Record entries for Journalism Awards on Tuesday

A record 250 entries were received this year for the annual Journalism Awards for Excellence Programme jointly organized by The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka (TEGOSL) and the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI), showing a growing acceptance among the wider spectrum of print journalists to what has become the most prestigious media awards in the country.

This year will be the 12th edition of the industry driven Awards programme, which was first begun by The Editors’ Guild in 1998. The programme aims at recognizing and rewarding excellence in the field of journalism.

This year’s Awards Night will be held on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 in the Empire Ballroom of the host hotel - Mount Lavinia Hotel.

This year entries were received for 14 categories, which are listed below:

  • Mervyn de Silva Journalist of the Year
  • Scoop of the Year
  • Investigative Journalist of the Year
  • Best Environmental Reporter of the Year
  • Subramaniyam Chettiar Award for Reporting on Social Issues
  • Sports Journalist of the Year
  • Denzil Peiris Young Reporter of the Year (Under 26 years)
  • Photojournalist of the Year
  • Best Designed Newspaper of the Year
  • Business Journalist of the Year (Three Awards: Sinhala, Tamil and English)
  • Upali Wijewardene Feature Writer of the Year (Three Awards: Sinhala, Tamil and English)
  • Cartoonist of the Year
  • B. A. Siriwardena Columnist of the Year (Three Awards: Sinhala, Tamil and English)
  • Prof. K. Kailasapathy Award for Reporting under Special Circumstances

Besides the above Awards, The Editors Guild selects senior journalists for Lifetime Achievement Awards and the recipients of the D.R. Wijewardene Award for Recognition of Peers and the Public and the Sepala Gunasena Award for Press Freedom.

This year we honour four veteran journalists who join the distinguished list of men and women who have received the Life Time Achievement Award.

They are:

  • Lloyd Rajaratnam Devarajah
  • Sarath Cooray
  • S. M. Gopalaratnam
  • Bandula Harischandra

Lloyd Rajaratnam Devarajah

Lloyd Devarajah became a free-lance journalist for the Times of Ceylon in 1953 while working in the Postal Department. He later contributed articles to The Sunday Illustrated, the Morning Times, the Ceylon Daily Mirror and the Times Weekender.

He resigned from the Postal Department after 7 ½ years service and worked for the Times of Ceylon as a ‘stringer’ and in 1961 joined the permanent staff of the Ceylon Daily Mirror while contributing articles to the Times of Ceylon.

From 1968, he wrote a regular column for the Times of Ceylon until the newspaper was closed in 1975 and continued writing for the Ceylon Daily Mirror until the closure of the Times Group in 1984. From 1981 to 1987 he was the correspondent for South Asia Travel Review. He was educated at St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya.

Sarath Cooray

His early contributions as a student appeared in the Lankadeepa during the Dhanapala era, while his left roots inspired him to join the Communist Party papers, Maubima and Forward during the sixties.

He worked for different newspapers including Daily Sirilaka and The Nation Weekly until the launch in 1977 of Dinakara of which he was the founder Editor.

At Lake House he was Editor - Dinamina, Editor-in-chief of the Group’s Foreign News Desk, Managing Editor of Sinhala Publications and Consultant until his resignation as Director/Editorial Administration in 2005.

He has been an advertising executive and foreign correspondent as well. He is a founder member of The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka.

S. M. Gopalaratnam

S. M. Gopalaratnam born and educated in Jaffna started his journalistic career in 1953 as a proof reader on the Virakesari newspaper. He later rose to the rank of Sub-Editor the following year and left in May 1960.

He joined the Eelanadu – a bi-weekly newspaper - in August 1960 as News Editor and later became its Editor in 1961 at which time it became a daily newspaper. He retired in1981 as Editor and joined the Kalaikadir – a weekly newspaper - as Editor in 1982. The newspaper folded up six months later.

He joined the Seithi Kadhir – a weekly newspaper - in 1985 as Editor and in 1986 he joined Eelamurasu as Chief Editor. In October 1987 he retired from active journalism.

Bandula Harischandra

Bandula Harischandra is a senior artist who has many paintings in Buddhist temples in the country to his credit; among them are the Ambalangoda Kaluwasmula Trimana Temple and the Sri Lankarama Temple in Borella. He has also designed many postage stamps.

His drawings have appeared in many articles in newspapers and magazines. His drawings were published for the first time in 1958 in an article appearing in “Sri Lanka” – an economic magazine published by the Government Information Department.He joined Lake House in 1962 and left the institution in 1978. From 1978 to 1986 he worked for Multi Packs Publications and from 1986 to 2004 he worked for Camillus Publications. He is presently employed in the daily and weekly Lakbima as a journalist, cartoonist and artist.

He has also written several articles about artists, Buddhism, and Astrology. His drawings appear in 170 books. He has drawn pictures and written articles in two picture-story books titled “Deepa” and “Bebadda Samaga Nidan Horu.”

His drawings also appear in many publications released by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF. Some of his drawings have been published in books overseas.

WAN-IFRA head as chief guest

President of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) Jacob Mathew will be the chief guest at next Tuesday’s (July 26, 2011) Awards Night jointly organised by The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Press Institute at the Mount Lavinia Hotel, the host hotel for the event.
Mr. Mathew heads the world’s single largest media association.

Jacob Mathew

This will be the 12th edition of the annual Journalism Awards for Excellence programme. The programme recognises professionalism in journalism and rewards those who have excelled during a year.

It also awards Lifetime Achievement Gold Medals to those who have served the profession for nearly five decades and provides scholarships for young award winners, some of them in association with the Lakshman Kadirgamar Foundation and MASCOM, the School of Journalism of India’s largest circulating newspaper group, Malayala Manorama.

A record number of 250 entries were received this year for the 2010 Awards from journalists working for Sri Lankan newspapers for the several awards on offer showing the growing popularity of the programme which began with the 1998 Awards.

Prof. Tissa Kariyawasam, Former Head of the Department of Mass Communications at the Kelaniya University continues to head an independent and autonomous Judging Panel comprising of retired and working journalists and media academics.

The main sponsors of Awards 2010 are Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel with SriLankan Airlines, Carson Cumberbatch, Free Lanka Granite and Print Care as co-sponsors together with the newspaper industry.

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