It was a befitting 70th anniversary gift for the Tribune titles at this year’s edition of the Diamond Award for Media Excellence (DAME), held in Lagos, Sunday night, as the publication was awarded the most prestigious award for the night, the Lifetime Achievement Recognition for its seven decades of robust journalism.
With this feat, Tribune becomes the first corporate organisation to be given such recognition by DAME. Twenty-five Nigerians had won the title in the past.
The publication, which turned 70, on November 16, this year, also had other laurels to show, as its Saturday Editor, Dr Lasisi Olagunju and the Group Business Editor, Mr. Sulaimon Olanrewaju emerged winner and second runner-up, respectively, in the Informed Commentary Category.
Tribune also emerged first runner-up, in the Editorial Writing category, while one of its reporters, Mr. Tubosun Ogundare, emerged second runner-up in the Lagos Reporting Category.
Speaking at the event, a trustee of the Award and Chief Executive Officer, Media Review, organisers of the Award, Mr. Lanre Idowu, explained that the decision to recognise the publication with the Lifetime Achievement Award, according to the organisers, was informed by the fact that the oldest surviving newspaper had distinguished itself “as one of Africa’s most successful and influential newspapers in a setting where the attrition rate of news publications has remained disturbingly high.”
Describing the newspaper as “a study in industry and resilience,” Idowu commended the founder of the publication, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and the succeeding managers for their vision and the managerial acumen.
“Tribune, today, remains a worthy example of an institutional legacy that has endured. Not only has the paper endured gracefully, but it has also grown in its economic fortunes,” he added.
Idowu further explained that the Award remains the only category that is not applied for.
“The uniqueness of the Lifetime Award is derived from the fact that it remains the only category that is not applied for.
“Besides, we are giving Nigerian Tribune, this year because we felt the publication must be doing something right, the reason it had kept going, despite the difficult economic terrain.
Twenty-six Nigerians have till date been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement recognition, with the Nigerian Tribune being the first corporate brand to be so honoured.
A total of seventeen prizes were given out to various journalists and media houses, while Tribune was presented with the Lifetime Award, being the most celebrated.
Expressing delight at the Award, the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) PLC, publishers of Tribune titles, Mr Edward Dickson, represented by Mr. Sulaimon Olanrewaju, the Group Business Editor, described the award as a challenge for the publication to do more.
“We are delighted at the award. It is actually a call for us to do more. We are ready for the challenge, and we promise we’ll always keep faith with robust journalism the publication is known for,” Dickson said.
Prizes were awarded in reporting categories, such as Nutrition, Education, Lagos, Sports, Judiciary, Investigation, Child-friendly, and Agriculture. Other categories include News photography, Newspaper Design, Editorial Cartooning, Informed Commentary, Editorial Writing, Child-friendly Medium, Television Documentary, Editor of the Year and Newspaper of the Year.
Established in 1991, DAME held its first presentation in 1992 and has grown to become Africa’s most consistent media award.