Manasseh Azure Awuni, an investigative journalist has revealed that the Ghana Journalists Association's (GJA) "Most Promising Journalist of the Year" award category was created because of him.
According to Azure, the category was introduced in 2010 to recognise him after he was deemed too young to be adjudged the GJA's Best Journalist of the year.
At a seminar on investigative journalism and launch of the Ghana Institute of Journalism's Investigative Journalism Club on Friday, March 24, on the GIJ’s North Dzorwulu campus, Manasseh Azure recounted that he was named the Most Promising Journalist shortly after graduating from GIJ in 2010.
"In 2010, just after completing the Ghana Institute of Journalism, I was adjudged the Most Promising Journalist at the Ghana Journalist Association Awards (GJA).
"A certain man on the board told me that he has something to tell me and later when he did, he said my name popped up among those who were deserving of the journalist of the year award but they disagreed because I was very young and just completing school so they created the category to compensate me," he recounted.
The creation of the award category for Manasseh Azure highlighted his skill and impact as a young journalist.
However, Manasseh Azure won the Best Journalist award the following year 2011.
At the seminar, Manasseh Azure shared the story to encourage and boost the morale GIJ students to value hands-on experience in addition to their degrees.
He emphasised that practical experience and skills are what media employers look out for than certificates.
He cited renowned Ghanaian sports journalist Gary Al-Smith, himself and other classmates of his as examples of students who secured jobs more easily due to their experience and hard work in school.
"Your certificate, whether first-class or less, is not enough to guarantee you a job but the experience you have garnered in the field and what you can bring to the newsroom."
The Fourth Estate Editor-In-Chief urged students to find their purpose early and invest in gaining relevant experience, as that would differentiate them in the job market more than their grades.
"Discover your purpose very early—at the very moment your lectures start and start investing your time and the little money you have in it," he advised.
"The difference is not going to be the class you will go out with but how much time you spent on things that matters," he stressed.
Azure is an award-winning journalist renowned for his in-depth investigative reports on corruption and social issues in Ghana.
His story, "Robbing the Assemblies" was adjudged the best report for the Anti-Corruption Reporting Category. The story also won Manasseh the 2018 West Africa Journalist of the Year.