By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The Gambia Press Union (GPU), for the first time ever awarded 9 Gambian Journalists from both the print and electronic media.
This event took place in conjunction with the commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day at a local hotel on Saturday 28 May 2016.
This event was graced by veteran Journalists, EU delegates and representatives from the Chinese Embassy in the Gambia, representatives from the government of the Gambia, Non Governmental Organisations, Media practitioners and political leaders among many other dignitaries.
Below are the journalists awarded in the various categories;
- BUSINESS REPORTING AWARD: NONE
- SPORT REPORTING AWARD: Sulayman Bah, Foroyaa Reporter, on the story “Gambia Risks IOC Suspension”
- THE ENVIRONMENT REPORTING AWARD: Rohey Bittaye, GRTS TV reporter, on the story “Video – Rohey on Mangroves Planting”
- FEATURES WRITING AWARD: Mustapha K Darboe, Former Standard Reporter and a Blogger, on the story “Climate Change: Gambia’s Sea Resources Face Grave Danger”
- MEDICAL AND HEALTH REPORTING AWARD: None
- TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION REPORTING AWARD: Adam Jobe, Point News Paper reporter, “Smart phones revolutionize lives and livelihoods, even in Gambia”
- WOMEN’S REPORTING AWARD: Sarjo Camara –Singateh, Foroyaa Reporter, on the Story “Voices of Rural Women on Various Issues Affecting Them”
- CHILDEN’S REPORTING AWARD: None
- TRAVEL & TOURISM REPORTING AWARD: Sise Jaha Sawaneh, GRTS Radio reporter, on the story “Roots Homecoming Festival on Kunta Kinteh”
- AGRICULTURE REPORTING AWARD: Modou S. Joof, The Voice Reporter, on the story “Brikamaba: Women Turn to Garden After Failed Rice Growing Season” & Ebrima Baldeh GRTS TV Reporter, on the story (Video): “The River and the People”
- POLITICAL REPORTING AWARD: NONE
- HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTING AWARD: Mustapha Jallow, Foroyaa Reporter, “Detention Without Trial, Disappearance Without Trace Still Prevail in Gambia”
Award was also given to veteran journalist Mr Swaebou Conateh. Mr Per Henriq received award on behalf of Games for the long and valuable support they have rendered to GPU.
The judges that did the selection are Mr George Christensen (Chair), Mr Hawsoum Ceesay, Mrs Jainaba Nyang Njie, Mr Ahmed Aloa Alota and Mr Gheran Senghore.
During the occasion, a media code of conduct and ethics guide was launched by the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communication Malick Jones, on behalf the Minister.
Mr. Jones highlighted the importance of the Media guide, which he said will help Journalists to practice their profession in accordance with the ethics of the profession.
He further urged Journalists to make the best use of it.
Mr. Jones hailed the GPU for the initiating the award ceremony and coming up with the code of ethics.
“Government needs the press and the Press needs The Government,” he said, noting that dialogue is what is needed.
“Through dialogue we can always come to an understanding,” he added.
Mr Jammeh in his remarks highlighted the efforts that GPU has been making in ensuring that Government repeals the harsh media Laws which he said is restricting Journalists from fully executing their duties.
He gave assurance of GPU’s tireless efforts in engaging government on those issues.
“The Gambia Press Union continues to provide a mature and confident leadership in efforts to influence laws and practices in favour of freedom of expression,” remarked Secretary General GPU.
Sang Mendy GPU-Games Project Manager on his part put emphasis on Journalists becoming members of the GPU membership and challenged members to regularise their membership status.
A minute’s silence was observed to remember fallen journalists who were killed during the execution of their duties, the likes of Deyda Hydara and others who are in exile because they feel threatened to stay here as Journalists.
During the occasion two ‘lectures’ were delivered. Mr Garba Cham Secretary General of the Gambia National Trade Union Congress spoke on trade unions while Mr Malick AB Jallow spoke on access to information. Foroyaa will publish details of the lectures in subsequent editions.