Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, Okyenhene and President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, has called on the media to speak out on issues that affect the environment, development and particularly health of people.
He said the media may not have the power to change or formulate polices, but they had the power of the pen and voice to speak out on issues without fear or favour to effect policy and behavioural changes.
The Okyenhene said illegal mining and all other forms of mining that leaved pits uncovered to breed mosquitoes and increase the Malaria burden, were not in the interest of national development as well as people who lived in such communities.
He noted that: "whether small scale, illegal mining or community mining, there is the tendency of leaving pits uncovered, which would breed mosquitoes as well as become death traps for people in those communities. We need to ensure that the right thing is done everywhere".
The Okyenhene made the call at the 2nd edition of the Eastern GJA awards held in Koforidua, on the theme: "Securing Malaria Free Ghana, Role of the Media" where deserving journalists were honoured in a competitive nomination.
The President of the House of Chiefs noted that, the malaria burden was a threat to Africa and Ghana was not an exception, yet, "issues of malaria has not captured the focus of the media to attract the needed attention".
Seven distinguished journalists in the region - Ms Bertha Badu-Agyei (GNA), Ms Ama Takyiwa Ampadu Agyeman (Times), Daniel Bampoe (Daily Guide), Kwasi Frimpong (Daily Statesman), Felix Adjei (Okwahu FM), Kwaku Aboagye Appenteng (Kingdom FM) and Sylvanus Gatorwu (Freelance) won awards in seven out of the 11 competitive categories.
Four others including the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfuor, The Volta River Authority (VRA), GBC-Sunrise and the Royal Mac-Dic hotel were also given honorary award for their immense support to GJA and the development of the region on the whole.
The Regional Minister in his remarks thanked the media in the region for their hard work and support to the implementation of government policies and commended the awardees for standing tall in their line of duty.
Mr Affail Monney, GJA National President, pledged the support of the Media to the fight against malaria and thanked the Okyenehne for drawing the media's attention to the need to focus on malaria and commended the Eastern GJA for organising the second edition of the awards to reward hardworking journalists.