The Virgin Islands Daily News

The Virgin Islands Daily News is a daily newspaper in the United States Virgin Islands headquartered on the island of Saint Thomas. In 1995 the newspaper became one of the smallest ever to win journalism's most prestigious award, the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The newspaper is published every day except Sunday. The paper maintains its main office on Saint Thomas and a smaller bureau on Saint Croix.[2]

The Virgin Islands Daily News
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Daily News Publishing Co.
Headquarters9155 Estate Thomas
St. Thomas, V.I. 00802
Circulation17,000 Daily[1]

Business history

The Virgin Islands Daily News was founded by Ariel Melchior Sr. in 1930, with business partner J. Antonio Jarvis leveraging a tourist brochure financed with a bank loan cosigned by friend Adolph Achille Gereau. With the success of the brochure he was able to attract further advertising and convince his family and the bank to extend a larger loan. He first produced an updated guide to the island and with the proceeds bought a second hand press. With the profits of the newspaper, he repaid the bank. Melchior was just 21 at the time. The paper was founded with the motto "More and Better Business for St. Thomas." In 1940, Melchior bought out Jarvis's share of the company.[3]

In 1978, after serving as publisher for nearly 48 years, Melchior sold the newspaper to the Gannett Company for $3.5 million.[4] Melchior is credited with instilling the newspapers aggressive journalism. After the sale, Melchior remained involved with the paper.[3] Under Gannett, the paper won a Pulitzer Prize, but in 1997, Jeffrey L. Prosser, a businessman of whom the newspaper had been critical offered Gannett $17 million for the paper.[4]

On July 31, 2006 Prosser's company Innovative Communications Corp. declared bankruptcy after defaulting on loans. In February 2007, a trustee was appointed to manage the assets, including the Virgin Island Daily News.[5] Times-Shamrock Communications bought the paper in 2008.

In October 2014, Times-Shamrock announced it was selling the paper to Virgin Islands businessman Archie Nahigian.[6]

Journalism awards

In 1994, the paper had a circulation of 16,400 and a staff of 18 full-time editors and reporters. In June 1994 the newspaper began to inquire about why there had been little investigation into the death of a policeman known for his integrity. The reports resulted in a 10-part series "Virgin Island Crime: Who's to Blame?"[7] The series determined that the police were catching too few criminals, that prosecutors were losing too many cases, and that judges were handing out light sentences. The sole reporter of the series, Melvin Claxton, received such severe threats that he relocated his family to the U.S. mainland.[8]

The series created a stir on the islands. After the articles ran, a new police commissioner and attorney general were appointed for the U.S. Virgin Islands, and a top narcotics official quit.[8]

In 1995, the series was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The Pulitzer Committee made the citation: "Awarded to The Virgin Islands Daily News, St. Thomas, for its disclosure of the links between the region's rampant crime rate and corruption in the local criminal justice system. The reporting, largely the work of Melvin Claxton, initiated political reforms."[9]

The Virgin Islands Daily News, with limited resources, beat out the much larger Charlotte Observer and the Philadelphia Inquirer to claim the prize. The Virgin Islands Daily News is the third-smallest newspaper to ever win the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the smallest being The Point Reyes Light in Marin County, California. [10]

The paper has continued to pursue award-winning journalism. In 2003, the Society of Professional Journalists awarded the Virgin Islands Daily News with its public service award for small circulation newspapers for an investigation into the use of deadly force by Virgin Islands police.[11] In 2007 the paper won the Associated Press Managing Editors Award for Public Service in the small circulation category for its investigation into incompetence and corruption in the police department's major crimes unit.[12] It also won the Capitolbeat in-depth reporting award in 2007, for a special section about outgoing Gov. Charles Turnbull.[13]

In 2015, The Virgin Islands Daily News nominated the government of the Virgin Islands for the 'Black Hole Award' given by The Society of Professional Journalists. SPJ launched the Black Hole Award "to highlight the most heinous violations of the public's right to know." It awarded its fifth annual Black Hole Award to the V.I. government for "its bald and breathtaking contempt of the public’s right to know."


  1. ^ "Product Description". Archived from the original on 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  2. ^ "The Virgin Islands Daily News, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper". Archived from the original on 2007-08-17. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  3. ^ a b "Virgin Islands newsman Melchior dies at age 93". Associated Press. 2002-07-29.
  4. ^ a b Michelle Faul (1997-10-21). "Critics say sale of paper to governor's ally threatens press freedom". Associated Press.
  5. ^ Mat Probasco (2007-02-15). "U.S. Virgin Islands will not explore buying bankrupt telecom". Associated Press.
  6. ^ "Times-Shamrock sells Virgin Islands Daily News". Associated Press. October 2, 2014. Archived from the original on October 9, 2014.
  7. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes: Journalism and the Arts Bestow a Most Prestigious Honor". The New York Times. 1995-04-19.
  8. ^ a b "Virgin Islands Daily News Wins Pulitzer for Public Service". Associated Press. 1995-04-18.
  9. ^ "1995 Pulitzer Prize Winners". Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  10. ^ David Shaw (2002-12-15). "Media Matters; Yes, papers chase Pulitzers, but society benefits from it". The Los Angeles Times.
  11. ^ "SPJ Announces Recipients of 2003 Sigma Delta Chi Awards". Society of Professional Journalists. 2004-04-13. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  12. ^ "APME Announces Awards". Associated Press via Editor & Publisher. 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  13. ^ "2007 Contest Winners". Capitolbeat. 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2010-09-21.

External links

2008 United States Virgin Islands general election

Legislative elections were held in United States Virgin Islands on 4 November 2008.

Barbara A. Petersen

Barbara A. Petersen is the administrator for Saint Thomas and Water Island, United States Virgin Islands.

Derek Hodge

Derek M. Hodge (October 5, 1941 – May 31, 2011) was a U.S. Virgin Islander politician and lawyer. Hodge served as the Lieutenant Governor of the United States Virgin Islands for two terms from 1987 to 1995 under Governor Alexander Farrelly. The Virgin Islands Daily News called him a "towering figure in local politics," referring to his political career, which spanned several decades.

Independent Citizens Movement

The Independent Citizens Movement (or Independent Citizens' Movement) is a political party in the U.S. Virgin Islands that was founded by Virdin C. Brown and Steve O'Reilly in 1968. Its symbol is the torch. The party advocates for grassroots participation in politics, as well as more autonomy for the U.S. Virgin Islands, similar to the commonwealth status of Puerto Rico.

Innovative Communications Corporation

Innovative Communications Corporation provides landline and mobile telephone, DSL and cable television services in the United States Virgin Islands. It also operates cable TV services in Sint Maarten, Martinique, Guadeloupe, the British Virgin Islands, and France.Innovative also owned the Virgin Islands Daily News until 2008, when it was purchased by Times-Shamrock Communications.

Jackpot (unfinished film)

Jackpot is an unfinished film that began shooting in 1974 and shut down in 1975. Terence Young directed Millard Kaufman's screenplay. William D. Alexander produced for Paramount Pictures. Richard Burton, James Coburn, and Charlotte Rampling starred.

List of breweries in the United States Virgin Islands

The following is a list of United States Virgin Islands-based breweries.

List of newspapers in the United States Virgin Islands

This is a list of newspapers in the United States Virgin Islands.

St. Croix Avis – Christiansted, St. Croix

St. John Tradewinds – St. John

The Virgin Islands Daily News – Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

The Herald – Christiansted, St. Croix

Lu Elliott

Lu Elliot (August 3, 1924 – March 5, 1987) was a jazz and blues singer and recording artist. She also recorded some soul songs. Some of the artists she worked with were BB King, The Duke Ellington Orchestra and the Sam Williams Express.

Melvin Claxton

Melvin L. Claxton (born 1958) is an American journalist, author, and entrepreneur. He has written about crime, corruption, and the abuse of political power. He is best known for his 1995 series of investigative reports on corruption in the criminal justice system in the U.S. Virgin Islands and its links to the region's crime rate. His series earned the Virgin Islands Daily News the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1995. Another series by Claxton, this time on the criminal justice system in Detroit, was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003. Claxton has won a number of national reporting awards and his work has been honored several times by the Associated Press managing editors. He is the founder and CEO of Epic 4D, an educational video game company.

Peter Josie

Peter Josie is an inactive Saint Lucia politician and trade unionist. He served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1974 to 1982 and again from 1987 to 1997. He served as President of the Seaman and Waterfront Workers Union, the National Farmers Union, the Technical and Allied Workers Union. He was leader of the St Lucia Labour Party and the Organisation for National Enlightenment.

Philippines Fed Cup team

The Philippines Fed Cup team is a tennis team that represents the Philippines in Fed Cup competition. They are governed by the Philippine Tennis Association.

Ruby M. Rouss

Ruby M. Rouss (3 December 1921 – 8 May 1988) was an American citizen born on Saint Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Her career was marked by a series of firsts. She was the first Virgin Islander in the Women's Army Corps (WAC), first African-American woman to serve on General Eisenhower’s staff, and first black woman assigned as a permanent staff of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. After a 20-year military career, she retired from service and became the first woman parole officer in St. Croix. In 1973, she was elected as one of the first women to serve in the Virgin Island's legislature. In 1981, Rouss served as the first female President of the Virgin Islands Legislature, becoming the first black woman to lead a legislature in the United States. She was elected to serve a second presidency of the Senate in 1987 and died the following year. Posthumously, she was inducted into the Virgin Island's Women's Hall of Fame and a housing project in St. Croix was renamed in her honor.

Same-sex marriage in the United States Virgin Islands

As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, which found that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, same-sex marriage in the United States Virgin Islands is legal. On June 30, the Governor Kenneth Mapp announced that the territorial government would comply with the ruling, and on July 9 he signed an executive order that requires the territory’s government to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples throughout the territory. The first marriage licenses were granted on July 21, 2015, after the first same-sex couples to apply for such licenses did so on July 13, 2015, beginning the 8-day waiting period between applying for and receiving marriage licenses.

Tregenza Roach

Tregenza A. Roach (born August 7, 1959) is an American politician, the 12th and current Lieutenant Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, since 2019. He previously served as a senator in the Legislature of the Virgin Islands.

Tropical Storm Christine (1973)

Tropical Storm Christine was the easternmost forming Atlantic tropical cyclone on record. Forming as a tropical depression over the country of Guinea on August 25, 1973, the system tracked nearly due west for several days before intensifying into a tropical storm on August 28. However, the National Hurricane Center did not issue their first advisory on the system until its intensity was confirmed by a reconnaissance aircraft on August 30. Turning slightly northward, Christine gradually intensified, attaining its peak strength on September 2. At that time, the storm had winds of 70 mph (110 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 996 mbar (hPa; 29.41 inHg), just below hurricane status. Shortly after, increasing wind shear caused the system to quickly weaken. By September 4, Christine had been downgraded to a tropical depression as it tracked through the Leeward Islands. After degenerating into a tropical wave, the cyclone's remnants fully dissipated on September 6.

Although Christine had weakened to a tropical depression by the time it passed through the Leeward Islands, heavy rains from the storm, peaking at 11.74 in (298 mm), caused flooding in Puerto Rico. Over 600 homes were flooded and dozens of families had to be evacuated from several towns. One person died from electrocution after stepping on a downed wire on a flooded street. Minor damage was recorded in the Virgin Islands, mainly downed power lines which left roughly 500 people without telephone service.

United States Virgin Islands

The United States Virgin Islands (USVI; also called the US Virgin Islands or American Virgin Islands), officially the Virgin Islands of the United States, is a group of islands in the Caribbean and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.

The U.S. Virgin Islands consists of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, and many other surrounding minor islands. The total land area of the territory is 133.73 square miles (346.36 km2). The territory's capital is Charlotte Amalie on the island of St. Thomas.

Previously known as the Danish West Indies of the Kingdom of Denmark–Norway, they were sold to the United States by Denmark in the Treaty of the Danish West Indies of 1916. They are classified by the United Nations as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, and are currently an organized, unincorporated United States territory. The U.S. Virgin Islands are organized under the 1954 Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands and have since held five constitutional conventions. The last and only proposed Constitution, adopted by the Fifth Constitutional Convention of the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2009, was rejected by the U.S. Congress in 2010, which urged the convention to reconvene to address the concerns Congress and the Obama Administration had with the proposed document. The Fifth Constitutional Convention of the U.S. Virgin Islands met in October 2012 to address these concerns, but was not able to produce a revised Constitution before its October 31 deadline.

In 2010 the population was 106,405, and mostly Afro-Caribbean. Tourism and related categories are the primary economic activity, employing a high percentage of the civilian non-farm labor force that totaled 42,752 persons in 2016 (the total non-farm labor force was 48,278 persons). Private sector jobs made up 71 percent of the total workforce. The average private sector salary was $34,088 and the average public sector salary was $52,572.In a May 2016 report, some 11,000 people were categorized as being involved in some aspect of agriculture in the first half of 2016 but this category makes up a small part of the total economy. (The islands have a significant rum manufacturing sector.) At that time, there were approximately 607 manufacturing jobs and 1,487 natural resource and construction jobs. The single largest employer was the government. In mid-February 2017, the USVI was facing a financial crisis due to a very high debt level of $2 billion and a structural budget deficit of $110 million. Then early August 2017, the U.S. Virgin Islands government was rejected from the bond market.


WTJC-LP (96.9 FM) is a radio station licensed to serve Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands. The station is owned by Methodist Church St. Thomas St. John Circuit Inc. It airs a Religious/Caribbean Gospel music format featuring a mix of teaching programs and Christian music. While many low-power FM stations cover only a limited area, due to the size of the U.S. Virgin Islands this station covers most of the population with a city-grade signal.This station has been assigned the WTJC-LP call sign by the Federal Communications Commission since April 28, 2003.WTJC-LP's broadcast center is located in the Christchurch Methodist Education and Outreach Complex in Market Square on St. Thomas. In 2004, in celebration of its first anniversary of broadcasting, this Methodist Radio Ministry station held a Praise-a-thon.

Willard MacGregor

Willard MacGregor (born October 15, 1901 in Boston; died July 30, 1993 in New York City) was an American classical pianist.

He studied piano in St. Louis with Rudolph Ganz and Leo C. Miller, then in Paris with Isidor Philipp and Nadia Boulanger and finally in Berlin with Artur Schnabel. At the same time he concertized in Paris, Berlin, London, Lausanne and other European cities. On the other hand, in 1931 and 1932 MacGregor studied painting in Wien with Franz Lerch. Back to the USA in 1930s, he played extensively in Kraeuter trio (with Phyllis Kraeuter and Karl Kraeuter), then started solo career. MacGregor is best known as the first performer of Paul Hindemith's Ludus tonalis (1943, Chicago), he also played Hindemith's Sonata for Piano Four Hands together with the author. In 1944 during Igor Stravinsky's American tour MacGregor played his Concerto for Two Pianos together with the composer. His records of 1950s include different pieces by Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Debussy.

MacGregor's painting has been exhibited in New York City, Chicago, Newark and other cities throughout the USA. The Virgin Islands Daily News pointed out that "MacGregor shows the same vigor, warmth and professional technique in his music as he does in his painting".

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