Journalists in the 21st century play a very big part in the development of society. It is for no reason that society sees the media as a mirror.
This is because the output of the media is most often a true reflection of the society. And it takes journalists to sometimes change things in the society.
Although the quality of journalists have somehow waned in this part of the world, there is no doubt that there are still a selected few who strive to impact on society positively with their work.
For many people, journalism is all about sitting on a radio or TV and commenting on issues that have risen. However, true journalism goes beyond just informing, entertaining and educating.
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It is more about impacting society positively by unearthing the flawed systems, neglected communities and the important issues that have been left unattended to.
Over the last few years, Ghanaians have been fortunate to have some leading journalists take up these roles with passion and have done well to impact on society with their stories.
Here are six journalists whose stories have gone a long way to impact our society positively:
1. Anas Aremeyaw Anas
Anas has been one of the most hard-working Ghanaian journalists in the last few years. From his exposés on corruption at orphanages to the rot going on at the borders of Ghana, this man has undoubtedly made a huge impact on society.
However, his biggest was his exposé on judicial corruption, where over 34 judges of Ghana’s courts were videotaped compromising cases brought before them in exchange for all sorts of enticements.
This investigative piece by Anas brought to light the flaws in our judicial setting and subsequently opened the eyes of society to how some unscrupulous persons were using their positions as judges to propagate corruption. Consequently, the society began to keep close eyes on rulings of judges and the impact is there for all to see.
2. Seth Kwame Boateng
Multimedia journalist Seth Kwame Boateng is also one man who has really transformed the society with his impactful stories. The Joy News journalist did a documentary titled “Next to die” in 2016, where he highlighted the predicaments of mothers and newborn babies at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in the Ashanti Region.
The documentary was so deep it brought to light the harrowing experience of mothers and newborn babies who lost their lives because of a lack of adequate facilities at the hospital. The situation was so bad that some mothers laid on the floor with their babies because the KATH lacked a proper mother and baby care unit.
Kwame Boateng’s story immediately drew the attention of the public to the number of lives being lost due to this deficit. Consequently, the First and Second Ladies – Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Samira Bawumia – took the matter up.
The pair went into a collaboration with The Multimedia Group to spearhead the construction of a new Mother and Baby Care Unit for the Hospital. For his efforts, Kwame Boateng was adjudged the 2017 EMY’s Man of The Year in Communications, as well as receiving the Global Health Reporting 2017 Award from highly esteemed International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).
3. Kwami Sefa Kayi
Host of Peace FM’s Kokrokoo morning show, Kwami Sefa Kayi is one journalist who has used his role to impact society positively. The ace broadcaster has managed to support a host of hospitals around the country with incubators to help save the lives of babies who are born pre-maturely.
Sefa Kayi is the head of the Kokrokoo Charities Foundation, which is responsible for raising funds to buy the incubators. In 2016, the Foundation presented two incubators worth $20,000 to the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo Addo towards her “Save a Mother Save a Child” project for the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).
In 2017 he again donated some incubators to the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH) after it emerged that preterm death had been high at the Hospital within the past seven years. Since beginning this mission in 2014, the initiative has benefited hospitals such as the Prestea Government Hospital in the Western Region, La General Hospital, Nsawam Government Hospital, and the Police Hospital, among others.
4. Manasseh Azuri Awuni
Multimedia’s Manasseh Azuri Awuni has been one of the leading Ghanaian journalists in the last decade. His numerous investigations have led to improvements in the society and a case in point was his revelation on the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
In an episode which saw some persons rip the people of Northern Ghana to bare bones, no one would have known the corruption that ensued if not for the report by Manasseh. The SADA project was meant to provide opportunities for poor peasants, especially women, to own assets in economic trees, sustain their food crop production and protect the fragile eco-system of the northern savannah.
However, some corrupt officials ended up pocketing the money and leaving the Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions to themselves. Manasseh took the matter up and conducted an in-depth investigation to find out how such a brilliant initiative from government had collapsed.
The findings he made were shocking, and society began to know the kind of people thrusted into positions to help the less-privileged, more so with the tax-payers money. The impact of this story was great and it got the public beginning to question some public officials.
5. Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
Managing Editor of Ghanabusinessnews.com Emmanuel K. Dogbevi has been in journalism for over 25 years. The veteran journalist, 44, focuses on reporting on e-waste, renewable energy and economic development.
His articles and writings have impacted society greatly on how to prevent global warming as well as how best to manage waste in this part of the world. He became the first Ghanaian to be awarded the most sought-after journalism fellowship in the world, the Knight Bagehot Fellowship of Columbia University in the United States of America following one of his impactful writings on e-waste management.
One of his articles on the topic has also been included in a textbook (Cross Currents: Cultures, Communities, Technologies, 1st Edition published by Cengage Learning in 2013). Kwame K. Dogbevi’s passion about helping society cultivate a habit of waste management earned him the Best Anti-Corruption Reporter Award of the Ghana Journalists Association in 2012.
6. Latif Iddrisu
Joy News’ Latif Iddrisu rose to prominence after his detailed documentary on the challenges of land ownership. The documentary was titled “Land Wars” was aired on both Joy FM and the Multimedia affiliate television stations.
The documentary captured in details the challenges bedevilling Ghana’s land administration with its attendant problems with land guards. It brought to light how disputes over lands were leading to deaths, as well as the bribery and corruption going on at the Lands Commission.
It also captured how some land owners whose lands have been taken away; many prospective land buyers who have been defrauded, and land guards employed by chiefs and some influential persons in society to protect lands and terrorize others who would lay claim to the lands.
The touching nature of the documentary led to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu taking up the matter.
The minister has vowed to solve Ghana’s poor land administration system.
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