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Regional News of Sunday, 22 December 2013

Source: GNA

'GNA's role in nation-building is crucial'

Staff of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) who distinguished themselves in the line of duty during the year 2013 were honoured at a ceremony held on the premises of the Agency's headquarters in Accra Friday evening.

In all, 12 award categories were singled out for mention, with the award winners taking home prizes including cash and laptop computers.

Departmental Awards included the Most Innovative and Business-Oriented Region won by the Koforidua Office's Business unit, the Best Functional Support Unit which went to the Transport Department, the General Manager's Special Award which was taken by the Security unit, and the Most Disciplined Unit which went to the Business Department.

In the individual categories, the Best Regional/Rural Reporter award was taken by Mr Anthony Bells Kafui Kanyi of the Ho Office, the Most Promising Worker award went to Mr Donatus Mwinngme Siilo, Best Court Reporter award went to Mr Christopher Arko, with Naa Abigail Addo-Quaye taking the Dedicated Long Service Award. The Best Sanitation Worker Award was won by Mr Musah Amoah.

The rest were Best ICT Worker award which was taken by Mr Richard Ennin, while the overall Best Reporter Award went to Mr Iddi Zibrina Yire of the Newsroom in Accra.

The Transformational Leadership Award was conferred on the General Manager, Dr Bernard Otabil, for turning the fortunes of the Agency around in less than one year on his assumption of office.

In his address, Dr Otabil said the theme for the event, "Building a Vibrant Newswire Service for Nation-building", was carefully chosen to enable workers of the Agency and the general public to reflect on the significant role GNA played towards national development.

"The media in any society has an important role to play in maintaining peace, security and promoting national development", he said, adding that the news media could also be a powerful tool to reduce the causes of conflict and to enable emerging democratic societies to continue on the right path.

He stressed the need for the mass media to observe the essential standards of accuracy, fairness, balance, and responsible conduct.

"The GNA ensures that Ghanaians are informed about the activities of not only government but also activities of institutions and bodies that are important to them. We do this with speed and in a credible and objective way because our founding father taught us so, and we have never departed from these values."

He announced that recognizing the challenges and also the opportunities in today market place, GNA had introduced new products and service such as the GNA Centre of Journalism and Multimedia Studies, the GNA Press Monitoring and Media Analysis services, the GNA Events and Conferences Unit and the Creative and Advertising Unit.

Mr Reginald Laryea, the GNA Board Chairman said the Agency had repositioned itself to become the best news agency in Africa and the world at large.

Mr Edward Ameyibor, a retired Supervising Chief Editor of the Agency, who was the Guest Speaker, urged the staff to be creative, innovative, aggressive and responsible. "We should not follow mediocrity in other media. We have always been pace setters. We must remain so forever."

Dr John Rex Amuzu Gadzekpo, Director of the Ghana Institute of Languages said GNA was partnering the Institute to establish a new bilingual journalism programme in French and English.

The event brought together prominent personalities including Chief Directors of public service organisations, diplomats, business executives, representatives of some security agencies, and media personnel.

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