Ayamga was adjudged Best Journalist for Migration Reporting for his story titled “Bombs, fear & iffy survival: The escape story of Ghanaian footballers in war-torn Ukraine.”
WAMECA 2023: Pulse Ghana’s Emmanuel Ayamga wins migration reporting prize
Pulse Ghana’s Sports Editor, Emmanuel Ayamga, was among the big winners at the 2023 edition of the prestigious West Africa Media Excellence and Conference Awards (WAMECA).
He was one of six journalists who were honoured for their impressive work in the year under review at a ceremony at the World Trade Center, Accra, on Saturday, November 11, 2023.
Ayamga's winning story highlights the plight of Ukraine-based Ghanaian footballers in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and the horror they faced in a bid to escape the war-torn country.
He beat off competition from two Nigerian journalists – Kabir Yusuf Akinpelu of Premium Times and Taiwo Alimi of The Nation Newspaper – to win the prize.
It's also the first time that a sports has picked up a West Africa Media Excellence Award. As reward for emerging as the Best Journalist for Migration Reporting, Ayamga received a plaque and a cheque of $500.
Three other Ghanaian journalists were winners on the night, with Emmanuel Kwasi Debrah winning the Best Journalist for ICTs and Telecoms Reporting, Francisca Enchill grabbing the award for Investigative Reporting and Komla Adom also scooping the Human Rights Reporting prize.
Meanwhile, Nigerian journalist Muhammad Akiyemi of Human Angle walked away with the overall Best Journalist in West Africa and Best Environment Reporter awards.
The 2023 West Africa Media Excellence Awards received 825 entries from 15 West African countries.
The entries were filed by journalists from about 402 media organisations in the West Africa region, with 17 of the best entries being shortlisted as finalists.
A three-member jury then decided on the winners of each category after a thorough screening process, although no awards were given for the Health and Anti-Corruption reporting categories this year., as the jury blamed the lack of quality and depth in the stories submitted for the two categories.
The jury members were Joseph Warungu, a veteran journalist from Kenya who spent 20 years at the BBC in London and was also head of the BBC African News and Current Affairs Department, and Reyhana Masters from Zimbabwe, who is a distinguished Hubert Humphrey Alumni with a remarkable career that spans over three decades as a journalist, trainer, researcher, and media and communications consultant throughout the African continent.
The last jury member is Senegal’s Hamadou Tidiane Sy, a seasoned journalist and a passionate journalism trainer, who doubles as the founder of the award-winning online news platform (Ouestaf News) specializing in investigations and in-depth reporting and founder and also the Director of E-jicom, a renowned journalism, communication and digital media school.
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