Citi News’ Western Regional Correspondent, Akwasi Agyei Annim has been adjudged the “2019 Best Journalist of the Year.”
He was honoured at the maiden Western Region edition of the Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA) awards ceremony held in Takoradi.
Annim’s announcement as the overall Best Journalist for the region was welcomed with resounding applause from the auditorium for his excellent and balanced reports for the year under review.
His citation read, “You demonstrated a commitment to work, high sense of professionalism, and accuracy in reporting and timely delivery. You have a nose for news and uphold the ethics and conduct of the profession. You are a pacesetter, innovative and up to the challenge”.
The first ever Western Region edition of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) awards ceremony themed, “Redefining Corporate Social Responsibility; Moving from handout to Legacy projects, the role of the gatekeeper” was with the objective of recognizing excellence in journalism in the region.
The event which had in attendance the National President of the GJA, Affail Monney and the Chairman of the National Media Commission, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo also saw other journalists from the region honoured in seven categories with Nana Esi of Space FM in Tarkwa receiving the Best Female Journalist while Inna-Thalia Quansah of Radio Maxx in Takoradi also receiving the Most Promising Journalist of the year.
One of the highlights of the Western Regional GJA awards was the presentation of a medical insurance package for some retired journalists in the region.
The Chairman of the National Media Commission, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo while commending the awardees and the Western Regional GJA executives for the transparent organization of the awards also challenged the National GJA to consider the innovations in the Western Regional wards.
“I think that one of the best things that has happened here today is the institution of the medical support for past and retired journalists who served in this region. Again I am looking at the President of the Ghana Journalist Association to see how what has been done here, where technically outsiders have been used to measure the standard of journalism practice, can be adopted as a complement to the awards ceremonies that we have been organizing.”
“This is because most of the time, professional journalists are in-charge of those awards but looking at the feeling that has happened here, it seem to me that the Western Regional Journalists are satisfied with the way and manner that the selection process was conducted.
That may suggest that if we engage outsiders in selection, they may be able to do a more objective analysis of things we do. So therefore, if even we would not leave it totally in the hands of outsiders, at least, we must bring in some other professional groups to support the effort of the journalists so that we combine some professionalism with some technical understanding and academic influence in the way we go about what we do,” he added.
The National President of the GJA, Dr. Affail Monney speaking to Citi News at the event also praised the Western Regional GJA Chapter for the beautiful event and pledged that some of the innovations witnessed will be adopted at the national level of the awards.
He said the National GJA has also taken steps to ensure insurance for GJA members where half of the dues paid goes into insurance schemes.
On the need for the GJA to advocate for journalists welfare, Mr. Monney said the new unionized GJA will be the vehicle for such advocacy.
“The GJA is now unionized. What is means is that the GJA will now serve as intermediaries between journalists and their employers but one ought to be a member before we can rally to your assistance when you most need it. So it is a clarion call to all journalists, please come on board. We are an affiliate of the TUC. When recently some journalists were sacked, we teamed up with the TUC to provide assistance.”
The Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney, speaking on the theme said mining companies have spent 230 million dollars in the last decade on corporate social responsibilities but said the time has come for mining firms to embark on legacy projects when it comes to CSR.
Mr. Koney however challenged journalists to show interest in the dealings of the mining sector and insist on fair distribution of mining revenues.
The Western Regional GJA Chapter Chairman, Moses Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu, who praised institutions who supported the awards said the success of the event marks the beginning of a new chapter in the activities of the Western Regional GJA and called on all to rally around the GJA for a forward match.
Institutions including Goldfields Ghana Limited, Ghana Manganese Limited, Ghana Gas, Raybow Hotel, Tullow Ghana, MTN, Kosmos Energy, Springfield Group supported awards.