Mr Kwaku Offeh-Boateng, Customer Development Director of Unilever Ghana, said the company‘s total sponsorship for this year was 39,500 dollars or approximately GH¢58,750.
He announced that the 2009 Journalist of the Year would receive a professional enhancement package valued at 28,000 dollars (or GHc42,000) which includes a trip to the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) in Washington D.C, USA.
Mr Offeh-Boateng said the management would in addition, support the GJA’s effort to eschew commonplace journalism among members with 11,500 dollars (or GH¢16,750) to launch “The Ethical Journalism Initiative” scheduled for Monday, August 23.
He pointed out that management considered it necessary to support the GJA Awards because of its belief in the immense contributions of the media towards the advancement of professional journalism in the country.
“We believe that the ability of professional and ethical journalism to catapult any society to its vision is comparable to none other,” he added.
Three other institutions that presented their packages were the managements of UT Bank, Somotex Ghana Limited, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Mrs Sophia Lissah, Media and Public Relations Manager of UT Bank, presented a cheque for GH¢2,500 for the Best Feature Writer.
She said management recognised the need to award the journalist who had gone beyond the boundaries of news reportage and able to present an extensive report on issues affecting society.
Mr Daniel Kofi Adu, Human Resource Manager of Somotex Ghana, presented a package totalling GH¢3,000, which included a Home Theatre Set.
Mr Fred Ampiah, Partnership Adviser of UNDP, presented a cheque for GH¢2,500 for the Best Development Journalist in activities on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Mr Ransford Tetteh, GJA President, receiving the packages said the awards were to motivate journalists and ensure media excellence in the country.
He noted that the media would be accorded the needed respect when all practitioners work diligently and abide by the ethics of the profession.
“We can only be accorded the needed respect and recognition if we work according to the ethical values of the profession which include accuracy, balance and fairness,” he added.
Mr Tetteh advised journalists to remain neutral and balanced in their reportage no matter their political affiliations for the integrity of the profession.
He expressed the Association’s appreciation to the sponsors and hoped that this year’s event would be of greater success.