The search for the best journalist in Nigeria came to a glorious end on Friday, 28th October at an elaborate event at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos as Tobi Aworinde, a Punch reporter won the coveted prize as the 2016 Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Awards Reporter of the Year.
Gbenga Salau, a reporter with The Guardian Newspaper won the second place at a highly contested affair.
The award which is in its 8th year is aimed at promoting professionalism and objective reporting of events in Nigeria. It is also meant to reward such journalists who abide by the fine ethics of the journalism profession.
The event was well attended by dignitaries from the media as well as political and social dignitaries including the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, among others. The reports submitted covered Education, Youth Empowerment and Talent Development in 2015.
Other winners at the event included Charles Abah, a reporter with The Punch Newspaper, who came in as the second runner-up.
From Left to Right – Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekeremadu; Nicolaas Velverde, Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries; Tobi Aworinde, the Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, Chairman Panel of Judges, Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Award at the Award night in Lagos
From Left to Right: Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Gbenga Salau, first runner-up, NB Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and Nicolaas Velverde, Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries at the Golden Pen Award night in Lagos on Friday
The Photo Journalist of the Year Award went to Sodiq Adelakun, also of The Punch Newspaper, while Odutayo Odusanya, also from The Punch came in as the runner-up. Ayodele Ojo from The Sun Newspaper was the second runner-up and Gabriel Dike, who covers education reporting at The Sun Newspaper, won the “Nigerian Breweries Report of the Year.”
All winners received cash prizes and high-end mobile devices as part of their reward.
While welcoming guests at the event, the Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde revealed that the award was launched eight years ago to promote professionalism and objectivity of media reports. He explained that the choice of Education, Youth Empowerment and Talent Development as the focus of this year’s edition, like in the last two years, is based on the fact that no country can lay claim to development and prosperity without adequate attention to the education and empowerment of the youth.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who was present at the event, commended Nigerian Breweries for sustaining the award over eight years and lauded the courage of journalists for 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/CEO, Channels Television, guest speaker at the event, called for soul-searching by the media and extolled them to bridge the gap between training and practice.
Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, Managing Director of Tanus Communications and Chairman of the Panel of Judges commended Nigerian Breweries for the initiative and enjoined journalists to aspire to the highest standards.
Mr. Kufre Ekanem, Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, revealed that a total of 267 entries were received for the award. He noted that the award criteria of quality, professionalism and objectivity remain the filters upon which entries were shortlisted for the award, as decided by the independent judging panel.