GPU awards excellence in journalism
By Cherno Omar Bobb
The Gambia Press Union (GPU) on Saturday held its 8th Gambia National Journalism Award at Sun Beach Hotel.
The theme for this year’s award was “Breaking from the Past: Safeguarding the Principles of Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression.”
This year’s event coincided with the commemoration of the late Deyda Hydara’s tragic assassination 19 years ago.
The award categories included Security Affairs, Human Rights, Business and Finance, Women’s Reporting, Culture, Arts and Entertainment, Agriculture Reporting, Health and Medical, Children’s Reporting, Environment Reporting, Sports Reporting, among others.
Speaking at the occasion, Muhammed M.S. Bah, president of the GPU, said this year’s event holds particular significance as it coincides with the commemoration of the late Deyda Hydara’s tragic assassination.
“Mr. Hydara dedicated his life to speaking truth to power and advocating for a just society, embodying the values we hold dear in journalism,” he said.
“We acknowledge the progress made in Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression over the years, and we commend the government for the gains made, including the enactment of the Access to Information Law in 2021.”
He hailed the Ministry of Information and National Assembly for their collaboration with the GPU. “We also welcome plans to repeal parts of the media laws in the Criminal Code that restricts press freedom when the new Criminal Offences Bill which seeks to repeal the former, becomes law,” he stressed.
“The journey to organize the 8thNational Journalism Awards has been one of challenges, perseverance, and eventual success,” says Isatou Keita, the chairperson of the National Journalism Awards (NJA). “Just a few days ago, the shadow of doubt loomed over us, casting doubt on the realization of this event. Today, we enjoy in the glory of success, and I cannot help but express my sincere gratitude for the support that has brought us here.
“The Gambia Press Union, alongside its dedicated partners, has been at the forefront of empowering journalists, nurturing their skills, and fostering a culture of excellence,” she said.
“I applaud 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 a catalyst for continuous improvement.”