Need for all Media Personalities to unite to better lives of Ghanaian Journalists

Journalists
By Dr. Nana Sifa Twum
After two years of election litigation, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), on Friday, June 24, 2022, finally held its regional and national elections to elect Officers to lead the Association for the next three years. The elections were to have been held in 2020 were delayed due to misunderstandings among some of the contestants, especially those vying for the Presidency positions.
Last Friday, more than 500 members in good standing cast their votes. In the end, Mr. Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the Tobinco Group and incumbent National Organising Secretary, was elected as the Association’s new President. He polled almost half of the total vote cast. More than 800 members of the GJA in good standing were expected to cast their ballots, but 559 turned up to vote. Other ardent members of the Association were elected to serve with Mr. Dwumfour. Mr. Kofi Yeboah retained the General Secretary position, Linda Asante Agyei, and Audrey Dekalu, who contested the Vice President and Treasurer positions, respectively were unopposed. New entrant Mr. Dominic Hlordzi coming in as the Organising Secretary, and Madam Rebecca Ekpe as the Public Affairs Officer, are well-experienced journalists who have worked in various capacities within the Association and have much to show, by way of enthusiasm,  and dedication. They are all achievers who have exhibited a great sense of professionalism which could be imparted. The exhibition of inclusion and commitment by other contestants, especially for the position of Presidents such as the former General Secretary, Dave Agbenu, and Gayheart Mensah are commendable. Per the victory speech by the elected President of the Association, all such people must be actively engaged in ensuring a vibrant and more useful professional GJA
The GJA has come a long way since its establishment on 15th August 1949. This was at a time when politics in the then former British colony of the Gold Coast was at its peak, and the minds of many Media Practitioners and ordinary citizens were filled with events of the ‘nationalist’ struggle. Today, there has been a dramatic paradigm shift in terms of national politics and socio-economic approaches. The GJA of those years obviously needs to have a new and proactive focus. Those days, a number of the “nationalist leaders” were journalists who employed the power of the pen to propagate their ideas and vision of independence for the then Gold Coast. Today’s journalists must be a kind seeking the broader interest of the citizenry and this is where the GJA’s focus must be by way of training, sensitisation and professional development of its members.
The newly elected members must be vigilant in maintaining a solid corps of journalists, one that is respected, protected, and held accountable itself. There is only one standard of journalism which is the acclaimed global standard. Anything short of this is unacceptable. The new GJA Executives are taking office at a very crucial time in the country’s journalism history, where ethics and standards have been severely criticized by nonprofessionals. The perception of fallen journalism in the country appears more real than ever. Experts believe this has emanated from the mushrooming of media houses and its attendant challenge of media ownership and control. In some cases, journalists do not have control over their content anymore. Media owners rather have. The morale of most Ghanaian journalists is at its very low because they are not well renumerated.
Against this backdrop, Mr. Dwumfour’s campaign promise of ensuring a better welfare strategy for members of the Association is most welcome. He noted in a victory speech, “I will in humility serve to promote their welfare, raise standards of the profession as well as a rise against anti-media element.” Mr. Dwumfour and his team are coming on to the scene at a time when technology is greatly enhancing human activities. Technology today offers us unprecedented opportunities to expand media activities. The Ghanaian journalist must not be left behind. The commitment of the new executives to the transformation of the Association in all elements with welfare and high professional standards as key must be seen.
All candidates, who lost the election must be on board to support the new leadership to bring more vibrancy into the Association. It is believed that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.

1 COMMENT

  1. Not only the media personlities, all associations, engineers, lecturers, lawyers and judges etc should speak for the betterment of Ghana. Some people feel the we’re promoted to positions by the president so they can not criticise him and this is a big mistake.

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