Kenya Editors Guild to Launch Hillary Ngw'eno Prize to Honour the Veteran Journalist

Nairobi — The Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) has announced plans to launch an annual Hillary Boniface Ngw'eno prize for journalists to honour the veteran journalist's contribution to media development in the country

Ng'weno died last week aged 83.

Ahead of his burial, the Guild organised a memorial in his honour, attended by top media executives, representatives from professional media organisations among others. Others took part virtually.

KEG President Churchill Otieno said the prize will begin this year, to mark Ng'weno's stellar contribution in the establishment and growth of independent journalism in the country.

"This prize will be awarded during the editors convention to recognize journalists who demonstrate strength, spirit in executing editorial leadership and innovation," Otieno said at the memorial held at Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi.

Otieno, a Senior Editor at the Nation Media Group, said Hillary "brought honour, dignity, respect and unparalleled incisiveness into the practice of journalism in Kenya and in the region, inspiring great minds upon whom media work thrives to this day."

Human Rights Lawyer and politician Gitobu Imanyara said Kenya will miss Ng'weno due to his indepth reporting of issues. "One of the shortcomings of today's media is lack of in-depth analysis of stories, similar to what the Weekly Review did," Imanyara said.

I usually say that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. We are assembled here today to remember Hilary Ngweno because he taught us this ~ Gitobu Imanyara #CelebratingNgweno pic.twitter.com/s53kcJBpyg

- Kenya Editors' Guild (@KenyaEditors) July 21, 2021

Media Council of Kenya Chairman Maina Muiruri said "the best way we can remember Hilary Ng'weno is to embrace the ideals of media freedom that he stood for."

Capital FM' Editorial Director Bernard Momanyi called upon journalists to embrace Hillary's legacy and make a positive contribution to the growth and sustainability of the profession.

"Hillary has done his part, the future of fine journalism depends on you and me, let us reflect and think of what we can do to propel journalism to the next level," he said, "We must be alive to the threats that face our profession from all corners and prepare to confront them without fear and stand to be counted."

Respected media owner Rose Kimotho eulogised Ng'weno as a "man of many firsts."

When people talk about Hillary, they think Weekly Review, but he represented much more ~ Rose Kimotho #CelebratingNgweno pic.twitter.com/t4UZfbgMNS

- Kenya Editors' Guild (@KenyaEditors) July 21, 2021

'He set up the first private TV station STV. He launched the first business news channel. He brought to Kenya Hollywood blockbusters. He brought the first Soap operas so when people talk about Hilary they think Weekly Review, but he represented much more."

Hillary influenced how many of us do our jobs. He set very high professional standards. He was fearless and focused on serving the country ~ Samuel Maina #CelebratingNgweno pic.twitter.com/6nL9sYFP3q

- Kenya Editors' Guild (@KenyaEditors) July 21, 2021

Radio Africa Editor In Chief Paul Ilado recalled Ng'weno as a transformative journalist, Editor and leader.

"The journalism profession is poorer without him. Let us put into practice what he taught us," he said.

Hilary taught us that leadership is not professional, it's personal. A great editor is in your face and in your life. You are terrified of him, and you love him too. That was Hilary ~ Paul Illado #CelebratingNgweno pic.twitter.com/5iMTLhWR6O

- Kenya Editors' Guild (@KenyaEditors) July 21, 2021

Oloo Janak who heads the Kenya Correspondents Association said "Ngw'eno helped shape the [media] industry by setting high professional standards. As we send Hillary off, I think the most important thing is to remember that he shaped this country and mentored many of us."

Ng'weno was the proprietor and Editor-In-Chief of the Weekly Review magazine which dominated political journalism in the 70's unill the 1990's.

Ngw'eno, who was always referred to his colleagues as HBN, was also a pioneer in broadcast journalism.

He launched one of Kenya's first independent television stations, STV when the State monopoly was broken in the late 1980s. It was later bought out by Mediamax.

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