The Northern Regional Branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) on Tuesday awarded eight (8) journalists and three radio stations at its maiden awards ceremony in Tamale.
The ceremony was aimed at honouring journalists in the region for their immense contributions to promoting peace and development in the region.
The ceremony was on the theme: “Promoting Peace in Northern Ghana. The Role Of The Media”.
The competitive categories included Rural and Agricultural Reporting, Health, Sanitation and Environmental Reporting, Gender and Child Rights amongst others.
Mohammed Baba Kamil of TV Africa won two categories, taking the overall Best Journalists for the Northern Region and the Best News Reporter.
Mohammed Hashmin of Joy News received the Best Reporter award in Health, Mohammed Fugu of the Daily Graphic was adjudged Best Reporter in Education while Diana Ngon of Citi News won the Best Peace Sensitive Reporter.
Other awardees included Joyce Kantam of GBC, as Best Gender and Child Rights Reporter, Yahaya Masahudu of the Finder newspaper as Best Rural and Agriculture Reporter, Eric Kombat of the Daily Guide won the Best Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Reporter while Sayida Malititi Sadik of Sagani TV was awarded the Most Promising Female Reporter.
Diamond FM, Radio 123 and Justice FM were radio stations award for contributing to promoting peace, unity and development in the Northern Region.
Citations of honour were awarded to some deserving retired journalists who had served and contributed in impact on the livelihoods of the people in the region.
A special citation of honour was given to the Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed, in recognition of his contribution to the peace and unity in Dagbon and the Northern Region.
The Sagnari Naa, Yakubu Abdullai, Paramount Chief of the Sagnarigu Traditional Area, who chaired the function said the theme for the event was appropriate considering the development challenges confronting the region.
He called on the media and other stakeholders to help advocate to sustain the peace and development in the area.
The Chairman for the Northern Regional Branch of the GJA, Ceaser Abagali, advised journalists to avoid reporting on negative issues that had the potential to retard the progress and development of the region and the country as a whole.
“It is important for us to accept and say Never again shall negative reportage emanate from the Northern Region”, and called for immediate halt to the inhumane attacks on media personnel.
He gave the assurance that as journalists, they had resolved to be strong against selfish individuals to name and shame people who may attempt to influence the media to fan conflicts that would affect the people in the Northern Region.
The Vice President of the GJA, Mrs. Linda Asante-Agyei, commended journalists for their role in promoting peace, unity and development in the Northern Region and urged them to use their various media platforms to protect the prevailing peace in the region.
She asked the media to at all times, weigh the full implications of what they say and write in order not to compromise the existing peace adding that, “peace is priceless and no amount of money can buy it”.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies, Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, urged journalists in the region to adopt strategies in reporting on issues that would promote and enhance peace and development.
He entreated journalists to take advantage of some journalism related courses and programmes the University was offering to help enhance their knowledge and skills in the field.
Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed, acknowledged the efforts of journalists in the region in promoting and contributing to the achievement of peace in the Dabgon peace processes.