GHANA: “Include media houses for the stimulus package” – GJA tells gov’t

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) is advocating for the inclusion of media houses in the categories of companies the state intends to give stimulus packages to.

Addressing members of the association at a media engagement at the International Press Center in Accra yesterday, the President of GJA, Mr Affail Monne explained that it is an open secret that many media houses are financially disabled and logistically handicapped.

This situation the GJA President noted has been worsened by a dwindling revenue stream,  swingering expenditure cuts and debilitating job losses.

“As of now , many journalists have not received their meagre pay.  Indeed, it will take a miracle for their next salaries to come. Not withstanding the formidable challenges , journalists continually face life threatening risks as they interview infected people, follow  contract tracers, publicize frontline workers, intensify public education and amplify the drumbeat on the dangers of the pandemic.

It is , therefore, justified and logical  for the GJA to make a very  strong and urgent appeal for  media houses to be considered in the stimulus package.” Mr Monne indicated.

He also called for the provision of PPEs and transport for journalists by way of Ayalolo buses or other means should also be given a topmost priority

While urging  media practitioners themselves to internalize safety protocols and reflect them at all times, we once again  commend them most highly for their frontal role in the battle against Covid-19. The GJA president said.

Below is the full statement by Mr Affail Monne, GJA President.

The President of PRINPAG, PRESIDENT of ASWIM, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF GIBA, VICE PRESIDENT , GENERAL SECRETARY AND ORGANIZING SECRETARY OF GJA, Senior Journalists , Colleague Journalists, Ladies and Gentlemen.

On behalf of the GJA , I express my profound gratitude to you all for responding to our invitation at a very short notice. It has often been articulated , and it bears repeating , that we are not in ordinary times. Your presence here in these abnormal times  is ample proof of your commitment to join forces with officialdom, health workers and others  to fight the Covid-19 pandemic with utmost ferocity , heightening , intensity and maximum tenacity.

Colleague journalists. Permit me to take a cursory inventory of the media’s coverage of the pandemic so far . It’s gratifying to note that the entire media are saturated with stories on coronavirus  while reflecting  our prayerful  mood expectations of divine grace .  The impact in terms of respect for safety protocols is , however, not uniform in the entire country. It is appreciably high in certain communities and abysmally low in others.  The  GJA takes the opportunity to sprinkle a stardust of praise on the media in general for the impressive work done. The following media houses deserve a special mention for their outstanding Covid- 19 coverage-  UTV and Peace FM, Adom FM and Adom TV,  Joy News and Joy FM, Citi FM and Citi TV, GTV and Radio Ghana, Atinka TV and ATINKA FM, GHOne and Star FM, Daily Graphic, Ghanaian Times, Ghana News Agency,  Daily Guide and  Ghanaian Chronicle. As the saying goes, appreciation is the vehicle to elevation. We hope the media will accelerate professional  coverage of the pandemic as we brace ourselves for the critical phase of the fight.

The GJA joins the chorus of praise for the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his inspirational leadership and incredible energy budget which have crystallized into the quality public health governance by the National Covid 19 Response Team , even under very challenging circumstances. The point can, however ,not be articulated that all this could not have  been accomplished without the oxygen of publicity and the degree  of education the media copiously provide.  This naked truth , perhaps, explains the simmering discontent in certain media circles over the lack of  recognition of the media by the highest office of the land for their inestimable sacrifice and immeasurable contribution to the fight against coronavirus. GJA’s take is this:  This is not the time to prize recognition over responsibility . Indeed, the media have  constitutional , professional, ethical, moral  and godly responsibilities to champion the national interest in these critical times.  And the national interest dictates that journalists should be disinclined to be deflected from aiding the Covid- 19 war maximally with all the arsenals at their disposal.

Ladies and gentlemen of the media. Another issue of interest is the scramble for recognition by all manner of professional groups as frontline workers in the fight against coronavirus.  True, by virtue of what they do , the endless working hours they endure and the exigencies of the assignments they undertake, the media do not need any redefinition or reclassification as frontline workers. It will be superfluous to do so.

It is also true that many media houses are financially disabled and logistically handicapped. This situation has been worsened by a dwindling revenue stream,  swingering expenditure cuts and debilitating job losses.

As of now , many journalists have not received their meagre pay.  Indeed, it will take a miracle for their next salaries to come. Not withstanding the formidable challenges , journalists continually face life threatening risks as they interview infected people, follow  contract tracers, publicize frontline workers, intensify public education and amplify the drumbeat on the dangers of the pandemic.

It is , therefore, justified and logical  for the GJA to make a very  a strong and urgent appeal for  media houses to be considered in the stimulus package.

Provision of PPEs and transport for journalists by way of Ayalolo buses or other means should also be given a topmost priority.

While urging  media practitioners themselves to internalize safety protocols and reflect them at all times, we once again  commend them most highly for their frontal role in the battle against Covid-19.

In every battle, the confidence to win is the cornerstone of victory. With God on our side and the cooperation of all, Ghana will surely win this fight and consign the pandemic to the dustbin of history.

In this passion week, we wish all journalists the best of Good Friday and Resurrection Day
Thank you for your attention.

Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
Writer’s email: franklinadonkoh@gmail.com

Source: http://www.todaygh.com

 

Today Newspaper (Ghana)

Commentaires