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Don’t rush to publish unconfirmed stories – US Ambassador cautions journalists

The US Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie Sullivan, has cautioned journalists to safeguard the credibility of their media houses at all times and desist from rushing to publish fake news.

The US Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie Sullivan, has cautioned journalists to safeguard the credibility of their media houses at all times and desist from rushing to publish fake news.

According to her, “rushed stories often mislead the public”.

She said this at the 5th award ceremony of the West Africa Media Excellence Awards (WAMECA) held in Accra on October 22, 2021.

Speaking as one of the headline sponsors of the awards, Ambassador Sullivan entreated journalists to be circumspect in their approach to news publications.

She said, “as professional journalists, you have a responsibility to provide factually and balance reporting”.

While admitting that it may take time for a good report to get published, she said it is worth delaying to get it right.

She added that “don’t fall into that trap. Consider the way a rushed story or headline could mislead the public and negatively affect the debate on an important topic”.

Awards

Two winners emerged from this year’s WAMECA21. Kwertey Nartey from the MultiMedia Group in Ghana and Samad Uthman from Nigeria were West Africa’s best journalists for the year under review after the award jury had a tough time separating both journalists on their incredible works.

 

Both journalists had earlier won in the best investigative and health reporting categories respectively.

Out of 711 entries received, 21 were selected for recognition, while seven were distinguished in their works.

Journalists from Nigeria swept five of the awards, while Ghana had two as the host. Each winner took home $500 in their respective categories with a plaque while the two overall winners had a cash price of $2000 and other accessories.

Below is the full list of winners

 

 

Category: West Africa Journalist of the Year

Winner: Kwetey Nartey
Media House: Multimedia Group
Country: Ghana

Category: West Africa Journalist of the Year
Winner: Samad Uthman
Media House: International Centre for Investigative Reporting

Category: Environmental Reporting
Winner: Chinedu Asadu
Media House: The Cable
Country: Nigeria

 

Category: Anti-Corruption Reporting
Winner: Caleb Ojewale
Media House: Business Day
Country: Nigeria

Category: Health Reporting
Winner: Samad Uthman
Media House: International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Country: Nigeria

Category: ICT Reporting
Winner: Gideon Sarpong
Media House: iWatch Africa
Country: Ghana

Category: Business Reporting
Winner: Alfred Olufemi
Media House: PREMIUM TIMES
Country: Nigeria

COVID-19 Reporting
Winner: Chikodi Okereocha
Media House: The Nation
Country: Nigeria

 

Conference

The WAMECA 21 was preceded by a conference that had two separate panel discussions.
Speaking as the guest speaker at the conference, Femi Felana noted with deep concern the deteriorating freedom of the press in the sub-region.

He said it is still surprising that “killers of investigative journalist Armed Suale has since not been brought to justice”.

He added that “In West Africa, journalists have faced repression and death. This includes the October 19, 1986 mutilation of Mr Dele Giwa, the Editor-in-Chief of the Nigerian NEWSWATCH Magazine through a parcel bomb, and, the 1995 sentencing of four Nigerian journalists, Mrs Chris Anyanwu, Kunle Ajibade, George Mbah and Ben Charles-Obi to life imprisonment for reporting an attempted coup. There was the December 13, 1998, mafia-style execution and incineration of investigative Burkinabe journalist, Norbet Zongo, his brother, chauffeur and a friend.

The trend in the region, as manifested in the countries mentioned and those like Ghana, show that perhaps the greatest enemies of press freedom is the military rule”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: citinewsroom

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