The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has urged the Ghanaian media to be bold and speak truth to power.
He said it was by speaking the truth to authority that things would change for the better for the nation.
“One thing about the media is that you need to have courage. Citizens will have to challenge politicians to account but the media will also have to write and speak truth to power. In places your voice may be lonely, it may not be recognised, it may be misunderstood but speak anyway, because speaking and writing will change things,” he said.
Osagyefuo Ofori Panin made the call as the guest speaker at the second awards ceremony organised by the Eastern Regional Chapter of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in Koforidua last Friday at which seven outstanding journalists and some personalities who had contributed to the development of the region were honoured.
The ceremony was on the theme: “Securing a malaria-free Ghana, the role of the media”.
Turning to the environment, the Okyenhene maintained his strong stance against acts that resulted in environmental degradation.
He called for an attitudinal change to issues about the environment, saying if the people did not do that, no medicine could make Ghana malaria-free.
Osagyefuo Ofori Panin urged the media to join the national crusade against malaria eradication.
The Okyenhene said illegal mining was a major cause of malaria as the abandoned ponds served as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
The Okyenhene, however, advised the government to provide alternative livelihoods for the large number of the unemployed youth who were engaged in illegal mining.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour, commended journalists in the region, in particular, and Ghana in general for their positive contribution towards national development and urged them to sustain the trend.
The Eastern Region Chairman of the GJA, Mr Maxwell Kudekor, noted with concern that journalists in the region did not attach special importance to the coverage of malaria even though the region led in malaria prevalence in the country.
He said the government spent $6.5 million annually on malaria treatment and prevention, adding that the disease affected productivity and business development.
The President of the GJA, Mr Roland Affail Monney, commended the executive of the Eastern Regional Chapter of the GJA for successfully organising the event.