Stabroek News journalist Gaulbert Sutherland was yesterday declared the overall winner in the UNICEF/Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security’s (MLHSSS) Media Awards for Excellence in Journalism Coverage of women and children.
The announcement was made at the Media Awards Ceremony, which was held at the Hotel Tower.
Labour Minister Manzoor Nadir, who gave the feature address at the ceremony, noted that the media in today’s society plays an integral role in the everyday life of women and children. The competition, which will be an annual feature, has its genesis in the Media Monitoring Project, which is an ongoing initiative undertaken by the MLHSSS for close to five years. The competition was announced at the launching of the Media Trends Report for 2008 and 2009 last year.
According to the organizers of the competition, the Awards for Excellence covered several basic objectives; mainly, to encourage the promotion of news items, features and documentaries which illustrate the link between children and women issues and development. They are also intended to increase awareness of issues pertaining to children and women and other development issues and to influence the creation of a healthier and more protective environment to empower children and women. The awards are also intended to improve the overall standard of journalism, particularly on children and women and development issues. Entries for the competition came from several media houses and the stories submitted by the entrants varied in terms of their subjects, including domestic violence, health issues, survival of women and children as well as labour issues among others. The competition featured two categories: best feature story and best news story.
Sutherland was declared the overall winner in both categories of the competition. His story, ‘Aranaputa Women open peanut butter factory’ won in the best news story category.
The judges remarked that the style of writing of the story was very detailed and there was evidence of significant research for the story. Another Sutherland entry, ‘Hog Island deaths leave family in grim struggle for survival’ was declared the overall winner in the best feature article category. The judges remarked that the feature explored a woman’s struggle for the survival of her family in the aftermath of the death of her husband and father and it explores the issue of survival and how the lives of women and children are affected.