By Ajibola Abayomi,
September 27, 2018.
History was made in Lagos on Thursday as Nestlé Nigeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos Council and Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME) Trust Fund to institute a ‘Nestlé Prize for Nutrition Reporting.
For Dr Qasim Akinreti, the chairman of Lagos NUJ, the development offered an opportunity to Nigerian Journalists to showcase excellence in nutrition reporting.
An elated chairman who led delegation of the NUJ to endorse the MoU, siad the initiative couldn’t have come at a better time when the media needed more motivation.
The aim of this partnership endorsed by the Lagos NUJ is to empower media professionals in the area of nutrition and health reporting. It will also recognize, reward and celebrate excellence among nutrition and health Journalists.
The Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME) is the only awards scheme in Nigeria that covers the media disciplines of Journalism, Broadcasting and Advertising. Founded upon the ideals that the media is the watchdog of the society, as well as the fourth estate of the realm, DAME exists to celebrate and reward superior performance in the fulfillment of such pivotal roles.
The sponsorship of a Nestlé Prize for Nutrition Reporting in DAME is another step in Nestlé Nigeria’s continuous collaboration with stakeholders and partners to provide adequate research based information to help people make healthier food choices. Nestlé recognizes the key role the media has to play in achieving this objective.
Nigeria currently grapples with the challenges associated with the triple burden of nutrition; under-nutrition, over-nutrition and micronutrient deficiency. Nestlé believes that promoting healthy nutrition habits as well as improving access to nutritious food will have a positive impact on Nigeria’s health profile.
Speaking on the importance of the partnership at the signing ceremony, Nestlé Nigeria’s Managing Director, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon said, “We strongly believe that when provided with adequate information and training, the media plays a key role in raising awareness of key nutrition, health and wellness issues among stakeholders and the public. Armed with fact-based information, individuals and families are empowered to make healthier nutrition choices.”
“We are confident that this partnership will provide a good platform to equip journalists with training and capacity building opportunities to help them perform at optimal capacity,” Mr. Alarcon added.
Speaking on behalf of DAME, Mr. Lanre Idowu, DAME Trustee, said, “We are very happy to have Nestlé Prize for Nutrition Reporting on the list of categories for the 27th edition of the prestigious media awards. This will encourage and give the much needed attention and recognition to exceptional nutrition writers and stimulate interest in nutrition writing.”
Akinreti appreciated Nestlé Nigeria for sponsoring the nutrition category to fill the gap in that area saying:
“We appreciate Nestlé Nigeria for collaborating with us to establish a Nestlé Prize for Nutrition Reporting, a first of its kind from the industry. This award will not only motivate our members but will also help us work towards achieving the sustainable development goals which include health,” he said.
“Nestlé Nigeria again reiterated its commitment towards enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future by working with partners to empower individuals to make healthier food choices. Nestlé Prize for Nutrition Reporting will help towards achieving this commitment by training and building the capability of media practitioners in this field. This is one more way through which the company creates shared value in the communities where it operates.
Health and nutrition reporters can submit entries forNestlé Prize for Nutrition Reporting in DAME Awards by visiting www.dameawards.com before the 17th of October 2018.
First held in 1992, DAME is a not-for-profit trust established to enhance professionalism in the Nigerian media. Apart from the 26 uninterrupted annual awards presentations to date, it holds periodic training for media professionals.
For the first time in the Award’s history, Lagos Reporting and Nutrition Reporting, sponsored by Nestlé Nigeria PLC are included in the roll honours.