By Aminata S. Kuyateh
The Gambia Press Union Saturday held its 8th edition of the national journalism awards for the most outstanding journalists of the year. Under the theme “breaking from the past, safeguarding the principles of press freedom and freedom of expression”, the award ceremony was held at the Sun Beach Hotel in Bakau.
The journalists were awarded in 17 categories of excellence including the new security category supported by the CRPD. The occasion was graced by the Ministry Information, National Assembly Members, diplomats, media chiefs and veteran journalists.
Speaking at occasion, Muhammed S. Bah, the president of GPU said this year’s event holds particular signification as it coincides with the commemoration of the late Deyda Hydara’s tragic assassination 19 years ago. Mr. Hydara dedicated his life to speaking truth to power advocating for a just society, embodying the values we hold dear in journalism.
“It is heartening to note the collaborative effort between the government, the ministry of information, the Gambia Press Union ad civil society to ensure the law’s full implementation through the establishment of an information commission in early 2024. This development stems from the recommendations of the key stakeholder consultative forum initiated by the ministry of information”, he disclosed.
He urged the journalists to continue to work together to uphold the principles of press freedom, freedom of expression and democracy in our beloved nation.
Isatou Keita, the chairperson the NJA committee, said the GPU alongside its dedicated partners, has been at the forefront of empowering journalists, nurturing their skills and fostering a culture of excellence.
She added that this initiative is a demonstration to the commitment of the GPU and its partners to uphold the standards of journalism, transcending various mediums such as print, online or multimedia platforms, radio, television and photography.
She applauded the Gambia Press Union for spearheading the national journalism awards, a platform that not only celebrates the outstanding work of journalists but also serves as catalysts for continuous improvement.
Legal reporting winner Yankuba A. Jallow expressed gratitude to entire GPU, media fraternity, staff and management of the Foroyaa newspaper for his achievement, adding that the award is a source of motivation and learning point.
Children’s reporting winner Nyima Sillah said: “The award is a gateway and a milestone in my career. I am look forward to delving more into societal issues that are of public interest.” She added that the award means that the voices of the children are heard and their rights are considered.