they were conducting free speech classes. She grabbed the opportunity, only to learn they were also looking for presenters for the hit teen show ‘Rappin’.
Rappin was the turning point for her. The teen show was novel, new and innovative, and it cemented itself into the psyche of thousands of teens who needed an outlet to express themselves. As the show grew, so did her popularity and her competence in broadcasting.
The next logical step was to formally study the craft she was actively involved in, so she enrolled at the University Of The West Indies’ Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication, CARIMAC, to study television.
Her active instincts kicked in again, and Paula began to play Volleyball for a local club, upping her game to eventually represent the University and now Jamaica.
Her thrust into radio was somewhat incidental. While on campus, she responded to the call of FAME FM seeking on air presenters. She landed the job and grew in the position to have her own afternoon time slot, and to become a senior producer there as well. She currently co-hosts the Jamaican Morning radio programme weekdays on RJR94 FM.