The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has concluded celebrations marking the 2017 World Press Freedom Day with its Awards Night, a once a year event under its auspices.
Several journalists walked away with various awards after they were announced winners at this year’s Awards Night. The 2017 Awards committee was headed by former manager of the Catholic run media station Radio Veritas, Atty. Ade Wede Kekuleh, and included veteran journalists Jonathan Paylayleh, Blamo Robinson, Isaac Redd, Tete Kanneh, Patmillia Doe Paivey and Atty. Bobby Livingtone.
The committee dished out awards in several categories; namely, Legislative, Judiciary, Human Rights and Land Rights Reporting. Other categories were Investigative, Developmental, Extractive Industry, Environmental, Health and Women Rights Reporting. The last two categories were Photojournalism and Newscasting.
Winners of the awards were Tete Gebro of UNMIL Radio, Best Newscaster of the Year; Anthony Stephens Investigative Reporter of the Year, for a piece on some youth leaving school and going to the gold mines in search of fortune; and Moses Garsawyu, Extractive Industry Reporter of the Year, for a story on people risking their lives to dig diamond in ‘Camp Libya’, situated between Gbarpolu and Bong Counties.
The Bush Chicken, an online media group uncompromisingly bagged five of the awards. Its reporter, Zeze Ballah, was selected Best Photojournalist of the Year, for a photograph on the deplorable road condition that makes traveling difficult in southeastern Liberia during the rainy season; and Health Reporter of the Year, for a report in which he explained Liberia’s surprisingly high life expectancy, compared to its neighbors. Another Bush Chicken reporter, Gbatemah Senah, ran home with three awards, the highest awards winner for the 2017 Awards Night celebration.
Senah won himself Women’s Rights Reporter of the Year, for a story on the challenges faced by Liberian women while traveling in public transportation; Land Rights Reporter of the Year, for writing on citizens’ frustrations with lawmakers not passing the Land Rights Bill; and Legislative Reporter of the Year, for a story on the abandonment of the electronic voting system device at the Capitol Building.
Moses Ballie, also of the Bush Chicken, was chosen as Developmental Reporter of the Year, for a story that highlighted the delay on the construction works at the Bong Community Technical College in Bong County, central Liberia.
The Judiciary Reporter of the Year went to P. Nas Mulbah, of the New Democrat newspaper, for an analytical piece on how the fight against corruption in the Judiciary Branch of Government, especially high profiled cases, assuring that those cases were adjudicated based on his constant reportage.
The 2017 Awards Night was held at the Paynesville Town Hall in Paynesville City, outside Monrovia on 17 June 2017. Journalists and invitees were dressed in their best that rainbowed the occasion.
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