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Journalists are the fourth arm of government, thus they are very important in terms of democracy. They are the ones that hold public officials to proper account.
Journalists must at all times go the extra mile to verify their information over and over again to ensure that, they have the right information in order to get accurate news out there for the public.
Most often, journalists in their quest to breaking news do not take the pain to verify for the authenticity of their sources, check their facts and do proper research before putting their stories together. They however end up rushing out substandard articles to the detriment of their reputations.
A good Journalist is the one that passes through all the sacrifices by doing the leg works, telephone calls, talking to people, going to places and many others, for authentic information to ensure accuracy in their reportage.
It was on this bases that the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), was established in 1990, to help develop the skills of journalists in business and financial reporting.
IFEJ, is also envisioned to advance the study, development and application of improved financial and economic communication methods through appropriate hands-on approaches and platforms.
Since its inception, it has helped build the capacity of journalists to specialise in Business, Financial, Economic and Extractive industry reporting. And these capacity building efforts have paid off to a large extent and this is evident in the high standard, analytical and well researched stories on business and financial reports being churned out on relevant issues for public consumption.
In 2014, IFEJ instituted the Flamingo Awards to first of all recognize journalists and editors who provide high quality coverage of the business and financial environment in Ghana. And this awards scheme complements the single slot provided for business and financial reporting at the annual Ghana Journalists Association awards.
IFEJ believes better, accurate and in-depth reporting of the economy will generate more
interest and a better informed public on Ghana as an investment destination.
In his opening remarks at the launch of its 5th edition of the IFEJ Flamingo Awards at the World Bank’s Office in Accra on 17th July, 2018, for business and financial journalists dubbed “Towards better management of natural resources for inclusive growth and development”, Mr. Rayborn Bulley, the President of IFEJ intimated IFEJ Flamingo Award was in honor of financial and economic reporters who write comprehensive and accurate business news.
He said, the Institute was anticipating for more award entries this year. According to him, stories for entry must be stories written within the period of 31st July 2017 to 30th June 2018, and completed entries must reach the office of IFEJ on the second floor of Toku House, Graphic Road, formerly Orca Décor, by 17.00hrs GMT on Friday, 31st August, 2018.
Mr. Bulley explained that, “No extension will be made to this date and entries will NOT be received after the deadline.” The Awards Night was scheduled for Thursday December 6, 2018.
Professor John Gatsi, Head of Finance at the University of Cape Coast, who is the Head of the Jury, in indicating the categories of the awards, said it would focus on key areas such as originality, accuracy, quality and excellent communication.
The categories he mentioned were; Overall Best Business and Financial Journalist Award, Best Business/Manufacturing Feature/News story, Best Finance Feature/News story, Best Business of Health feature/News, Best in local Economy feature/News, Best Development feature/News story, Best Agribusiness feature/News story, Best Natural Resource feature/News story, Best Informational and communication Technology feature/News story and Best Tourism Feature/News story.
He also introduced the members of the Jury in the persons of Mr. Daniel Koomson, Ms. Wendy Asiamah, Mr. Kwame Ahiagbenu ll, Mrs. Philomena Johnson, Mr. Felix Dela Klutse and Ms. Victoria Odo.
All that these independent minded jury will be looking out for, Dr. Gatsi said, was best quality articles within a framework of insight and integrity. “We will be looking for entries with Ground breaking articles that provide excellent analysis and clarity of the business climate, Content supported by facts and investigative research, A clear and balanced presentation of the issue/s involved, Journalistic flair; a style that is engaging, thought-provoking and accessible to its audience, Articles must be written in a clear and balanced fashion, Quality, style, presentation and a way of engaging the audience, A commitment to sustained coverage of the business and economic climate in the country which serves to highlight opportunities as well as challenges, A reflection of journalistic integrity and ethics and a true commitment to reporting without sensationalising and Originality.”
Speaking in a sideline interview with the Country Director of the World Bank Group, Henry Kerali, he noted that, in line with the World Bank’s mission to end extreme poverty, “an independent media which is empowered and energized to inform and educate the public to make informed choices to help propel the growth of Ghana is needed for a successful ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’.”
According to him, World Bank Group Environmental Analysis showed that Since 2000, per capita economic losses due to natural resource degradation doubled from US$100 to US$200 per person per year and In 2006, the analysis put the cost of these environmental degradation at more than 10% of GDP.
He said, Ghana was depleting its natural resource wealth and as well as missing opportunities for economic transformation. Therefore, the World Bank group was going to continue to support Ghana under its country Partnership Framework, to enable it to realize its long-term development aspirations through sustainable management of its environment and natural resources, which he indicated were critical for Ghana’s economic growth, jobs and poverty alleviation.
Speaking to Mr. Francis Kokutse, one of Ghana’s seasoned senior Journalists with over 36 years of experience, he said “the most important function of journalism is to convey information, and conveying the information is an important part of the democratic decision-making system as it brings transparency into society and for its part makes sure that the made decisions go along with the people’s sense of justice.”
He however, encouraged Journalists to continue reading more and always see things with a unique lens to find stories that connects with the people in the society. “This is what we call professional Journalism,” he emphasized.
Source: Sammy Adjei || Ghananewsonline.com.gh
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