Two journalists of the New Times Corporation (NTC), publisher of Ghanaian Times and The Spectator, on Friday, won awards for their exceptional reportage on the COVID-19 pandemic and agriculture.
They are Mrs Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu Agyeman, a senior reporter and the Corporation’s Eastern Regional Correspondent, and Ms Benedicta Gyimaah Folley, a development journalist based in Accra.
Mrs Agyeman won the first position in the Print Category of Merck Foundation’s ‘Stay at Home Media Recognition Awards (Ghana)’, which honoured journalists who frequently created awareness on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The series of stories which earned her the award were published in The Spectator.
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, organised the contest in several countries with Ghana’s competition held in partnership with Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady.
Under the theme:”Raising awareness on how to stay safe and keep physically and mentally healthy during coronavirus lockdown,” the award scheme aimed to separate facts from myths and misconceptions.
Announcing the winners in a statement issued on Friday, Dr Rasha Kelej, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Merck Foundation said: “I am very proud of our winners from Ghana and Nigeria who helped to educate the communities about COVID-19 through their exceptional work by frequently covering this topic in their respective countries.
“I have always believed that media can play a very important role in sensitising people about sensitive issues such as the coronavirus global pandemic. Big congratulations to all the winners.”
The online category was won by Albert Futukpor and Lydia Kukua Asamoah, both of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) while the multi-media category winners included Grace Hammoah Asare and Wendy Laryea of TV3.
For Ms Folley, she was the 1st runner up in the Print/online category at the 4th edition of Open Forum Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) media award 2020 held in Accra on Friday.
The scheme aims at recognising exemplary journalism that stimulates best practices in the adoption of agricultural technologies, particularly agricultural biotechnology.
The awarding criteria was based on key considerations such as the scientific accuracy in reporting biotech related stories, initiative, originality, clarity of interpretation and value in fostering a better public understanding of agricultural biotechnology and its impacts.
OFAB is an initiative of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), a platform that provides an opportunity to enhance knowledge-sharing and awareness creation of agricultural biotechnology.
The project which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented in seven African countries, facilitates constructive conversations among key stakeholders and decision makers on agricultural biotechnology.
The ultimate award went to Zadok Kwame Gyesi of the Graphic Communication Group Limited while Francisca Dickson Arhin of GhOne Television received a citation of recognition for her efforts in Agricultural Journalism.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR