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Nationwide's Fitz-Henley bags 2015-16 Fair Play Award

Published:Wednesday | October 12, 2016 | 10:00 AMJason Cross
Nationwide News Network reporter Abka Fitz-Henley after winning the 2015-2016 Jamaica Broilers Fairplay Award.

His commitment to practising a style of journalism that aims to make Jamaica a better place has won Abka Fitz-Henley of Nationwide News Network first place in the 2015-2016 Jamaica Broilers Fair Play Awards of Excellence.

The awards function was held yesterday at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in Kingston.

Fitz-Henley walked away with the winning trophy and a $500,000 cash prize for his multi-part radio report on mystery bugs that were believed to have killed a number of babies at the University Hospital of the West Indies in 2015.

The series was titled 'Mystery Bugs Killing Babies At UHWI'.

"For however long I stay in the media fraternity, my commitment and zeal has always been to make our country a better place and I wish to place on record that that was the motivation of this piece. It was a difficult investigation because I came under a lot of pressure for what was referred to as the dead baby scandal," he said.

After collecting his award, Fitz-Henley announced that a portion of the cash prize would be donated to Food For The Poor to assist Haiti, following the devastation caused there by Hurricane Matthew last week.

"I have to make mention of a major issue affecting our brothers and sisters in Haiti, going through very difficult times. Many are starving and many are without water. I have to take care of the members of my team, but I intend to donate $50,000 of the award I've been given, to Food for the Poor to assist our brothers and sisters in Haiti," Fitz-Henley said.

The second-place trophy and a $300,000 cash prize were presented to 18 Degrees North for an investigative entry titled 'Big House and The Questions that Arise', which sought to probe and report on matters at the highest levels of government.

The third-place trophy and $200,000 were awarded to Archibald Gordon of TVJ, who submitted a documentary piece based on the lottery scam and its victims in the United States of America, titled 'Scammed'.

The competition attracted 26 entries this year, five of which were disqualified as non-compliant.

The judging panel consisted of a chief judge, Professor Hopeton Dunn, Kathy Barrett, Wyvolyn Gager, Anthony 'T-Rob' Robinson, and Claude Robinson.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com