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The Untold Story of IFEJ-Flamingo Awards

BY: Graphic.com.gh

IFEJ-Flamingo Awards, the most credible, prestigious and respected business journalism awards have become a force to reckon with in Ghana.

Unlike similar awards programmes established by other institutions, the IFEJ-Flamingo Awards comprehensively cover ten sector-specific categories to reflect the important role that various industries play in economic development.

Launched five years ago by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), the awards represent a pinnacle of achievement for Business and Financial Journalists in Ghana, many of who work tirelessly to attain journalistic excellence, often in the face of enormous financial and political pressure.

About IFEJ

IFEJ was formed in 1990 as a non-governmental organisation to help develop the skills of business and financial journalists. One of the objectives of the institute is to advance the study, development and application of improved financial and economic communications methods through appropriate hand on-approaches and platforms.

The organisation fulfills its mandate through refresher training for mid-career journalists; media literacy training for journalists and others; media monitoring and research; excellence awards; free expression advocacy; and the maintenance of an active website and online platforms that provide resources for business journalists and the public.


The Genesis of IFEJ-Flamingo Awards

Business and financial journalism has been actively practiced in Ghana for over 30 years. Many media houses now devote more air space and pages to business and financial segment. However, the level of business and financial journalism has still not been the best. Most business and financial newspapers are filled with public relations and promotional materials of companies. Very little analytical stories on critical issues are dealt with.

The complaint of many CEOs, business executives, policy makers and investors is that they often have to assemble all news publications including surfing the internet in order to gather basic information about a specific sector of the economy. This situation leaves a big yawning gap of accurate and relevant information to fill.

According to the Centre for Media Analysis, an independent media research institution, nearly 80 per cent of the content found in financial newspapers lack accurate, well researched information and relevant analysis for public consumption.

It is in the quest to help improve business and financial journalism to fill the aforementioned yawning gap that the IFEJ-Flamingo Awards was launched in 2014 by IFEJ.

The awards serve as a platform to raise awareness on the need for a reliable, objective, analytical, and comprehensive reporting on Ghanaian businesses and economic environment. Leadership of IFEJ believes a better, accurate and in-depth reporting on the economy will generate more business interest and a better informed public,

The Success Stories So Far

The awards have grown year on year and had attracted many good entries from more than 50 media houses over the years. The last four editions of the awards have received an overwhelming endorsements and support from many reputable organisations such as the World Bank, Bank of Ghana, GCB Bank, ADB, Enterprise Life, Accra Brewery Limited, Ghana Stock Exchange, Voltic, Stanbic Bank, GIZ, and NIB . Others include Melcom Group, GNPC, GOIL, VIVO Energy, McOttley Holdings, Penplusbytes, Arkworld and many others.

The first edition of the event was held at the World Bank premises, the second up till the fourth one were held at the Du Bois Centre, Cantonment, Accra. In attendance, had been the famous Justice Atuguba of the Supreme Court, The MD of Stanbic Bank, Alhassan Andani, the former Vice Chancellor of University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, the General Ganager of GNPC, Dr. Kwame Baah-Nuakoh, 1st Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari, among others.

Past Awards Winners

Award winners were selected by a panel of judges that comprises eminent Ghanaians who have excelled in the field of journalism, media, communications, and other areas of public affairs. Since its inception in 2014, many ace business journalists have won the prestigious awards.

They are Felix Dela Klutse, who became the overall journalist during the maiden and the fourth editions in 2014 and 2017 respectively. In 2015, Kofi Adu Dumfeh of TV3 Network was adjudged the overall winner, while Famous Atitsogbe of Multimedia Group emerged the overall winner in 2016.

Prizes/Awards Packages

Every award winner gets a plaque, citation and items donated by the sponsors such as laptops, ipads, flat screen TV, among others. These prizes are always delivered on time (at least three days after the event) unlike other awards, where journalists have to wait for three to six months or so to receive their items.

The prizes for the overall journalist of the year includes citations, plaques, iPad and a fully paid trip by the World Bank Group to attend the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings in Washington DC, USA. The total package of this prize worth over $8,000.

The 5th Edition of the Awards

The 2018 edition was launched on July 17, 2018 by the Country Director of the World Bank, Mr Henry Kerali at the premises of the World Bank under the theme: “Towards Better Management of Natural Resources for Inclusive Growth and Development.” Many corporate entities are already pledging their supports for the awards.

Rayborn Bulley, President of IFEJ, commented: “The Ghanaian media is increasingly influencing perceptions of the continent globally and shaping investor sentiment. This is why the best journalistic talent and influential media outlets from Ghana are being strongly encouraged to submit entries into the awards.”

He continued: 'I am pleased to say that both the quantity and quality of the entries we received over the years have increased significantly every year. We hope that this year's awards will be more exciting.”

Call for Entries

Entries are for fully paid-up IFEJ members for at least two years. All submissions must have been published (Print or Online) or broadcast (Wire, Radio or Television) during the June 1, 2017 – July 31, 2018.

The Awards Categories

The number of categories is nine with sector-specific categories to reflect the important role that various industries play in economic development.

These sector-specific are Best Finance Feature/ News story, Best Business/Manufacturing Feature/News story, Best Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Feature/News Story, Best Extractives Feature/ News story, Best Agribusiness Feature/News story, Best Tourism Feature/News story, Best Development Feature/News story, Best in Local Economy feature/News, Best Business of Health Feature.

Overall Best Business and Financial Journalist (The Ultimate Award) is awarded to any entrant who wins the theme category and any other category.