The T&T Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA), in collaboration with blink | bmobile, hosted its 12th annual Dinner and Awards for Media Excellence recently at the Jaffa at the Oval restaurant in Port-of-Spain.
The event, which was held in recognition of World Press Freedom Day, rewards persons in the industry whose pioneering efforts helped shape the media landscape.
The first of the 2016 awards went to late veteran journalist, Patrick Chookolingo, pioneer of the weekly tabloid in Trinidad. The second award was given to Reverend Dr Margaret Elcock, a broadcaster for over 20 years and the first woman to found a national radio station, Isaac 98.1 FM. Popular DJ turned businessman, Anthony Chow Lin On, aka Chinese Laundry, rounded off the evening's awards for his achievements in the broadcasting sector.
TTPBA President Daren Lee Sing opened the awards function and reminded the guests that this year's World Press Freedom Day theme is 'Access to information and fundamental freedoms: This is your right'. Lee Sing noted that Trinidad continues to be blessed with an independent media and said, "Let this occasion serve as a reminder to publishers and broadcasters that they are accountable to the citizenry. We must never compromise ourselves and conceal the truth but report and comment on the facts."
Camille Campbell, TSTT's Chief Marketing Officer wished everyone a happy World Press Freedom Day and noted that TSTT, in its role as the only national full-service provider of communications services, was committed to ensuring that everyone had access to the technology that was fostering digital communities with a larger voice to promote social improvement. Campbell stated, "We are committed to continuing to invest millions of dollars into the evolving technology that has become a powerful enabler of society."
Campbell said blink | bmobile was pleased to partner once again with TTPBA to honour individuals from the media whose careers exemplified excellence, and whose trailblazing trajectories played a significant role in shaping the media landscape of T&T.
She added: "On behalf of the management and staff of TSTT, I wish to thank the TTPBA for continuing to build on our partnership, and for remaining true to the cause of giving just due to the many media workers upon whose shoulders the media industry is built."
Jim Clancy, an award-winning international broadcast journalist, delivered the feature address. Clancy had the audience captivated with a recap of his time spent covering stories in war-torn territories. He commented that T&T was a fortunate society and commended the TTPBA and the media for the work they were doing. Clancy asked the attendees to honour the journalists who sacrificed so much for their profession and said: "It's truly an honour to be here with you today. Let us be journalists who not only explore but inspire. Let us resolve to walk together in courage here in Trinidad and Tobago. "
Maxie Cuffie, Minister of Communications, and United States Ambassador John L Estrada attended the awards function, as well as representatives from the Telecommunications Authority of T&T, Telecommunications Services of T&T, Association of Caribbean Media Workers, Media Association of T&T, Advertising Association of T&T and the International Media Centre.