Gleaner scores big at PAJ awards
The Gleaner's Christopher Serju and Tameka Gordon stood out among journalists who took the spotlight at the 2015 Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) Awards Ceremony, held Saturday night at The Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.
Gordon, a reporter on The Gleaner's Business Desk, was adjudged Young Journalist of the Year, while Serju copped awards for excellence in reporting on the environment, excellence in agricultural coverage, and Best Feature Story for print, as well as the Theodore Sealy-Hector Bernard Award for News.
PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller, in commenting on the past year, said it signalled the need for journalists to be even more assertive and resolute, while adapting to changes in the media landscape.
"What a year it has been. Once again, we see and understand the importance that the media plays in our democracy. Whether or not you are shortlisted, we all know what it is we go through and we want to thank you (journalists) for your work and tenacity. This night is for you," she said.
"We also have to thank our families for sticking with us. We work odd hours, we work on weekends and we have to thank them for their support. Media is changing and the PAJ has to change with it. We can't stand still, we have to keep moving. I encourage you all, therefore, to move forward in a spirit of hope, not fear, in a spirit of excitement, not a spirit of dread," she charged.
Chief judge Patrick Harley noted that there was a tremendous increase in the number of entries over last year's, but said, overall, the quality was variable.
Gordon, in commenting on her success, told The Gleaner that she attributed her triumph to her determination to rise above the challenges and stay the course.
"Life is not linear. It will knock you hard and people will try to make you feel less than you are. You have to know yourself, believe in yourself, and never let external forces dictate your journey or destination," said the business reporter, who also walked away first runner-up at the recent Fair Play Awards for exposing the National Housing Trust's Outameni purchase.
"One of the greatest gifts, despite the many challenges, is that I work in one of the most challenging areas in journalism, but it's all about honing your skills and learning as you go along," she said.
CVM's Tyrone Reid was named Journalist of the Year. The PAJ's newest sectional award - the Best News, Sports and Current Affairs Blog - went to Zaheer Clarke for 'Zaheer's Facts, Lies and Statistics'.
2015 National Journalism Awards winners
- The Carl Wint Award for Human Interest Feature Stories
Christopher Serju -- The Gleaner (Print)
Zahra Burton - 18 Degrees North (Electronic)
- Best Television/Radio Feature
Edgar Lewis - JNN
- The Best Entertainment Story
Curtis Campbell - The Gleaner
- Junior Dowie Award for Sports Photography
Ricardo Makyn - The Gleaner
- Ken Dawson Award for Videography
Omar Green - Jamaica Information Service
- Best Cover Design (Newspapers)
Rorie Atkinson - Jamaica Observer
- Aston Rhoden Award for News Photography
Brian Cummings - Jamaica Observer
- Errol Harvey Award for Human Interest Photography
Jermaine Barnaby - The Gleaner
- Morris Cargill for Opinion Journalism
Gordon Robinson - The Gleaner
- Award for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment
Christopher Serju - The Gleaner
- Award for Excellence in Reporting on Children's Rights
Kayon Raynor - TVJ
- Award for Excellence in Reporting on Health and Wellness
Nadine Wilson Harris - The Gleaner
- Award for Excellence in Reporting on Agriculture
Christopher Serju - The Gleaner (Print)
Anjuii James Sawyers - Jamaica Information Service (Electronic)
- Best News Website
- Excellence in Reporting on Technology
Marilyn Facey - RJR
Kaneal Gayle - Business Access TV
- Best News, Sports and Current Affairs Blog
Zaheer Clarke for Zaheer's Facts, Lies and Statistics
- President's Award for Investigative Journalism
Khalilah Enriques - Nationwide News Network
- Hugh Crosskill-Raymond Sharpe Award for Sports Journalism
Donald Oliver - CVM TV
- Theodore Sealy-Hector Bernard Award for News
Andre Jebbinson - TVJ (Electronic)
Christopher Serju - The Gleaner (Print)
Kimberly Hibbert - Jamaica Observer (Print)
- Special Lifetime Achievement Award
- Young Journalist of the Year
Tameka Gordon - The Gleaner
- Journalist of the Year
Tyrone Reid - CVM TV