As part of the activities marking World Press Freedom Day celebrations, preparations into the Gambia Press Union’s flagship event has advanced into the appointment of five-member panel of independent judges tasked with the duty of assessing the entries for the 2022 National Journalism Awards.
This award is the highest honor in Gambian journalism, to recognize practicing journalists for excellence in news journalism, as well as to celebrate their sacrifices in to being need to The Gambia society.
The panel of judges is led by BBC’s Esau Williams and deputised by Ms. Aisha Dabo. They will be assisted in this role by Mr Gheran Senghore, Sheriff Bojang Jnr and Famara Fofana – all of whom are highly accomplished, independent and respected journalism professionals with extensive experiences in both local and international journalism practice.
“Some 131 entries from Gambian journalists have been received by the awards Committee. They are competing for the awards in 15 categories, and on top of that there are other special awards dedicated by the Gambia Press Union in recognition of institutions and personalities who contributed to media development and press freedom in The Gambia,” said the Chairperson of the Awards Committee, Mr Sanna Camara.
Each of the awardees receive cash prizes, trophies and certificates in respect of their achievement. Special prizes also come from donors, which in the past included landed properties, media gadgets such as laptops, cell phones and tablets donated by sponsors who partner with the GPU in motivating and celebrating work of these journalists.
This year, the Gambia Press Union is launching through the awards, a campaign for its Secretariat after 40years of existence.
“The Union continues to grow, just as its school of journalism and over half-a-dozen affiliate associations that it is struggling to house through rented properties all these years,” said Muhammed S. Bah, President, Gambia Press Union. Bah appeals for government and private sector to support the press which operates both as a trade union and press freedom, freedom of expression and democracy advocate in the country.
Each year, Gambian journalists come together to celebrate their role in democracy, accountability and promoting openness in Gambian society. This event is the highest national honours in Gambian journalism, recognising high-impact stories for consumption by the general public.