The Committee on Governor Hope Uzodimma Media Excellence Awards has announced winners of the second edition of the awards.
The Chairman of the committee, Chief Fidel Onyeneke announced the winners on Tuesday when he officially submitted the report of the committee to the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Emelumba in his office in Owerri, the state capital.
According to Onyeneke, Faith Chichi Igwilo of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) clinched the Most Outstanding State Correspondent award while Reginald Mbajunwa of the Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) emerged winner of the Best Documentary TV Journalist of the Year.
Other winners are Chris Anucha, Editor of The Statesman Newspaper (Best Investigative Journalist); Ngozi Ejimmadu of the IBC (Best Documentary Radio Journalist); Adaeze Opara Anyanwu of Ozisa FM (Most Outstanding Radio Presenter (Igbo);Mary Omeni Nwode of MyRadio (Most Outstanding Radio Presenter (English) and Akunna Azuike of the IBC (Most Outstanding TV Presenter).
The rest are Cosmas Chukwuemeka of Darling FM (Best Sports Reporter) and Chigozie Emeremgini of the IBC (Most Creative Cameraman TV).
Onyeneke also disclosed that the committee disqualified entries submitted for Most Outstanding Photo Journalist award because none of the entries presented evidence of the work having been used in any media platform.
The chairman added that entries for the Most Balanced Local Newspaper award failed to meet stipulated template while the committee received no entry for Most Objective Radio Station award category.
He expressed profound gratitude of the committee to the governor for encouraging the growth of journalism and promoting excellence in media practice in the state.
According to him, the governor has shown he has high regard for media practitioners by instituting the awards.
Onyeneke also thanked the governor and the commissioner for giving the committee free hand to discharge its duty professionally.
He said; “We were given a free hand by the governor through the Commissioner for Information. All we did, we did in accordance with the ethics of the profession.
“We emulated the standard of the Nigeria Media Merit Awards and made sure that whoever qualified and is declared winner in any category will also win at the national level if not at the international level”.
Onyeneke however reiterated his call for regular training and retraining of journalists in the state to make for more efficient and effective service delivery.
Receiving the report, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Emelumba commended the committee for doing what he described as a ‘very thorough job’.
He noted that the criteria deployed by the committee in arriving at the winners are verifiable.
According to Emelumba, a situation whereby every member of the committee scored all the entries and an average was taken at the end to arrive at the winners is a rigorous process.
He said;“I want to thank you for doing a very thorough job. That means the government did not make any mistake in choosing you.”
He noted that the award was one way of the governor saying he appreciates journalism and journalists, what they are doing and their sacrifices and encouraging them to continue to serve the society.
Emelumba agreed that political office holders are the highest beneficiaries of the products of journalists, pointing out that in spite of the fact that some media products are not complimentary, in fact unfounded, the governor has remained undaunted in promoting media excellence.