The News Room team on Saturday evening copped 15 awards at the Guyana Press Association’s (GPA) annual awards and media dinner held at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown.
News Room’s senior journalist Bibi Khatoon copped five awards – first place for coverage of Science and Technology issues, first and second place for coverage of Political and Industrial Relations Issues, second place for coverage of Environmental and Land Issues and second place for Young Journalist of the year.
The News Room’s senior sport journalists Akeem Greene and Avenash Ramzan swept the awards for coverage of sport issues in both online and television categories while videographers Keon Blades and Yat Chow copped second and first place, respectively for best news videography.
First time participants Isanella Patoir copped first and third place for Best television feature and Nigel Collymore copped second place.
Devina Samaroo, a former employee of the News Room achieved first place for coverage of LGBTQ issues and second place for Best online feature.
This year’s Young Journalist of the Year was awarded to the Guyana Chronicle’s Vishani Ragobeer who also copped four other awards for coverage of Science and Technology issues, Human Rights Issues, Online Feature and Investigative Reporting.
This year, the GPA Awards were competed in 18 categories which saw almost 260 entries from 35 persons.
The judges were Reuters Photographer Andrea, Desilva, Austrialian Journalist and Author James Massola, now living in Indonesia, Argentine Journalist Nicolas Luca, UWI Lecturer and Communications Consultant Steffon Campbell, Honorary Guyanese and Trinidad Journalist Wesley Gibbings, Barbadian Journalist and Radio Veteran Julius Gittens, Trinidadian Columnist and Advocate Afra Raymond, UWI Climate Scientist Dale Rankin, Sport Journalist Lasana Liburd and Serbian Investigative journalist Gordana Bjeletic.
In opening remarks, Executive member of the GPA, Denis Chabrol noted that as Guyana enters the cusp of economic development, possible paradigm shifts and political twists, journalists must remain true to the profession.
“Commit to providing the truth and most of all, commit to ensure we give the people we serve –our readers, listeners or audience –what they deserve, the truth, unbiased facts and nothing else,” the Veteran Journalist told those gathered at the event.
Meanwhile, the GPA also handed out special awards to Mr. Chabrol who in 2009 launched the first online media entity in Guyana, Demerara Waves; Andrea Joseph –a veteran broadcaster of the National Communications Network (NCN) radio stations and senior sport journalist at the Stabroek News, Emmerson Campbell for his contributions to the sport fraternity not only in media coverage but his achievements in bodybuilding.