A.R. Gomda receiving the award for the DAILY GUIDE from Hon. Ken Dzirasah
The DAILY GUIDE newspaper was one of a host of other media players to be honoured by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) at a maiden award activity organized by the organization yesterday.
In his keynote address before the presentation of the awards, the Minister of the Interior Hon. Mark Owen Woyongo congratulated the award winners for their efforts in supporting the GNFS in its work which, as he said, has contributed to national development.
He urged the media to strike a balance in their reportage so that both positive and negative stories are highlighted. The continuous dependence on negative stories, he noted, is something very common with the Western media and should be avoided.
“Criticise as much as you can but ensure that what you report can be substantiated” he charged the media adding that it has a critical role to play in educating members of the public about fire prevention.
Fire prevention and safety, he said, is a shared responsibility between members of the public and fire personnel.
He charged those who did not win awards to emulate the feat of the winners so that they too can be considered in subsequent recognition activities.
The Minister also asked the media to let research be the cornerstone of their work and to do documentaries which can help rural dwellers who cannot read and write.
The Chairman of the GNFS Council Hon. Ken Dzirasah who was also the chairman for the occasion expressed elation for the innovation.
He recalled how on some occasions GNFS personnel are hooted at fire scenes because such persons are ignorant about fire tenders and think erroneously that the equipment are filled with so much water that it should not be exhausted within a short time.
The Chief Fire Officer Dr. Brown Gaisie said the programme, the first of its kind, was intended to express gratitude to the media for their role in propagating the work of the Service.
As agenda setters, the media cannot be ignored in the activities of public organizations, he said, while pointing out how journalists with time have demystified the issues of fire fighting. “The media now understand what causes fire and other aspects of the profession of fire fighting, a situation which hitherto was not the case.”
“We cannot quantify or evaluate the role of the media in the work of the GNFS” he said.
Interestingly, the Chief Fire Officer Brown Gaisie, Hon. Ken Dzirasah and Hon. Mark Woyongo have all media backgrounds having practiced journalism for many years before their career changes.
By A.R. Gomda