By Gabriel Olawale & Prince Okafor
LAGOS—Bunmi Azeez of Vanguard Newspapers, has won the 10th Golden Pen Photo Journalist of the Year Award.
The award was in recognition of his exceptional creativity and professionalism in the way and manner he communicates and engages readers through visual pictures.
Azeez, a Senior Photo Journalist with Vanguard Newspaper, has won several awards in the past.
Others honoured alongside Azeez, are the first runners-up, Mr. Odutayo Odusanya of Punch Newspaper and Lucy Ladidi of The Guardian Newspapers the second.
Eric Dumo, a reporter with The Punch Newspaper, clinched the reporter of the year award, while the first runner-up, is Mr. Bayo Akinloye of Thisday Newspaper, the second runner-up is Chikodi Okereocha of The Nation.
Mr Mojeed Alabi, a reporter with New Telegraph, won the report of the year award.
Professor Ralph Akinfeleye, Vanguard newspaper’s General Manager, Publications/Editor-in-Chief, Gbenga Adefaye, Ray Ekpu, Nkechi Ali-Balogun and Yomi Ogunbiyi—all media veterans– made up the five-member panel who assessed the entries and chose the winners in the three categories.
Speaking at the award, Jordi Borrut Bel, Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries, said the award was conceived in 2009 to celebrate media excellence and ethical journalism in the country.
Borrut Bel said the award’s theme was chosen deliberately to draw attention of policy makers and all stakeholders to the key areas of the economy that could spur growth and development.
“The emphasis on agriculture, local sourcing and industrial development is not only in tandem with the current push for economic recovery in the country, but also key to making it achieve her full potential to become a self-reliant nation,” he said.
Prof. Akinfeleye, Chairman of the Panel of Judges of the NB Golden Pen Award, commended Nigerian Breweries for its initiative and urged Nigerian journalists to aspire to the highest standards.
Speaking on ‘Media and the Agenda-setting for Economic Development’, the guest speaker at the occasion, Dr. Reuben Abati, noted that the diversification of Nigeria’s economy had remained a topical agenda, thus challenging the media to emphasise the story of diversification and generate conversations by emphasising the story and picture in the minds of the people.
Out of 243 entrants, seven journalists received awards in three different categories namely photo journalist of the year, report of the year and reporter of the year and were gifted prizes and special statuettes.