The General Manager (GM) in charge of Newspapers of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Yaw Boadu Ayeboafoh, has charged media practitioners in the three northern regions to help unite the people through their reportage, instead of dividing them.

He also reminded them that one of the key duties of a journalist was to ensure that the living conditions of rural people were ultimately improved.

Speaking at the first Northern Journalists Awards ceremony in Tamale, Mr Ayeboafoh said, “The media in any society are very crucial to its development agenda but at the same time they could equally be very destructive.”

He explained that the media were capable of producing both “good and evil”, depending on how meticulous and responsible media practitioners were in the performance of their duties.

The GM pointed out that although the media could make mistakes, just like any human institution, their mistakes were delicate, as they could cause mayhem and confusion in society.

“You must try not to incite one group against another and even if someone says something unpalatable that may cause confusion, it is the duty of the media to rather help build peace and a healthy northern Ghana,” he stressed.

According to him, the conflicts that had over the years plagued some communities in the north could be halted through a sustained effort by the media to promote advocacy and peace-building initiatives through their reportage.

He expressed regret that huge sums of money were being spent to maintain peace; while those funds could be channelled into development projects.

“Do the right thing so that when the history of the north is rewritten, the role the media played would be written in gold,” Mr Ayeboafoh advised.

The Managing Director of Flip Africa Media Consult-Ghana (FAMec, Ghana), Mr Tawfik Tikuma, said the awards were instituted to encourage media practitioners in northern Ghana to produce stories that would help change the negative perception about the north.

He indicated that the organisation of the awards encountered a number of challenges, including lack of the needed sponsorship.

He, however, expressed optimism that next year’s event, to be held in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, might receive better sponsorship.

Mr Tikuma entreated public-spirited organisations and individuals to support the awards.

Those who won the awards were the Northern Regional Editor of the Daily Graphic in Tamale, Mr Zakaria Alhassan, who was adjudged the overall best journalist for the three northern regions at the first Northern Journalists Awards for 200912010; Mr Salifu Mohammed Nurudeen of the Tamale Office of the Daily Graphic won the most promising young journalist .and best health journalist awards.

For the honorary awards category, Mr Mohammed Awal, Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) who was one-time Upper West Regional Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh, one-time Northern Regional Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Breda Atta Quayson, first Deputy Editor of the Daily Graphic, and one time Regional Editor for Northern and Upper West regions and Mr George Sydney Abugri of the Daily Graphic were among those honoured at the function.

Other awards were best Investigative and Environment journalist won by Edmond Gyebi of the Chronicle, Tamale, the best development journalist, which went to Mr Isaac Nongya of the Metro TV, Tamale while the best human rights awards went to Mr Stephen Zuori of the Daily Guide.

The programme was interspersed with musical performances and dance such as the Salsa and Jara. The event was organised by the FAMec, Ghana.

Source: Daily Graphic


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