23.02.2004 Feature Article

Journalist of the Year Award - The Controversy Continues

Journalist of the Year Award - The Controversy Continues
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A GNA Feature by Boakye-Dankwa Boadi

Accra, Feb. 23, GNA - Was it Macbeth, who said something to the effect that all the waters of the oceans could not wash clean his hands, which he had soiled with the blood of King Duncan?

In the same vein the huge reputation of Unilever Ghana Limited and all the Omo Super Stain Remover it produces could not wash the Fake Journalist of the Year 2001/2002 clean.

What is wrong is wrong no matter how one looked at it. It is illogical for a person who was not a member of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in 2001 / 2002 to be given the most coveted prize reserved for members.

This writer had occasion to ask the General Secretary of the GJA, Mr Bright Blewu about the fact that Mr Komla Dumor was not a member of the Association during the period under consideration and he confirmed it.

However, he argued that since the Fake Journalist of the Year 2001/ 2002 became a member before entries were received he did not see anything wrong with the member submitting his work prior to becoming a member of the Association for consideration. Logic indeed.

Was it not the lizard that said it was hurt more by the one who commended the child that threw the stone that hit it for his excellent targeting rather than the perpetrator himself?

One wonders how the Public Affairs Unit of Unilever could drag the otherwise reputable multi-national company into the controversy involving the selection of the Fake Journalists of the Year 2001/2002. The unit should by nature of their work have known that the Ghana News Agency, "Daily Graphic"; "Ghanaian Times" and TV-3 Chapters of GJA had declared that they did not recognise the Fake Journalist of the Year.

The best the Unit could have done was to advise the Company to suspend the prize for the period. This is because if one decides to go in between people throwing mud at each other one should expect to be smeared.

Or should it be taken that Unilever now extols fake things? If that were so is the company telling it numerous customers to take critical look at its products, which they had all the time assumed to be genuine? One would not like to mince words at all. The Public Affairs Unit of Unilever did not try. But for the fact this writer had been associated with UAC from infancy, growing up to meet his grandfather as UAC Storekeeper at Atebubu from the 1930s to early 1950s and he himself becoming a Salesman at Kingsway Stores in Kumasi in 1969, he would have embarked on boycotting Unilever products.

He would have instructed his household to buy Ariel detergent instead of Omo; Magi cube instead of Royco; Duck Bar Soap instead of Key Soap; Dinor oil instead of Frytol; Aqua Fresh and Maxam instead of Close Up and Pepsodent.

This writer would like to doff off his hat for "Daily Graphic" for the way it covered the crowning of the Fake with only a picture and a caption and for TV-3 for using an actuality without a voice. That is the spirit. Keep it up. The media should not tolerate the Fake. It must always endeavour to project the genuine.

The Fake Journalists of the Year must bow down his head in shame for manoeuvring to take what he definitely knew he did not deserve but was presented to him for reasons best known to Dr Audrey Gadzepo and her Awards Committee after Kweku Sakyi Addo had declined the offer. So after all he was not the best.

How true are the lyrics of the popular highlife song: "If God did not make you a king and you adorned yourself in kingly robes nobody would serve you." Truth Stands.

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