The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Thursday, urged journalists to submit their entries for its second phase of its Awards project, which focuses on “Mainstreaming SDGs in Development Journalism Reporting in Ghana”.
The competition, it said, was opened to all journalists across the country currently working with and for a recognised Ghanaian media organisation.
The Foundation, therefore, encouraged applicants to send all information and entries to the MFWA at: [email protected] with the subject: ‘SDG Funding Support for Journalists’, after their stories had been published or broadcasted through a media outlet in Ghana between January 1, and October 9, 2017.
During the Award ceremony, which would be held in October 28, 2017, four best SDGs stories would be rewarded with cash prizes of GH¢10,000.00; six and three thousand Ghana Cedis; respectively in addition to a plaque and a certificate to each of the awardees.
Mr Sulemana Barimah, the Executive Director of the MFWA, said at the media launch, in Accra, that the Award was part of a Project being implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ghana, to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into development reporting.
He said the project sought to advance public knowledge on the SDGs to ensure inclusive and participatory delivery of the Goals, and the deadline for submission of all entries would be October 10, 2017.
He said the MFWA would as also offer funding opportunities of between GH¢100.00 and GH¢1,500.00 to journalists currently working with or for a recognised Ghanaian media organisation, in the print, electronic and online, with the aim of ensuring quality and thorough reporting that focused on the SDGs.
“Stories to be supported under this call must be produced and published or broadcast between September 1 and October 9, 2017”, he said.
Mr Barimah explained that for the stories that would be entered for the Awards, however, it did not matter whether they had benefited from the MFWA sponsorship or not; they would still be accepted.
He urged journalists to take advantage of the facility to make an impact on the society through development journalism reportage.
He, however, cautioned journalists to submit only their original works, which were a maximum of three stories on SDGs that must show date of publication or broadcast and the medium in which the work was published.
Ms Ajoa Yeboah – Afari, the Chairperson for the Editors Forum, Ghana, emphasised on the recognition for creativity, quality and impact of stories presented by journalists, saying the motive for writing should be advocacy that could attract government’s attention to effect policy changes.
She urged journalists to approach mainstreaming SDGs reportage with passion; writing their stories in ways that would attract readers.
She used one of the Goals (Water and Sanitation) to highlight the importance of the SDGs to national development, and to challenge the media to appreciate the need to work hard towards the attainment of the set objectives.
Mr Bossman Owusu, a Communications Analyst at the UNDP, Ghana, said the reason for setting up this phase of award was to challenge the media to write more about the SDGs, educate the public on the Goals, and to ensure that they were incorporated into national development plans, within the short, medium and long terms.