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Oloja, Olorunyomi, others shine at DAME Awards


The Guardian’s celebrated columnist, Martins Oloja, holding the Hadj. Alade Odunewu Prize for Informed Commentary and President of NGE, Funke Egbomode recently at DAME awards in Lagos

It was celebration of outstanding excellence at the 26th Diamond Awards Media Execllence (DAME), as The Guardian’s celebrated columnist, Mr. Martins Oloja won The Hadj. Alade Odunewu Prize for Informed Commentary. With The title ‘Why we need better Universities, not more of The Guardian, June 4 2016.’ he was nominated alongside Henry Boyo of Punch Newspaper.
Similarly, Editor in Chief Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
In his address, Supervising Trustee of DAME, Mr. LanreIdowu, noted, “No one should accuse our journalists of lack of patriotism. We witnessed abundant enthusiasm in the entries received for a better Nigeria. We were confronted with the reality that a lot remains to be done to make our media the leader it should be. We saw confusion on the part of our journalists who mistake depth of research for length of reports. We noticed enthusiasm sometimes beclouding news reporting where detachment was recommended.
“We also noticed problems with framing of stories where promising storylines petered out after a few paragraphs.”
He further expressed concern over the country’s economy, adding that priorities are being rearranged in a belt-tightening exercise that we pray will not make the mid region totally disappear.
According to her, “For us at DAME, the immediate consequence of this cutting back is a drastic reduction in the donor funds available for projects such as DAME. So, we have had to cut back in some areas. We have had to drop some categories to ensure we do not bite more than we can chew.”
In his speech, Mr. Olorunyomi acknowledged the organisers of the award and also expressed concerns at the present state of Nigerian media. According to him, there should be an emergency in the Nigerian media, adding that the media is going through critical crisis, where some media owners struggle to pay salaries.
Other awardees were Gbenro Adeoye of Punch, who won The News Agency of Nigeria Prize for Agriculture Reporting, Taiwo Alimi, also of Punch, who won The SO Idowu Prize for Sports Reporting, Suleiman Husaini of New Telegraph won Hakeem Shitta Memorial Prize for News Photography, Olatunji Ololade of The Nation won the UNICEF Prize for child friendly Reporting, Hon. Justice Moronkeji Onalaja Memorial Prize for Judicial Reporting. This Day emerged The Best Designed Newspapers and also won The UNICEF Prize for The Child Friendly Medium in Partnership with NGE while Nike Popoola of Punch won the Sovereign Trust Insurance Prize for Insurance Reporting.

Punch also won The Tunde Oseni Memorial Prize for Editorial Writing, Toluwani Eniola and Umar Mohammed of Punch won The Sam Amaka Prize for Investigative Reporting, Punch also emerged Newspaper of The Year, while Mr. Martin Ayankola of Punch emerged the Editor of the Year.

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