Unlike other times when there had been controversies over some winners of the coveted Best Journalist of the Year Award, a lot of Ghanaians appear to have welcomed the crowning of the Host of the Citi Breakfast Show, Bernard Koku Avle, as the 2017 Journalist of the Year.
Even the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated emphatically that the award for Bernard is “thoroughly well-deserved.”
He was honoured at the 23rd edition of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards ceremony held at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra on Saturday.
Many Ghanaians have taken to social media to congratulate Mr. Avle saying he deserved the award.
Bernard Avle, who is also the host of The Point of View on Citi TV was among nearly 36 selected journalists in the country who received various awards on the night.
The Citi Breakfast Show was also named the Radio Morning Show of the year 2017 at the event.
President Akufo-Addo sent in a hearty congratulations to Bernard Avle for the award saying Mr. Avle’s award was “thoroughly well-deserved.”
In a tweet on Sunday, Akufo-Addo wrote: “Warm congratulations to @Benkoku on being named 2017 Journalist of the Year. Thoroughly well-deserved. Congratulations also to all award winners. I urge the media to remain active in tackling the social ills of our country, and advocating for investment that will contribute to Ghana’s development.”
Former British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin also took to Twitter to congratulate Mr. Avle.
More about Bernard Avle
Mr. Avle’s work as a journalist for the past fourteen years, has received numerous commendations for its depth and quality.
He has led Citi FM to win several awards through the Citi Breakfast Show and other quality news reports geared towards national development.
Recently, he spearheaded the station’s successful campaign against illegal small-scale mining which drew the interest of other media organizations and Civil Society, leading to a decisive government action against the phenomenon.
The Ghana Chamber of Mines honoured Bernard and the Citi Breakfast Show with an award in excellence for the campaign against illegal-small scale mining.
Also, he led the Citi News team to bring to the fore the rising challenge of abandoned health infrastructure projects in the country.
He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Economics with distinction, and he’s a Chevening Scholar with an MBA in Marketing from the Warwick Business School in the UK.
Bernard in an interview with Citi TV after picking the award, said “I’m happy because this is a recognition of just what I have done, but what Citi stands for. This radio station has given me the opportunity for the past 14 years to prove myself. So if being one of the leading presenters on Citi, I win this award, it’s a Citi award. So I’m grateful to Sammens and the team for the support, encouragement and guidance and for Team Citi for pushing me.”
For his prize, he is expected to receive a cash prize, a three bedroom house and an SUV. Having worked at Citi for fourteen years from a young age, he thanked the CEO of the company Samuel Atta Mensah for giving him the opportunity to serve.
He acknowledged veterans such as Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr. and Dr. Charles Wereko Brobbey who contributed to media pluralism and press freedom in the 90s, saying their efforts prepared the grounds for the current media
Mr. Avle, 37 years of age, and a father of three, who started his radio career at Radio Univers at the University of Ghana before joining Citi at age 23, also thanked his wife for the support throughout his career.