A visually impaired reporter, Mr Gbenga Ogundare, and Channels television Chief Executive Officer, Dr John Momoh, are among journalists, who soared at the 29th Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME) on Saturday night.
The Punch and the Nation won the Best Designed Magazine and the Newspaper of the Year awards, respectively, at the annual event held at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos State.
Momoh won the Lifetime Achievement Award while 44-year-old Ogundare emerged winner in the Judiciary Reporting Category.
The visually impaired won with his story on “The Long Tortuous Road to Justice for Rape”, published by the Nation on Aug. 18, 2019.
Other recepients of 29th DAME include Mr Bayo Akinloye of ThisDay newspaper, who won in the Agriculture Reporting Category sponsored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Akinloye emerged the winner with his report on “From Cocoa to Cannabis: Nigerian Farmers Seek Fortunes Inside Forbidden Farms”.
The story was published by ThisDay on June 30, 2019.
Akinloye was presented the award by the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Buki Ponle, who was represented by an Assistant-Editor-in-Chief in the agency, Mrs Ijeoma Popoola.
Mr Niyi Adesina of the Nation emerged the Editor of the Year, while Mrs Chioma Obinna of the Vanguard won in the Nutrition Reporting Category.
There were 14 award categories in the 29th DAME as against 18 categories featured in the 28th edition.
Newsmen report that DAME is organised annually by Diamond Publications Ltd., publishers of Media Review.
The awards are meant to enhance professionalism and reward hard work.
DAME’s first outing was on March 20, 1992. Eight awards in print journalism were given to deserving professionals.
In his address of welcome at the 29th edition, the Editor-in-Chief of Media Review, Mr Lanre Idowu, said that DAME held in 2020 in spite of challenges because it was important to keep its dream going.
He said that DAME had brought hope, joy, fulfillment and recognition to many media professionals.
“In the face of the menace of fakery in news dissemination and technological liberalisation of access which makes everyone a reporter, editor and publisher, it is critical to continue to stress the vital role journalists play in serving the public with news that they can trust.
“It is essential to separate the wheat from the shaft by honouring our committed and enterprising media professionals.
“We believe, by so doing, we are renewing faith in our society, encouraging hope for a greater tomorrow and keeping alive the dream for a better practice, ” Idowu said.
Speaking to newsmen, the visually impaired, Ogundare, expressed joy that he won the DAME for the second time.
The journalist, who had been practising for 18 years, noted that he emerged DAME’s Child-Friendly Reporter of the year 2016.
“I feel very excited; it is a lot of motivation for blind journalists like me to make impacts and not discouraged by their disability,” he said.
A participant at the event who pleaded anonymity told newsmen that DAME had done much to draw the attention of media professionals to their roles as keepers of public conscience.
She said that DAME was a strong platform for any journalist to develop himself and earn recognition.