The 17th edition of the Journalism Awards for Excellence 2015 will be held on Tuesday, August 02, 2016 in the Empire Ballroom of the Mt. Lavinia Hotel. The event is jointly organized by The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka (TEGOSL) and the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) is the most prestigious media awards event in the country.
A total of 229 applications from 11 newspaper publishing groups were received by the distinguished 11-member independent Panel of Judges for the Journalism Awards for Excellence 2015, said Journalism Awards for Excellence Convener Sukumar Rockwood.
Each year the winner of the Denzil Peiris Young Reporter of the Year Award receives six-months training in Journalism at the MASCOM – Journalism Training Institute in Kerala - with the complements of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Foundation. He is flown out by SriLankan and receives a stipend of US $ 1,000.
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 14 Awards, The Editors Guild selects senior journalists for the Lifetime Achievement Awards (gold medal) and presents two special Awards - the D. R. Wijewardene Award for Recognition by Peers and the Public and the Sepala Gunasena Award for Defending Press Freedom in Sri Lanka.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
This year the Life Time Achievement Award will be presented to the following senior journalists who have served the profession.
• NEVILLE DE SILVA
Mr. Neville de Silva started his professional career at Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd., (Lake House) where he later held several senior posts. He worked in Hong Kong at The Standard and in London for Gemini News Service. He has been a correspondent for the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, Le Monde, Asian Wall Street Journal, AFP and several other foreign media. He currently is a regular contributor to The Sunday Times in Colombo.
• PIYASENA IHALAVITHANA
– Mr. Ihalavithana was a long time journalist at the Davasa newspaper published by Independent Newspapers Ltd., where he rose to the position of News Editor prior to moving to Lake House where he was News Editor of the Dinamina. He later joined the Irudina newspaper published by Leader Publications Ltd., where he was the Chief Sub-Editor until 2012.
• VEERAGATHY THANABALASINGHAM
– Mr. Thanabalasingham joined the Virakesari newspaper as a Proof Reader in 1977 published by Express Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd., and having served for 20-years in Virakesari newspaper; he helped launch the Thinakkural newspaper in 1997 and became its Founder Editor later. The newspaper is published by Asian Media Publications (Pvt) Ltd.
• SARATH MALALASEKERA
– Mr. Malalasekera was a senior reporter at Lake House specializing in court reporting for the Daily News and Sunday Observer. Most of his Courts Reports were also translated into Sinhala and published in the Dinamina and Silumina of the same Group.
• PREMASIRI ABEYSINGHE
Mr. Abeysinghe began his newspaper career at the Siyarata newspaper and worked at the Sinhala Bauddhaya, one of the oldest newspapers of Sri Lanka. In 1977 he joined Dinamina as a sub-editor and became Editor of the Budhusarana newspaper.