Mr. Anthony Adongo Apubeo, a Chief Reporter of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) Bolgatanga Office, has won two awards at the second edition of the Upper East Regional Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards.
He won the Best Tourism Reporter and Best Gender Reporter for 2022 for his news features titled; “Pikworo Slave Camp: Transit Centre for Chained Africans, and Female Genital Mutilation: a bane to achieving SDGs Three, Five”, respectively.
Mr Albert Sore of Joynews won the Journalist of the Year after winning the Best Human Rights and Best Agriculture Reporter.
Nicholas Azebire of Dreamzfm, who was adjudged the Most Promising Journalist of the Year, also won the Best Disability Reporter and Best Child Protection Reporter.
The others are Joshua Asaah of A1 Radio, Best Reporter, Sanitation and Conflict, Simon Agana Blessing of Wordfm, Best Water and Development Reporter, and Moses Apiah of A1 Radio, Best Education Reporter.
The rest are Castro Senyalah of Assase Radio, Best Environment Reporter, Stephen Ngamgbulam Chidozie of ApexNewsGh, Best Climate Change Reporter and Nelson Jose Abagna of Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation, Best Sports Reporter.
This year’s awards was held on the theme: “Safeguarding the Peace and Security of Upper East Region: the Role of the Media”.
Mr. William Jalulah, the Upper East Regional Chairman of the GJA, while congratulating the winners, said the theme was strategically chosen to reflect the packets of conflicts experienced in the region, particularly the protracted Bawku chieftaincy conflict.
Although journalists in the region, over the years, had written good reports on conflict, the closure of some radio stations by the National Media Commission was a cause for worry.
He underscored the role of the media in either fostering peace or causing conflict, which called for responsible journalism to enable feuding factions to reach a compromising positions for peace to prevail.
“The essence of our theme is also to remind us that our neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire had not known peace for some time and coupled with terrorist attacks in those countries, we must, as journalists, know how to report on those security matters without jeopardising our internal security and safety,” he said.
Mr Jalulah grasped the opportunity to appeal to the Ghana Police Service to reconsider its position of centralised information sharing to ensure that media practitioners reported facts on issues and avoided speculation, which was a threat to the country’s security.
Alhaji Yusif Fofana, the Government Spokesperson on Social Services, who spoke on behalf of Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, said media practitioners must work to engender trust among feuding factions to help bring peace to conflict areas.
The increasing threats of terrorism and insurgencies in neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, which shared borders with the Upper East Region, put the security of the country at risk, thus the pivotal role of journalists to work to safeguard the peace, he said.
Mr. Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, commended the media for their contributions towards attracting investors to the area, noting that the Government would continue to work with the media to engender development.
He said the series of violent conflicts recently witnessed in the Region did not only cause destruction to lives and property but also led to transfer of essential workers out of the area.
He, therefore, charged the media to work to promote lasting peace.