MUHAMMED S. BAH
Following the award ceremony organised by the Gambia Press Union (GPU) on Saturday, 28 May 2016, to recognize the outstanding published/broadcast works of 10 journalists from the print and electronic media in the Gambia, this reporter caught up with some of the awardees to share their impressions on the awards.
In this event, which is the first of its kind organised by the GPU, reporters from the print media received more awards with 3 coming from the Foroyaa Newspaper, 1 from the Point Newspaper, 1 from the Voice Newspaper, 1 from a blogger and former standard reporter, 2 from the GRTS (state television) and 1 from GRTS (state radio).
Speaking to Mustapaha K. Darboe, the Winner of the Feature Writing, he expressed his delight for having won the award. “What is more delightful than being told that you have done a good job in the past year and that is what the award has done,” said Darboe.
He explained that another important thing about the awards is that it has come to set standards in Gambian journalism. “Every journalist knows that there are certain standards to be met if one is to win an award and whoever wants to win next time will ensure the quality of his or her reports meet the standards set. I just also want to add that all nominees are winners because it is the quality of their reports that got them to Djembe Hotel,” he observed.
Mustapha Jallow of Foroyaa Newspaper, who is the winner of the Human Right Reporting Award, said he is thankful to God for the opportunity as well as Foroyaa, GPU and fellow journalists for the support. He expressed his wish for other journalists to also received awards in subsequent ones. He said this award is a motivation for him to work harder in order to achieve his dreams as a Journalist.
Sulayman Bah, the Foroyaa reporter who won the Sports Journalist of the Year Award, said he is very much overwhelmed by the award. “It’s by no means a small feat. It couldn’t also have been a better way to reward a person for the tirelessly work he’d been doing for past years. To the Gambia Press Union, I say a big thank you for putting up such a national event as a way of motivating journalists in this country. To nominees who vied with me for the Sports Reporting Award, this is clearly not the end of the road. Instead they should see the positives in it. The fact that they have gotten nominated and shortlisted among the top three from the lot that threw in their applications, alone is a clear recognition of their works,” said Mr. Bah.
Madame Sarjo Camara Signhateh, another Foroyaa reporter and winner of the Women Reporting Award, expressed sincere gratitude to GPU for what she calls “a noble initiative”. She further thanked Foroyaa Newspaper for the support given to her and urged fellow journalists to improve on their reporting on women related issues.
Sise Sawaneh, the winner on Travel and Tourism Reporting, thanked the GRTS Radio staff and management for their support. She also thanked the GPU for organizing such an award.
She added “I’m very much delighted to be a winner this year and this has motivated me to do more in the journalism field.”
She added “It’s a very big achievement for me as an individual and the country at large. Becoming an active journalist in less than 3 years and awarded as the best reporter on Tourism and Culture is something great to celebrate. Knowing that tourism is the backbone of the Gambia’s economy, it’s therefore a challenge upon me to work harder, hence it’s just the beginning point and a source of motivation to do a lot more better,” she revealed.
Sawaneh added that focus and determination always pay off when one strives hard to succeed in all facets.
“The award is dedicated to my mum who has supported me in all ways, my colleagues (journalists) and to all those who contributed to the success of my career,” she concluded.
Adam Jobe, a Point reporter, who won the Report on Technology, expressed her delight on winning the award. She thanked her management for their support.