By James Amoh Jnr, GNA
Tema, Dec 24, GNA - The Tema Regional Chapter, Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) has held its maiden media excellence awards to honour deserving journalists.
The first of its kind in Tema, the awards ceremony brought together journalists and media personnel, heads of departments, and industry players to take stock, plan for the ensuing year and celebrate excellence in journalism.
The event, which was characterized by ceremonial splendour and fervour with an unending display of dancing skills with great music accompaniment, was in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the GJA on the theme, “Addressing the woes of Industries: the Role Stakeholders and the Media.”
In all 54 entries were received in 10 competitive categories, but nine journalists were nominated and awarded with seven other honorary awards presented to individuals and organizations that had assisted jthe growth and practice of journalism in the Tem area.
Mr Elvis Washington Agyimanku of Citi FM /TV was adjudged Best Road Safety and Best Labour and Industrial Reporter, whiles Benjamin Glover of the Daily Graphic won the Best Water and Sanitation Reporter, and Lily Ahulu Adjetey of Obonu FM received an award for the Best Environmental Reporter.
The rest are; Elizabeth French of Ghana Television, Best Health Reporter, Della Russel Ocloo of Daily Graphic, Best Maritime Reporter, Josephine Antwi Adjei of TV3, Best Fisheries Reporter, Evelyn Arthur of the B&FT, Best Business and Financial Reporter whiles Michael Creg Afful, a freelance journalist won the Best Energy Reporter.
Speaking on the theme, Reverend Dr George Dawson-Ahmoah, Tema Regional Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries, said the media was an important ally in the advocacy drive for industrial development in the country.
"We recognize the well-intended policies developed to support industry but often implementation is very much delayed," he said.
He lamented the bad state of road infrastructure in the Tema enclave which was a scourge to industrial development and said “in spite of the enormous pressure on the road networks in the industrial hub, there has been very little maintenance in some sections of roads in the last decade making daily transit of products from factories and cargos seemingly tortuous.”
He, therefore called on government to give roads infrastructure in Tema a lot more attention to ease doing business in the industrial city.
Chronicling the events that led to Tema being touted as Ghana's industrial backbone since the 1960s, Dr Dawson-Ahmoah, who is also the Chairman of the Cement Manufacturers Association of Ghana (CMAG), said Tema's industrialization drive was strategic and resulted in the institution of some state-owned organizations.
These indigenous companies, he decried had suffered severely with most companies either folding up or looking elsewhere for new investments, citing the Mankoadze Fisheries Limited, an indigenous company with a cannery and a host of fishing vessels as a company that had gradually been taken over by foreigners, making its history rather unpleasant to narrate.
Madam Linda Asante-Adjei, Vice President, Ghana Journalist Association, whiles congratulating the award winners, underscored the need for journalist in the country to uphold the tenets, canons and ethics of the practice.
She said that the Association had made tremendous strides in the training of journalists across the country, emphasizing that it had received funding and it would be rolling out series of training workshops for journalists and media practitioners on election related issues and ethical reportage ahead of the 2020 general election.
The GJA, she informed had launched a National Environmental and Sanitation Campaign to enhance environmental cleanliness and improved sanitation in all 16 regions and to further complement government’s efforts to increase greater awareness on insanitary practices and its implication on the socio-economic development of the country.
Mr Dominic Hlordzi, Chairman, GJA Tema, in a welcome address noted that notwithstanding the challenges journalists faced especial psychological and physical attacks coupled with unrewarding nature of the trade, it was vital to reward those who had distinguished themselves in their line of duty producing life-changing stories for the growth of Tema.
He said the presence of the media in Tema was very strategic because of its peculiar status as Ghana's ndustrial and maritime hub adding, the work of journalist had engendered several policy initiatives and actions that had culminated in the development of Tema.
“We continue to do our best under difficult circumstances to report adequately on industrial and port related matters as well as social-economic and political issues confronting communities in Tema and its environs, ” he reiterated.
Mr Hlordzi commended the awards committee for their dedication and sacrifice and further applauded the sponsors for this year’s awards including; TDC Development Company Limited, Volta River Authority, Sentuo Ceramics, and the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority.
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