The Ashanti Regional branch of Ghana Journalists Association has launched an award scheme to acknowledge the work of media practitioners in the region.
The annual event is aimed at encouraging journalists to bring out compelling and development-oriented stories.
Addressing media personnel at the launch, Ashanti regional minister entreated journalists to refrain from broadcasting or publishing fabricated stories.
“Concoted story is more poisonous than fake drugs because news spread faster than distribution of fake drugs. Fake news can break up families, communities, and countries. As journalists, you should always ensure what you put out for public consumption is factual”, Simon Osei-Mensah advised.
The minister assured that the regional press centre, which has been neglected for years, will be completed by the end of 2019.
“We have levied all the 43 MMDAs to generate more funds to complete the project. I am certain the Press Centre will be completed by the end of this year”.
The Bantamahene, Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI called for an end to threats and crimes against journalists in Ghana.
He tasked the state to promote a safe environment for journalists to discharge their responsibilities independently.
“The journalist owes it as a committed duty to expose evil doings in society. By so doing, they incur the displeasure of the masses, especially people with influence and power who have skeletons in their cupboards.
“There must therefore be an absolute end to impunity and crimes against journalists in this country. In Ghana today, the journalist has been taken for granted in many ways. They are treated as second class dignitaries at events where they have been legitimately invited, but without the journalist, mankind will be out in total darkness by way of dissemination of information”, he stated.
Ashanti Regional Chairman of Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Kingsley Hope explained the awards will be opened for working journalists within the Ashanti region.
Entries for the awards will cover works published or broadcast from January, 1 2018 to December, 31 2018.
The categories include; News reporting and feature articles for radio, television and print (Separate awards), Investigative reporting, Photo journalism, Sports reporting, Crime and Court reporting, Tourism and Culture, HIV and AIDS, Health, Rural reporting, Agriculture, and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises(SMEs).
Others are science and Technology, Anti-Corruption, Education, Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene and Oil and Gas and Mining, Online journalism, Entertainment, and Business reporting.
Special awards will be given to selected media establishments and personalities before the Overall Journalist of the year crowned.
By Ibrahim Abubakar|3news.com|Ghana