GJA Awards Winners

History of GJA Awards Competition

One of the cardinal principles of the Ghana Journalists Association is “to promote the attainment of high professional standards, integrity and media accountability”. Under Article Three of its Constitution on the Aims and Objectives, the Association is required to among other things “to promote professionalism and high journalistic standards and reward and honour outstanding members periodically”.

The association which was founded in August 1949 held its first award ceremony in December 1985 during the presidency of the late Edwin Tengey.  He was ably supported by members of his executive who comprise of the late Henry Addison, his vice, Kabral Blay-Amihere, General Secretary, Shaw Quaye Adibi, Deputy General Secretary, George Sackey and Godwin Avenorgbo, who were Executive Members. They were assisted by Mr. Tom Dorkenoo who was then the Greater Accra Regional Chairman.

There were no sponsors for that event. The GJA had to depend solely on its own internally generated resources. The only donation to the association was a stool and  kente as part of the prizes. It came from Nana Kwame Korang, Omanhene of Awuah Odumase in the Brong-Ahafo Region.  However, the first ever GJA Awards Planning Committee braved all odds to organise the maiden competition and event.

That historic ceremony was held at the Arden Hall of the then famous Ambassador Hotel in Accra. It was organised on a very modest scale but was successful by all standards and made quite a significant impact on the development of the media in Ghana. One of the award winners was Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, who was awarded the John Kugblenu Prize for Valour – the first and only GJA award of its kind. (That same month Ms Yeboah-Afari was voted Africa Columnist of the Year by listeners of the BBC programme, ‘Network Africa’.)   

At this time, the GJA Awards ceremony had become the flagship event on the Ghanaian media calendar. In 1986, the competition was organised not by the GJA, but by the Ministry of Information. It did that intermittently until 1991 when under the presidency of Mr Kabral Blay-Amihere the association took over as “rightful hosts” with a ceremony in 1992. The 1993 ceremony was held at the Sunrise Hotel in Accra, while the Labadi Beach Hotel hosted the ceremony for two successive years with sponsorship by M-NET.

The Accra International Conference Centre became the venue from 1996 – 2000. M-NET, Guinness Ghana Limited now Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited /Unilever and the United States Media NGO, Freedom Forum. took turns to be main sponsor.

Although the awards had by that time assumed the character of an annual event with high expectation among members, it was becoming difficult to find sponsorship and hold the event on an annual basis. The then National Consultative Committee (NCC) of the GJA in 2001, upon reflection and by consensus decided to make the event a biennial one.       

The first biennial Awards ceremony took place in 2002. However, due mainly to financial and administrative pressures that the then National Executive was suffering, through the mobilization of resources for the construction of the Ghana International Press Centre project, the event could not take place.

After the completion and subsequent inauguration of the first phase of the Ghana International Press Centre project, the Awards ceremony was resumed in 2003. Entries for the then 10th Awards considered works covering a two year period, 2000 – 2002. It was sponsored by the UNDP through the National Governance Programme (NGP). The venue was the Banquet Hall of the State House.

Unfortunately, that event was dogged by some controversy. However, on 12th September 2003, an extraordinary congress of the association resolved the issue amicably. There has since been a steady increase in entries for the awards. That for the 14th edition attracted a record 201 entries.

The Journalist of the Year, the flagship award of the competition is given annually to the journalist who has consistently shown throughout the year under review to have accumulated a body of journalistic work that the Association can be proud of as exemplary for the profession and the practice of journalism in Ghana.

The award winner and the work being rewarded should, even if surrounded by controversy, be defensible by the executives of the GJA based on sound journalistic standards and ethical principles. In addition to applying the basic journalistic standards of accuracy, balance, relevance, background, social impact, ethical standards and language presentation, the individual awarded the Journalist of the Year is  subjected to a higher standard of excellence in reporting and writing and in a show of professionalism.

Through the Journalist of the Year award, the Association seeks to show recognition for and the need to ignite pride and promote excellence in journalism in the country.  Preferably, the winner of that award should be someone who the public and the association can acknowledge for exemplary journalistic work produced during the year under review. 

Each year, in addition to entries submitted by individual journalists, the   association actively seeks for nominations by the public. However, if, during a particular year, no individual is considered to be satisfactory in meeting the high journalistic standards, the Journalist of the Year Award is withheld. That has happened on a few occasions.

An adage says that “every society gets the media it deserves”. Every society thus has a stake in the development of its media. An independent, impartial and responsible media is a necessity for overall national development and a vibrant and sustainable democratic culture. Civil society cannot afford to stand aloof in the process of nurturing a vibrant and responsible media. Through their criticisms and

encouragement, they help to promote media accountability and excellence.  Supporting the GJA Awards is   certainly an effective way for individuals and organisations to contribute in practical and more direct terms towards the promotion of high journalistic standards.

YEAR -WINNER -MEDIA HOUSE- ORGANISER

2015        Anas Aremeyaw Anas                                  GJA

2014         Seth Kwame Boateng JoyFm                         GJA

2013                Mabel Aku Baneseh               Daily Graphic              GJA

2012                  Kingsley Obeng-Kyere            GBC        GJA

 

2011 Manaseh Azure Awuni Joy FM GJA

 

2010 Kwaku Owusu Peprah Joy FM GJA

 

2009 Samuel Agyeman Metro TV GJA

 

2008 Kofi Akordor Daily Graphic GJA

 

2007 No Award

 

2006 Anas Aremeyaw Anas Crusading Guide GJA

 

2005 Peggy Ama Donkor GTV GJA

 

2002 Komla Dumor JOY FM GJA

 

2000 Kweku Baako Jnr. The Crusading Guide GJA

 

1999 Joe Aggrey Mirror GJA

 

1998 George Sydney Abugri Daily Graphic GJA

 

1997 No Award

 

1996 Kwaku Sakyi-Addo Freelance GJA

 

1995 Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh Daily Graphic GJA

 

1994 No Award

 

1993 Nana Kofi Coomson Ghanaian Chronicle GJA

 

1992 No Award

 

1991 Albert Sam Daily Graphic Min. of Info

 

1990 Yaw Dzeikpor GTV Min. of Info

 

1989 No Award

 

1988 David Ampofo GTV Min of Info

 

1987 Kwaku Sakyi-Addo GNA Min of Info

 

1986 Nana Ohene-Ntow GTV Min. of Info

 

1985 No Award

 

1984 No Award

 

1983 No Award

 

1982 No Award

 

1981 Kabral Blay-Amihere Weekly Spectator UAC

 

1980 Tom Dorkenoo Ghanaian Times UAC

 

1979 Elizabeth Ohene Daily Graphic UAC

 

1978 Razak El-Alawa Daily Graphic UAC

 

1977 Nana Appau Duah Ghana News Agency UAC

 

1976 Razak El-Alawa Daily Graphic UAC

 

1975 Razak El-Alawa Daily Graphic UAC

 

1974 No Award

 

1973 Kwame Vorkeh

 

1972 Ajoa Yeboah-Afari The Mirror UAC

 

1971 Owusu Boateng Weekly Spectator UAC

 

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