Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, first runner-up Gbenga Salau of The Guardian and Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc. Nicolaas Vervelde
In keeping with its tradition, the Nigerian Breweries at the weekend celebrated excellence and professionalism in the media, giving awards to outstanding journalists.
The Golden Pen Award, which was held in Lagos was the 8th in the series. The event was essentially meant to reward journalists who abide by the ethics of the profession.
The ceremony attracted eminent Nigerians, including the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and the Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
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. The Photo Journalist of the Year award went to Sodiq Adelakun of The Punch. 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.
While welcoming guests at the event, the Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc., Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde 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.
Chairman of Channels Television and guest speaker at the event, John Momoh, 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, the Managing Director of Tanus Communications and Chairman of the Panel of Judges, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi commended Nigerian Breweries for the initiative and enjoined journalists to aspire to the highest standards.
The Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Kufre Ekanem 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.
The night was not just about the awards as the spoken words master, Efe Paul delivered a poem, ‘History’, a touching reflection on the country.
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