Institute of Maltese Journalists (IĠM) Chairman Malcolm J. Naudi praised the initiative of the Sammut Family to sponsor the Opinion Articles category in the Malta Journalism Awards (MJA).
“This is an individual initiative from a family who wishes to pay tribute to the considerable contribution of their father, the late George Sammut, to the journalism profession, especially through the medium of opinion articles,” Mr Naudi said.
“This is an area of journalism that is often less appreciated but has a high impact on the quality of the medium. It is a constant challenge to balance opinions so that this reflects the diversity expected by the audience.”
Austin Sammut, one of George Sammut’s children, paid tribute to his father’s contribution to journalism both in Malta through his 27 years of service at Allied Malta Newspapers Ltd, including a decade as Editor of The Sunday Times of Malta, and internationally, as the local correspondent of the BBC and The Times of London.
“We strongly feel that there is a role for opinion articles in Maltese journalism and this is a way of continuing the memory of our father, who was also Chairman of the local branch of the Institute of Journalists (IoJ) UK and the only local member to be made a Fellow of the Institute,” Dr Sammut said.
The IĠM has received 56 submissions for the 23rd edition of the MJA. Apart from the three main categories, Print Journalism, Broadcast Journalism and eJournalism, the Opinion Articles category falls into the General category, along with Travel Journalism, Cultural Journalism, Sports Journalism – Print, Sports Journalism – Broadcasting, Sports Photography, Environment Journalism and the Maltese Language in Journalism Award.
The finalists were announced at SmartCity Malta on Friday, May 31, followed by the Presentation of the Awards ceremony on Saturday, 15 June at The Palace Hotel, Sliema. During the evening, the Gold Award, sponsored by the Tumas Fenech Foundation for Education in Journalism (FTFEĠ), for outstanding contribution to the journalism profession that goes beyond the normal call of duty, will also be awarded.