Na­tion­wide’s Fitz-Hen­ley bags 2015-16 Fair Play Awards

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Ja­son Cross ja­son.cross@glean­erjm.com

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 mul­ti­part 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.

JER­MAINE BARNABY/FREE­LANCE PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Na­tion­wide News Net­work re­porter Abka Fitz-Hen­ley after win­ning the Fair­play Award.

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