Na­tion­wide’s Fitz Hen­ley is Jour­nal­ist of the Year

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Jodi-ann Gilpin Gleaner Writer

THE GLEANER’S Ryon Jones, Abka Fitz-Hen­ley from Na­tion­wide News Net­work, and Kimmo Matthews from Loop News all pro­duced ex­cel­lent pieces of work in the last 12 months, which made it dif­fi­cult for judges to name the Jour­nal­ist of The Year.

How­ever, it was Fitz-Hen­ley who copped the cov­eted ti­tle on Satur­day at the Press As­so­ci­a­tion of Ja­maica’s Na­tional Jour­nal­ism Awards Cer­e­mony, which was held at the Courtleigh Au­di­to­rium in New Kingston. Je­di­ael Carter of the Ja­maica Ob­server was named Young Jour­nal­ist of the Year.

The Na­tion­wide News re­porter who brought sev­eral is­sues to light, in­clud­ing ‘Mys­tery Bugs Killing Ba­bies at UHWI’, said his pri­or­ity is to al­ways con­trib­ute to Ja­maica’s de­vel­op­ment and to main­tain eth­i­cal stan­dards within the pro­fes­sion.

“You know, when I am pur­su­ing a story, an award is the last thing on my mind. Fore­most is the zeal to make the coun­try a bet­ter place and ef­fect pos­i­tive change. That said, I ap­pre­ci­ate that in pur­su­ing this zeal, this award has come,” he said.

“Of course, I have to recog­nise the Supreme Be­ing, [and] also Cliff Hughes (head of Na­tion­wide News Net­work). He gave me an op­por­tu­nity to con­trib­ute to na­tional de­vel­op­ment at age 20. My fam­ily, I know, is pleased that this award has gone to me. They have put up with the de­mands that come with this pro­fes­sion and I salute them,” he con­tin­ued.


Jones was also a big win­ner as he made sev­eral trips to the stage to col­lect a num­ber of awards, in­clud­ing four cer­tifi­cates of merit for the Carl Wint Award for Hu­man In­ter­est Fea­ture Sto­ries for the print sec­tion; the Award for Ex­cel­lence in Re­port­ing on Chil­dren’s Rights; the Pres­i­dent’s Award for In­ves­tiga­tive Jour­nal­ism; and the Theodore Sealy Award for News for the print sec­tion. Na­tion­wide News Net­work’s Abka Fitz-Hen­ley is pre­sented with his award for Jour­nal­ist of the Year by Clin­ton Hunter, Ja­maica re­gional man­ager, Sagi­cor Group.

He was an­nounced the win­ner for Ex­cel­lence in Re­port­ing on the En­vi­ron­ment.

“It is an ex­tremely sat­is­fy­ing feel­ing to be recog­nised by other per­sons in the pro­fes­sion for the work that I did through­out the year, es­pe­cially be­cause that work was not done with any award in mind. I did it be­cause the sto­ries were there to be told, and I very much love my job, so I im­mersed my­self in it,” said Jones.

“What­ever I achieve in the field of jour­nal­ism, I never lose sight of the fact that with­out quite a few per­sons, it wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble. None more so than my ed­i­tor, Arthur Hall, who has been an in­spi­ra­tion and a men­tor. He’s the rea­son why I am the jour­nal­ist I am to­day,” he de­clared.

Other stand­outs included Corey Robin­son

from The Gleaner, who won the Carl Wint Award for Hu­man In­ter­est Fea­ture sto­ries in ad­di­tion to the Award for Ex­cel­lence in Re­port­ing on Chil­dren’s Rights.

Zahra Bur­ton from 18 de­grees North took the Pres­i­dent’s Award for best In­ves­tiga­tive Jour­nal­ism. The Ray­mond Sharpe/Hugh Crosskill Award for Sports Re­port­ing for the elec­tronic sec­tion went to Shaun Grant of KLAS Sports Ra­dio and Jor­dan Forte of Ra­dio Ja­maica (RJR). Sher­don Walker of The Ob­server was the win­ner for the print sec­tion, while Da­nia Bogle of The Gleaner re­ceived a cer­tifi­cate of merit. The Gleaner’s Jo­van John­son was the win­ner of the Hec­tor Bernard/Theodore Sealy Award for News.


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