The Chief Executive Officer of FRESH NEWS Media Group, Mr. Desmond
Utomwen, has emerged a winner of the 2018 Nigerian Union of Journalists,
NUJ, Press Freedom Award.
Mr. Utomwen, who is also the publisher of Freshnewsng.com, a leading online publication based in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, was chosen for the award in recognition of his courage, professionalism and the dogged
campaign against abuse of journalists and protection of media practitioners in Africa, the NUJ stated.
The award will be conferred on FRESH NEWS Media boss at an awards and
dinner night scheduled for Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Ladi Kwali Hall, Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers at 5pm.
The conferment of the award is part of NUJ’s celebration of the World Press Freedom Day 2018 commemorated on May 3 of each year.
Utomwen, who has been a victim of unjustifiable brutality in the hands
of the Nigerian Police and agents of the Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB is also being celebrated for his courage in seeking redress and securing judgment against the agents of state and other attackers.
He is also the co-founder of Campaign Against Brutality and For Safety of Journalists in Africa (CABSOJA) a pro-media rights NGO campaigning for formulation and implementation of actions and policies that would ensure protection of journalists from any form of assault and brutality in the course of performing their constitutional duty of holding government accountable to the people.
A nomination letter, which conveyed Utomwen’s nomination signed by the
National Secretary of the NUJ, Shuaibu Usman Leman, Walin Shadalafiya gave reasons for the award: “After sifting through many nominations received from journalists and members of the Nigerian public for this award category, the NUJ Awards Selection Committee has adjudged you as one of the winners of this award.”
The award ceremony, which will also feature a lecture on Press Freedom, Good Governance and Nation Building in Nigeria, is being organised to motivate journalists, promote press freedom, good governance and democracy in Nigeria through recognition of practitioners who have displayed courage and risked their lives to ensure reporting of critical events.
These journalists have faced threats, harassment, physical injury, imprisonment, and even death in the course of their assignments. Shuaibu Usman Leman noted that such journalists need to be recognised and celebrated.