Mrs Mabel Aku Banaseh of Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) was on Saturday adjudged the Journalist of the Year at the 19th Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards ceremony in Accra.
Mrs Banaseh also picked awards for Best Political Reporting and Best Crime and Court Reporting.
Shortly after receiving the prize, Mrs Banaseh expressed appreciation to God saying she takes consolation from the word.
She dedicated the award to her supportive husband who had given her the push, caring for her children by taking up mother responsibilities when she had to work late into the night.
The surprised winner of the coveted prize of the GJA awards also dedicated the award to her editors; Ransford Tetteh and Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo saying “without them and their directions I could not have come this far because they always bring out the best in me and it has been worthwhile.”
Mrs Banaseh, however, appealed to the media to devote their heart and time to their work.
The GJA event was the theme; “Using Development Journalism to Discern and Defend the National Interest”.
Mr Affail Monney, President of GJA, said it was the belief of GJA that no matter the subject, placing development at the centre of reportage was the best way forward for the Ghanaian media.
He said the progressive role required of the media in inspiring national development were through the monitoring of national projects and programmes and holding public officers accountable as it had even become more urgent in the face of current challenges in the socio-economic development of Ghana.
He said: “It is abundantly clear that the media should promote and defend human development by championing the people’s well being and welfare. That includes upholding human rights, the people’s right to true information and helping to hold public officers accountable.”
Mr Monney assured members of the GJA’s of the Association’s utmost commitment to develop a centre of coverage that would enhance development journalism in a manner that would help journalists discern and defend the national interest and help people make informed choices.
Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications, who read a speech on behalf of President John Dramani Mahama, lauded journalists for doing their best in bringing stories for public consumption, giving citizens voice to speak and continually holding government accountable.
He promised government’s commitment to work hand in hand with the GJA to protect and promote free, transparent and independent media with truth and accuracy as their common guiding values.
Dr Boamah, however, challenged journalists to let their reportage inspire, offer hope, give reason, remain optimistic as well as guide the country as one people united with a common destiny and aspiration.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene and the Special Guest of Honour, called on the GJA to unite its members to help advance development and make the national interest paramount.
He said the media landscape in Ghana continued to be vibrant in the promotion of development and even beyond and so there was the need for journalists to strive to improve and achieve outstanding excellence.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu appealed to all to give adequate coverage to health, education and hold the government accountable as any setback in these would retard Ghana’s development.
He, however, called for effective leadership for better solutions to the country’s problems especially as people continue to lose their lives to cholera and malaria in this 21st century.
The GJA Awards Night, which is geared towards rewarding hard working journalists, attracted many dignitaries from all walks of life.
Below is the list of awards and awardees during the ceremony
News Reporting Electronic – Asante Forjdour – TV3
News Reporting Print – Dzifa Emma Tetteh – Ghanaian Times
News Reporting Radio – Manasseh Azure Awuni, and Seth Kwame Boateng – Joy FM
Electronic Reporting Disability – Kwetey Nartey – TV Africa
Reporting Disability Print – Jamina Okarestire – Daily Guide
Photojournalism Electronics – Mark Sasu – GTV
Photojournalism Print – Samuel Tei Adanu – Daily Guide
TV Feature – Narkwor Kwabla – TV3
Radio Feature – Seth Kwame Boateng – Joy Fm
News Reporting TV – Rachel Quartey – GTV
Anti-Corruption Reporting – Manasseh Azure Awuni – Joy Fm
Human Rights – Nelson Adanutey – Diamond FM
Investigative Journalism – Manasseh Azure Awuni – Joy FM
Agricultural Reporting – Soyokuor Kyere – GTV
Feature Print – Maxwell Adombilla – Graphic Communications GroupLtd
Business Finance and Economics – Kwetey Nartey- TV Africa
Telecommunications – Seth Dogbey, Kwasi Ampram Twum – Daily Graphic
Health Reporting – Beatrice Aidoo – Joy FM
SMEs – Moses Aklorbotu – Graphic Communications Group
Education Reporting Print – Kofi Yeboah – Graphic Communications Group Ltd
Education Reporting Electronic – Issabella Owusu Oppong – GTV
Crime and Court Reporting – Mabel Aku Banaseh – Graphic Communications Group Ltd
Sports Reporting – John Vigah – Ghanaian Times
Political Reporting – Mabel Aku Banaseh – Daily Graphic
Oil and Gas – Maxwell Akalaral – Daily Graphic
Rural Reporting – Seth Botchway – Graphic Communications Group
Online Journalism – Nana Boakye-Yiadom – Citi FM
Arts and Entertainment – Rebecca Awuah – GTV
Water Reporting – Kofi Yeboah – Daily Graphic
HIV/ AIDS Reporting – Kwetey Nartey – TV Africa
Komla Dumor Most Promising Journalist – Maxwell Adombilla – Daily Graphic
Women’s Reporting – Rebecca Quaye – The Mirror
Best Akan Programme – Radio Peace, Winneba
Best Ga Programme – Renny Dede Akron – Obonu FM
Environment, Science and Hygiene – Gifty Apiah and Edem Sere – Joy Fm
Mental Reporting – Beatrice Aidoo – Joy Fm
Honorary awards were presented to Joy FM for its Hotline Documentary series, Citi FM’s Eye Witness News, “Kookrokoo” of Peace FM, Radio Ghana of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and Metro TV’s flagship programme Good Evening Ghana.
The GJA was established on 15th August1949 at a time when politics in the then former British Colony of the Gold Coast was at its peak and the minds of many media practitioners and ordinary citizens were filled with events of the nationalist struggle. GNA