Journalists Get Rewards for Excellence at 10th Golden Pen Awards
It was a night of excellence rewards at the 10th edition of the Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Award which took place on Friday at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. The award was specially created to reward journalists for their outstanding performance in their field of work.
Out of 230 entrants, seven journalists received awards in three different categories namely photo journalist of the year, report of the year and reporter of the year.
Eric Dumo, a reporter with The Punch, clinched the reporter of the year award, and was presented N2 million as winning prize while Bayo Akinloye, a reporter with THISDAY Newspaper emerged first runner-up, winning N1million.
For the second time in a row, Mojeed Alabi, a reporter with New Telegraph, won the report of the year award and received N1 million as prize.
A photo-journalist, Bunmi Azeez of Vanguard Newspapers emerged winner and was given N1 million. Odutayo Odusanya of Saturday PUNCH was the first runner-up, while Lucy Ladidi of The Guardian Newspapers came third and rewarded with N750,000 and N500,000 respectively.
Ralph Akinfeleye, Ray Ekpu, Nkechi Ali-Balogun, Yomi Ogunbiyi, and Gbenga Adefaye, all media veterans made up the five-member judging panel who assessed the entries and chose the winners in the three categories.
Speaking at the event, Jordi Borrut Bel, managing director, Nigerian Breweries, said the award was conceived in 2009 to celebrate media excellence and the practice of ethical journalism in the country.
He said the award’s theme was chosen deliberately to draw attention of policy makers and all stakeholders to the key areas of the economy that could spur growth and development.
“The emphasis on agriculture, local sourcing and industrial development is not only in tandem with the current push for economic recovery in the country, but also key to making it achieve her full potential to become a self-reliant nation,” he said.
“It is our belief that the media, in its agenda-setting responsibility, will exploit the Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Award to draw attention of all stakeholders in the Nigerian project to these keys sectors of economic revival and growth.”
Akinfeleye, chairman of the judging panel of the Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen awards, said even though there was a total of 243 entries submitted for the awards, most of the reports “lacked depth” and were submitted too close to the deadline.
He charged journalists to write reports that would make for “pleasurable reading” and not “painful reading”, encouraging them to live up to their mandate as the “fourth estate of the realm and not the fourth estate of the wreck.”
Without falling below expectation, Dr. Reuben Abati the guest speaker at the occasion did justice to the topic ‘Media and the Agenda-setting for Economic Development’. According to him, diversification of Nigeria’s economy had remained a topical agenda, thus challenging the media to pay more attention to story of diversification and generate conversations by emphasising the story and picture in the minds of the people.
He added that agenda setting must not just be an advert sourcing one but on real economic and political issues while making reference to the NYSC saga of the former finance minister, Kemi Adeosun which generated a national debate, thus led to her resignation.