Journalists from the United Kingdom (UK) walked away with the majority of the prizes in this year’s Barbados Media Awards, which was hosted by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI).
During the black tie event at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Wednesday night, several awards were presented to journalists from the UK, Canada, the US and Barbados.
Malou Morgan of the online blog Skip to Malou, captured the award for Best Story by a Barbadian Journalist in a Local Publication for her post Home Drum Beat First.
However, it was Lebawit Lily Girma from the US who captured the majority of the awards, having copped the Best Photo in Conjunction with a Feature Article Award for her article #No Filter, the Best Story by a Blogger Award for her story Dear Diary, and the overall BTMI’s Standing O’ Award.
UK journalists walked away with a total of four awards, including Best Feature Article in a Trade Publication (Andrew Doherty); Best Feature Article in a Consumer Publication (Harriet Green); Best Feature by a Foreign Journalist in Foreign Media (Peter Stuart) and Best Story in a Luxury Publication (Edwin Smith).
The award for Epicurean Excellence went to Kim Honey out of Canada for her story Shaken not Stirred while Charanna Alexander Jean from the US received the award for Best Story on Romance for her article How Can this Knot be Love?
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to photographer Willie Alleyne of Willie Alleyne Associates Photography Ltd.
The event now in its second year was dotted with entertainment in the form of live performances from some of the island’s popular artists including Nikita Browne and Philip Scantlebury.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport Kerrie Symmonds thanked the journalists for their articles on the island which he said helped to shape visitors’ opinions.
“Those of you who have, in the travel media, been able to shape and sell Barbados as an aspirational destination, as a destination which is sought after by the well-heeled, as a destination which fits neatly into several boxes, whether it is family, multi generation travelling, whether it is sports and romance, or any other category, you have helped us to come to the point where we are and for that, as a policymaker, I am eternally indebted to you,” he said.
Acknowledging that they may find Barbados to be a little more expensive than some other destinations, Symmonds said as far as he was aware, the price point was justified.
“We are a few price points higher because we are a little further away than the rest of the islands in the Caribbean, but we are a value for money proposition because we are a lot safer, we have a better health infrastructure and we have better internet connectivity and those are some of the things that make people say this will be my choice of destination,” he said. (MM)