SSNIT to reward journalists

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) on Tuesday launched a media award scheme to recognize the best professional journalist on social security issues.

The award, in partnership with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), will see the winner going on an all expenses paid three-week training on Pensions and Social Security at the ILO International Training Centre in Italy.

The maiden award winner would be announced at the 2012 GJA awards night.

Dr Frank Odoom, Director General SSNIT, said the organisation had recognized the effective role of the media in projecting, informing and educating the public about social security issues, especially on pensions.

It is in this direction that the SSNIT Media Award is being launched as a landmark in the socio-economic development of the media and to recognise efforts of journalists over the years.

He said the award was aimed at recognising journalists, who consistently educated the public on the new three-tier pension scheme introduced through Act 766 to enhance pension benefits and increase the retirement income security of workers in both formal and informal sectors.

Dr Odoom said social security as a basic human right was enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, there were concerns about how much the Ghanaian knew about the pensions and social security.

He said the objective of the award was to get the media involved in educating the public on social security and for SSNIT to extend its corporate social responsibility to the media through their partnership with the GJA.

He stressed that the underlying aim of the awards was to empower the media to be worthy ambassadors of the mechanics of social security to the people of Ghana.

Dr Odoom said the criteria of the award would include such categories as Sensitisation, Originality, Language usage, News space allocation, Feature news on SSNIT, Priority placement, and Journalistic attributes.

Apart from the individual award, the SSNIT Media Award would also reward the journalist’s media house.

Mr Ransford Tetteh, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), acknowledged the gesture of SSNIT and said the award was to deepen their knowledge on issues concerning social security and pension benefits and also to the benefit of all Ghanaians.

Mr Tetteh appealed to journalists to concentrate more on social issues such as Health, Environment and other development challenges that confronted the nation instead of politics.

Source: GNA

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