Gleaner Tops Fair Play
The 180-year-old Gleaner Company stood out among all media yesterday, seizing first place and second runner-up honours in the Jamaica Broilers Fair Play Awards of Excellence.
Amid celebrations of its milestone 180th year of media service to Jamaica, The Gleaner yesterday was once again recognised for its excellence, professionalism and dedication to keeping the nation informed.
The multimedia news organisation took home the top prize during the Jamaica Broilers Fair Play Awards of Excellence, held at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in St Andrew.
Now in its 14th year, the Fair Play Awards are dedicated to honouring journalists for producing high-quality content that continues to shape the policies of the nation.
The Gleaner copped the top trophy and $500,000 for the entry 'Inappropriate Sexual Education' by Ryon Jones and Arthur Hall, which created a firestorm across the country when it was revealed in June that human-rights group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) had introduced an unapproved sexual-education course in six private children's homes.
The course reportedly exposed children as young as 11 years old to age-inappropriate material administered without the knowledge of the Child Development Agency, which governs the children's homes.
The investigative body of work into the issue that was of national concern, which The Gleaner kept on the front burner for several months, led to a criminal investigation and recommendations for several procedural changes, and was a prime example of the newspaper's commitment to shaping the nation's policies.
'DEATH SQUAD' THIRD
Gleaner reporter Corey Robinson also received honours when he tied for third place with his entry 'Death Squad', earning a trophy and $100,000.
Yet another example of The Gleaner's investigative and enterprise reporting, the series earlier this year brought to light reports of extrajudicial killings in the police force, allegedly ordered by senior police officers.
The entry, Living in Limbo, by a Kirk Wright-led TVJ team, was the other third-place winner, also copping a trophy and $100,000.
Independent production house Panache Entertainment took second place with the entry Whipped: In The Name of Discipline, and was awarded $300,000, along with a trophy.
This year, there were 34 entries - 16 from print, 14 from television, and four from radio - vying for the $1 million in cash prizes and trophies.
"While we recognise the outstanding work of all our awardees today, we wish to make special mention of The Gleaner Company, which has won eight awards over the 14 years of the Fair Play Awards Programme," stated Fae Ellington, who chaired the ceremony.
"We applaud the media house for being the watchdog of our society for 180 years and for giving journalists such as Corey, Ryon and Arthur a national platform to keep us informed."
Sharing in the moment, Gleaner Managing Director Christopher Barnes congratulated the team.
"I could not be prouder. In our 180th year, we take the Fair Play Awards again. This is fantastic! This is proof of the good work that we are doing down at The Gleaner Company, and it is also encouragement to keep doing just that," Barnes stated.
CONSISTENTLY HIGH STANDARD
Steering the sturdy, multi-award-winning editorial ship for the past 13 years, Editor-in-Chief Garfield Grandison declared: "I am extremely proud of the team, one known for a consistently high standard of professional, independent reporting. Special congratulations on winning in the newspaper's 180th year of continuous publication. The public can expect a greater number of enterprise stories from the best news team on the island."
"The team has put in a lot of work to keep the public informed on critical issues, which is part of the ethos of The Gleaner, where reporters are encouraged to work hard, go undercover, to get the story behind the story, to dig for the story, and this is a reflection of that," said Hall, a senior news editor at The Gleaner.
Humbled and honoured by the recognition, Jones and Robinson have both committed to keep informing the public of critical issues that affect the country.
Christopher Levy, president and chief executive officer of Jamaica Broilers Group, said he was honoured to not only increase the cash prize but also the awardees from one to three, as journalists were deserving of being adequately recognised for their hard work.
Chief judge, Professor Hopeton Dunn, said the judges were quite impressed with this year's entries, which reflected the best of journalism and production values that can be found anywhere in the world.
"The judges were unanimous in their view that excellent investigative pieces were available to us again this year, and those entries competed strongly for placement, underlining the prevailing high-quality work taking place in Jamaican journalism, including among independent producers," Dunn noted.
"To convey the remark of another of our judges: 'These were among the best entries I have judged in many years'."
Jamaica Broilers Group FAIR PLAY AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE 2013-2014 WINNERS
Entry: 'Inappropriate Sexual Education'
Media house: The Gleaner
Team: Arthur Hall and Ryon Jones
Prize: Trophy and $500,000
Entry: Whipped: In The Name of Discipline
Media house: Panache Entertainment (independent production house)
Team: Angela Thame, Sonya Stewart, Kaneal Gayle, Dorian Clarke, Glenford Campbell, Tafari Green and Nicole Hayles
Prize: Trophy and $300,000
SECOND RUNNER-UP (#1)
Entry: Living in Limbo
Media house: TVJ
Team: Kirk Wright, Ivan Shaw, Robert Hylton and Tameka Carter
Prize: Trophy and $100,000
SECOND RUNNER-UP (#2)
Entry: 'Death Squad'
Media house: The Gleaner
Team: Corey Robinson
Prize: Trophy and $100,000
Photos by Rudolph Brown/Photographer