Ensure That Journalists Are Paid Well — Minister To GJA
The Minister of Information, Mr Mustapha Hamid, has called on the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to move beyond unionisation to champion the cause for journalists to be paid well.
He observed that unlike the colonial days when the media was used to fight for independence, today, it was a business enterprise and, therefore, journalists who the business revolved around must be appreciated.
At the swearing-in ceremony of the GJA executive members, which was held in Accra yesterday, Mr Hamid stated that most media houses in Ghana did not pay journalists well.
“These days, it is a pure business enterprise and so if it is a business and you are using people to make money, you ought to pay them for what they are worth,” he said.
The President, Mr Roland Affail Monney; the Vice-President, Mrs Linda Asante Agyei; the General Secretary, Mr Edmund Kofi Yeboah; the Public Affairs Officer, Miss Mary Mensah; the Organising Secretary, Mr
Albert Dwumfour and the Treasurer, Miss Audrey Dekalu, were sworn in by a High Court Justice, Justice Anthony Kwadjo Yeboah, to begin a three-year term in office.
Mr Hamid observed that journalism was one of the best professions in the world and reiterated the need for the GJA to ensure that journalists were not taken for granted.
He charged the media to produce quality papers that could be placed at libraries as archives for research.
“There are many newspapers in our country that you cannot even put on your shelf, but a newspaper should be a library material, it should be a material for reference,” he said.
Right to information law
Touching on the Right to Information Law, Mr Hamid said the government was taking pragmatic steps to ensure that it was passed to create a safer environment for the media to operate.
He also announced that Ghana had accepted to host the World Press Freedom Day next year and, therefore, it would be a credit to the country to pass the Right to Information Law before the occasion.
GJA’s immediate focus
Mr Monney, for his part, said the association’s immediate focus was the re-organisation of the chapters.
According to him, other priority areas are investment and fund-raising, constitutional review, ethics and disciplinary council, as well as the professional and welfare committees which will deliver change.
He appealed for unity and active participation of all GJA members, saying the union would be as strong as the members made it.
The Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Nana Kwesi Gyan Apenteng, called for unity in the association.
“It is important that the GJA is heard not only when it is in crisis but throughout the year; we journalists must feel the presence of our association every day,” he stated.