Attorney General Dale Marshall has publicly commended journalists for their commitment and hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the public informed, especially during the early stages of the pandemic.
The Attorney General heaped accolades on the profession as he expressed his deep appreciation on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados during the pandemic for “using your pen, your ears and your voice to help keep us safe”.
Speaking during the launch of the Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers (BARJAM) media awards at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Sunday night, Mr. Marshall said the awards are in recognition of achieving excellence in the field of journalism.
“Congratulations to all of you for a year of hard work in extraordinary circumstances. In many respects, this year 2020 has proven without a doubt, the value of the Fourth Estate,” he underlined.
Pointing out that there is a love/hate relationship between the media and the political class, Mr. Marshall said the Fourth Estate, though not a recognised part of the political process, is an invaluable partner.
“It is an advocate for the interest of the people, and helps to frame the debate. It helps to shine the light on what we do as a Government, whether good or bad. In many ways, you play a better role in framing the debate on current affairs than we as politicians do, and you are an undeniable influencer of public opinion. You are the ears, the eyes, and the voice of the people,” he added.
Mr. Marshall also used the opportunity to remind the gathering about issues of national importance, such as Government’s plan to enact the Freedom of Information legislation to ensure citizens have a greater insight as to how some decisions are made, the digitising of public service records, the appointment of additional judges, which are all aimed at making the process of governance more transparent.
During the proceedings, journalists and media workers were rewarded for their hard work.
In winners’ row were the Barbados Government Information Service’s Information Officer, Jamal Weekes, who copped the Best Human-Interest Radio Feature, and retired Information Officer, Joy Springer, who won the PR Officer/Corporate Communications Specialist Award of the year.
Starcom Network’s Station Manager, David Ellis, received the Pat Hoyos Award in the Best Business and Financial Journalist category, while Sheria Brathwaite won the Carl Moore Award for the Best News Journalist.
Well-known cricket commentator, Andrew Mason, won the Gladstone Holder Award for the Best Feature, while the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation’s Ryan Boome took home the Best Television Feature Award.
Honourable mention was made of Anmar Goodridge-Boyce and Tre Greaves from the Nation Publishing Company; Marlon Madden, Kobie Broomes and Anesta Henry, from Barbados Today; and Kerri Gooding, from Loop News.