IN keeping with its tradition, the Nigerian Breweries has celebrated excellence and professionalism in Nigerian media by giving awards to outstanding journalists. The Golden Pen Award, held in Lagos on October 28, was the eighth in the series. The event was essentially meant to reward journalists who abide by the ethics of the profession.
The winners were rated on their stories touching on the topic of the 2016 awards – ‘Education, Youth Empowerment and Talent Development in 2015’. Tobi Aworinde of The Punch emerged as the NB Golden Pen Reporter of the Year. The first runner-up was Gbenga Salau of The Guardian, while Charles Abah, also of The Punch, emerged as the second runner-up.
In the photo journalist category, to Sodiq Adelakun of The Punch won the Photo Journalist of the Year award. Odutayo Odusanya also of The Punch emerged as the first runner-up, while Ayodele Ojo of The Sun was declared the second runner-up. Gabriel Dike, an education reporter with The Sun won the ‘NB Report of the Year.’ All the award winners also got cash prizes and mobile devices as part of the reward package.
The ceremony attracted eminent Nigerians, including Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State. While welcoming guests at the event, Nicolaas Vervelde, managing director, Nigerian Breweries, stated that the award was launched eight years ago to promote professionalism and objectivity in media reports.
He explained that the choice of education, youth empowerment and talent Development as the focus of this year’s edition of the event was informed by the fact that no country can lay claim to development and prosperity without adequate attention to the education and empowerment of the youth.
In his remarks, Ekweremadu praised the Nigerian Breweries for sustaining the award and saluted the courage of journalists and their contribution to the nation’s development. He appealed to the media to continue to be the watchdog and gatekeeper of the nation’s democracy.
John Momoh, chairman, Channels Television and guest speaker at the event, called for soul-searching by the media, urging the practitioners to bridge the gap between training and practice. “We need to be professionals no matter what, and develop citizens agenda in the post election era,” Momoh said.
Also, Yemi Ogunbiyi managing director, Tanus Communications and chairman of the panel of judges, commended Nigerian Breweries for the initiative and enjoined journalists to aspire to the highest standards.
Kufre Ekanem, corporate affairs adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, disclosed that a total of 267 entries were received before submission closed for the award. He explained that quality, professionalism and objectivity remain the filters through which entries were shortlisted for the award, as decided by the independent panel of judges.
— Oct 31, 2016 @ 14:58 GMT