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Bantamahene calls for end to crimes against Ghanaian journalists

Bantamahene, Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI has called for an end to threats and crimes against journalists in Ghana.

He also challenged owners of media companies to develop plans that will protect the lives of journalists working for them.

According to him, although journalists continue to help shape the development of the nation, they are not protected when discharging their duties.

His call comes after the gruesome murder of a member of Tiger Eye PI investigative journalist, Ahmed Hussein Suale last week.

Although the police is yet to find the killers, discussions about the protection of journalists have dominated both social and traditional media platforms since the incident happened.

Ghana is seen as one of the countries with the most vibrant and free media on the African continent.

But the country has recorded 31 cases of assaults on journalists in 2018, in which perpetrators have been left unpunished.

The United Press for Development Network recently accused the government of Ghana ofailing to protect media freedom.

According to Reporters Without Borders, Ghana is ‘playing a leadership role’ in suppressing media freedom in Africa as it places first on the continent and 23rd in the world.

Speaking at the Ghana Journalists Association Ashanti Regional media awards launch and Get Together event in Kumasi, Baffour Amankwatia VI also wants the state to urgently 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 said.

He said there should not be what he described as undue interference in the work of journalists by the state.

He advised journalists not to allow themselves to be used by persons who want to use their platforms to achieve their personal interests.

The Bantamahene also called on journalists to use their platforms to promote the positive contributions made by Ghanaian Entrepreneurs and their businesses rather than seeking to destroy local businesses and instead promote foreign businesses.

GJA Ashanti Media Awards Launched

The awards are to honor and acknowledge the hard work of journalists in the Ashanti Region.

Ashanti Regional Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Chairman, Kingsley Hope explained that the awards are scheduled for May 2019 and 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.

He added that every entry should state category including name, address, telephone number of applicant or entrant and the deadline for submission of entries is 5pm Thursday February 28, 2019

The categories include; News reporting and feature articles for print and electronic media (Separate awards), Investigative reporting ( Print and Electronic), Crime and Court reporting ,Photo journalism, Human Rights, HIV and AIDS, Agriculture, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises(SMEs), Science and Technology, Anti-Corruption, Education, Tourism and Culture, Sports reporting , Rural Reporting, Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene and Oil and Gas and Mining.

Dignitaries at the event included; the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, Kumasi Mayor, Osei Assibey Antwi, Director of Sanitation at the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources as well as some journalists and executives of the GJA in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions.

By: Hafiz Tijani|

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