A total of 125 entries were received this year, with 108 submissions via the award committee’s website, and 17 were received by email.
Ebrima Sillah, minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure said they will continue to work with the union and provide that enabling environment for journalists.
“We want to see The Gambia within the first five countries in the African region as one of the best places for journalists to practice their profession.” he said.
In the course of the work, he added that journalists need to remain committed, truthful and professional.
Also speaking, Sheriff Bojang Jnr, president of The Gambia Press Union, thanked the award committee for their tremendous efforts in delivering a successful awards ceremony. He also saluted their partners for supporting the awards night.
As the country braces up for December 4th polls, GPU prexy advised journalists about what they broadcast and publish, which he said, would very much determine whether there is a successful election or not.
“This is the time when we have to be perfect. This is the time ‘to err is human is not existent,’ as there has to be perfection, responsibility and honesty in what they report and to be fair to themselves, to the country and the profession and to uphold the sanctity of the noble profession.”
The chairperson of the GPU Awards Committee, Jainaba Nyang-Njie, thanked the government and the donor communities for bringing the award to a success. “It couldn’t have been possible without their help.’
Esau Williams, chair of the judging panel of the award committee, expressed some disappointment with the work of journalists.
Therefore, Williams said much work needs to be done to improve the writing skills and the news content published.
“The education system has failed to judge by the quality of the standard of journalism is anything to go by in The Gambia.’ The complete inability to comprehend issues, he added, is more to abide by the grammatical of the written and spoken words is alarming.
Williams thus urged journalist to read widely and expand their vocabulary and to be curious about the world around them and make sure to always be prepared for interviews.
‘It comes to the collective view of the panel of judges that The Gambia Press Union should intensify efforts by enhancing training at the Media Academy for Journalism and Communication because it would prove invaluable help for junior journalists, editors, sub-editors and gatekeepers,’ he noted.
35 journalists were shortlisted for awards under the 15 contested categories, with female applicants constituting 16 per cent of the nominees whilst their male counterparts represent 84 per cent. Three new award categories namely: TV Platform of the Year, Commercial Radio Station of the Year, and Community Radio Station of the Year and also Journalists of the Year were up for grabs.
Below are the winners and their media.
Human Rights Reporting – Jankey Touray, GRTS
Business & Finance Reporting – Mustapha K. Darboe, Malagen
Sports Reporting – Lamin Fadera, Afri Radio
Migration & Human Trafficking Reporting – Mafugi Ceesay, The Standard Newspaper
Children’s Reporting – Momodou L. Choi, QTV
Health & Medical Reporting – Muhammed S. Bah, Foroyaa Newspaper
Environment Reporting – Mustapha K. Darboe, Malegen
Legal Affairs Reporting – Mustapha K. Darboe, Malegen
Travel & Tourism Reporting – Aminata E. Sanyang, GRTS
Agriculture Reporting Award- Yoro S. Bah, Mansa Banko Online
Culture, Arts & Entertainment Reporting – Kebba Jeffang, The Chronicle
Political Reporting – Omar Bah, The Standard Newspaper
Investigative Reporting – Mustapha K. Darboe, Malegen
Journalist Of The Year – Mustapha K. Darboe, Malegen
Women’s Reporting – Kaddy Jawo, The Chronicle