The Eastern Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), has launched an awards scheme to reward and motivate journalists producing and publishing compelling development oriented stories in the Region.
The awards, the first of it’s kind in the Region, will have the main event held in the month of May this year and will award journalists in various categories including Business/SME, Mining /Environment, Rural Reporting, Road safety Reporting and Water/Sanitation Reporting.
Other categories are Morning Show, Akan newscaster and Crime/Court Reporting.
The Awards is under the Theme: “Repositioning Eastern Region for investments and job creation; Role of the Media”.
According to the Eastern GJA, entries of journalistic works published between January and December 2017 will be received for vetting by a five-member committee from February 26 to March 26, 2018.
Launching the award scheme in Koforidua at the weekend, Mr. Michael Kofi Okyere-Baafi, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Free Zones Authority, lauded the decision for choosing the theme since it is an urgent need for the Eastern Region, with its enormous natural resources, to be repositioned to attract more investors who will contribute in creating jobs for Ghanaians.
Okyere-Baafi expressed worry that Ghanaians, in general, had little or no understanding of the free zones concept, the reason for which they seem to have left the big time business ventures in the imports and exports sector to the expatriates.
He called on the journalists in the region to turn their lenses and tools to sensitising residents on the relevance of engaging in businesses at the free zones to facilitate them establish bigger industries that can offer employment opportunities to the teeming youth in the region.
Mr. Okyere-Baafi also announced that the Free Zones Authority has acquired an arable land at Kwamoso in the Akuapem North Municipality in the Eastern Region to be used for a light industrial area.
He said, the Free Zones Authority is almost through on a deal with an American investor to establish a pharmaceutical industry at Kwamoso in the Akuapem North Municipality of the Eastern Region and added that more of such industries can become a reality if the media plays their role well.
He advised the media to endeavour to propagate the facts and the truth devoid of sensationalism.
The Eastern Regional Chairman of the GJA, Maxwell Kudekor, in his address said, the media in the Eastern Region for decades have proven to be formidable and paid their dues to the nation.
According to him, journalists in the region brave death in pursuant of their constitutional mandate to let the people know.
“It is up to us to give ourselves recognition. If we wait for it to come from others, we feel resentful when it doesn’t and when it does we may as well reject it,” Kudekor stressed.
He suggested that, the mother body of the GJA should consider making the national journalists’ awards competitive among the ten regions.
He said organising GJA awards in all the ten regions to select winners to compete for the national awards would be the best way to go.
Mr. Kudekor called on corporate bodies and institutions who believe in press freedom and promotion of responsible journalism to support the initiative.
The awards committee is chaired by Dr. Awal Mohammed, Lecturer and Head of Department- Liberal Studies, Koforidua Technical University.