The Pan-American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/ WHO) on Friday presented the Claire Forrester Media Awards for Excellence in Health Journalism.
The awards are named after the former Media and Communication Advisor of PAHO who died last year. She had served at both the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute in Jamaica and in the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in Barbados.
Forrester was noted as having sought every opportunity to enhance the development of regional journalists by using her persuasive skills to gain sponsorship for training workshops across the Caribbean. During her time at CBC Forrester spearheaded the Caribbean Media Awards for Excellence in Health Journalism.
The awards were resuscitated in Guyana last year through the efforts of PAHO Resident Representative William Adu-Krow and present Minister of Tourism Cathy Hughes, among several others.
According to PAHO/ WHO the awards are intended to increase the awareness of health and other developmental issues influencing the adaptation of healthy lifestyles in Guyana through the dissemination of reliable health information; improve the overall standard of journalism particularly in health and development as well as to encourage the coverage of news and the production of features, documentaries and related media material on health and development issues.
Chief Judge of the competition Dr Paloma Mohamed noted that this year’s competition saw 78 entries across several categories.
After deliberations by the panel of five judges which included Mohamed and veteran journalist Denis Chabrol it was decided that the entries in six categories were of sufficient standard to be awarded.
These categories were Best News Story-Print, Best Feature Article-Print, Best News Story- Online, Best Feature Article-On-line, Best News Feature/ Article-Radio and Best News Story-Television.
The categories of Radio and Television which were not awarded last year saw submission of sufficient quality to warrant awards. HGP/TV Nightly News Handel Duncan and Jessica Daw were adjudged first and second place winners on the Best News Story-television category while National Communication Network was awarded a prize for Best News Feature Radio
After receiving an honourable mention in the category of Best News Story Print and second places in in the Best News Story Online and Best Feature Story Online Desilon Daniels former Kaieteur News reporter was adjudged the overall winner of the competition.
Stabroek News received honourable mentions in the categories of Best News Story Print, Best Feature Story Print as well as third and first place in the best news story online category.
The organisation was also awarded a prize for the print agency with the most nominations.