Broadcast Journalist and host of ATL FM's Breakfast Show [Atlantic Wave] Mary Ama Bawa, has made public her withdrawal from this year's Radio and Television Personality [RTP] awards.
Mary Ama Bawa won the "Best Radio Personality Central Region" at the 2016 awards held in Accra. She also received a second nomination for the same category at this year's nominees unveiling ceremony. This is along side the nomination of Emmanuel Kweku Buckman [Mani Kay], the host of ATL FM's Ocean Drive.
According to Mary Ama Bawa, her reason for the withdrawal includes the inability of the organizers to contact her before, during or after the receipt of the award. She also cites the lack of mentorship or exposure to best practices from organisers of RTP to winners to challenge them to higher levels.
She adds, "I pray and hope that Big Events Ghana will go the extra mile to better their system to make it transparent and more beneficial to winners".
Broadcast Journalist and host of ATL FM's Breakfast Show [Atlantic Wave] Mary Ama Bawa
Read the full statement below:
I have the pleasure to announce to my audience and friends that Big Events Ghana, organizers of the annual Radio and Television Personality [RTP] awards have nominated me together with other hard working colleagues in the Central region for the best regional radio and television personality award. It feels exceedingly great to be acknowledged for the things we do in society.
I'm grateful to Big Events GH for the recognition. I also appreciate my local and global audience for the support they gave me in 2016 which saw me emerge winner of the best radio personality in the region. I look forward to better and brighter days ahead.
However I must make it clear that I'm not contesting this year's award. My decision is in no way to spite the organisers nor down play the effort of my colleagues that led to their nomination. My decision is based on a number of observations.
First, there is a lot wrong with the practice of journalism in Ghana.
There's a lot of unprofessional practices in the system, not because journalists want to remain so, but because an awful lot of them do not know how to do it or cannot afford the cost of professional demands. That problem must be addressed.
Second, a huge number of media managers stifle the real purpose of these journalists/presenters by either engaging them in other areas that do not enhance their career or deny them resources that render them effective.
Third, there's a certain level of quality that audience demand from local journalists and they don't get it. The problems are numerous. The focus should be to address these problems.
I won the RTP in 2016 and the feeling was great but non of these problems was addressed. The organisers did not call me or make any input to improve my work or my radio station.
There was no communication whatsoever before my nomination and after I won the prize. I think that is quite bizarre.
There was no mentorship or any form of exposure to best practices from organisers of RTP to challenge me to a higher level. That is what I'm hungry for; better alternatives to what I'm currently doing.
A system that will better assess the competencies of journalists and presenters independently and in a transparent manner.
For instance, why do you spell out a detailed category of awards or nominees for Accra and jam up that of other regions in the country?
Organisers of RTP may have their agenda which may be quite at variance with what I have enumerated but an agenda that only asks people to text as many as possible and the person with the highest number of votes wins doesn't serve the interest of nominees.
Millions across the world listen to me and wish me well and so they will go all length to vote,but that doesn't make me the best.
I don't want to be part of such a move that seem to prey on people's popularity for financial gain. I pray and hope that Big Events Ghana will go the extra mile to better their system to make it transparent and more beneficial to winners.
Mary Ama Bawa
Campus Broadcating Service [ CBS ] - ATL FM
University of Cape Coast