The Organising Committee for the National Journalism Awards (NJA) announced Friday that the much-anticipated event is scheduled to take place on July 12 , 2019 at Labranda Hotel, formerly known as Sheraton Hotel.
“We are aware of the fact that today the media landscape is so rich, but at the same time very messy,” the Organising Committee President, Musa Sise, told reporters at a news conference held at Gambia Press Union (GPU) Secretariat in Fajara.
Initiated in 2016 by the country’s press body, the National Journalism Awards aims at promoting excellence and professionalism in the media industry emerging from the shadows of two-decade long dictatorship by the Jammeh regime.
Sise said the annual event provide young journalists with the opportunity to learn from those who excelled in their respective field.
“That is why this flagship event of the GPU is to see how best we can encourage youngsters to embrace the profession,” he said. “Journalists are not the best of people. But the profession is very noble.”
Over the past three months, he went on, a lot of work has been done to ensure that the forthcoming event would be successful.
Weighing in on the selection process for the NJA, the Organising Committee top es executive reminded reporters that every news outlet was asked to submit three of its best works.
He then added these entries for the Awards are subsequently forwarded to an independent panel of judges.
“We look for originality, its impact on our society, for the language, the presentation etc,” he said while stating that plagiarized works will ipso facto be red flagged.
Sise disclosed that this year’s Awards are made of 22 categories. ” We are improving on the number of categories depending on what we are seeing in the media,” he remarked.
Speaking earlier, GPU’s Haddija Jawara revealed that they have received more than 200 entries.
“We already have shortlisted some people,” she said.
She made it clear that the press union is resolutely committed to preserving the fairness of the entire process as the Organising Committee carries out its mandate in complete independence.