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Fight for Better Conditions of Service for Journalist, Minister tells GJA

The Minister for Information, Honourable Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has implored the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to go a notch higher in their demand   for better conditions of service for journalists.

Hon. Abdul- Hamid expressed concern over the poor remuneration given journalists in spite of the fact that media practitioners have always been at the fore front of Ghana’s democratic struggles.

 He emphasized that it was high time media practitioners fought for their rights.

He, however, was optimistic that with the help of the TUC, practitioners could show their employers that they have the grit to bite.

“When we show that we can bite media owners will know that we mean business”, he emphasized.

Hon. Abdul- Hamid made the call when he spoke at the swearing in ceremony to inaugurate the newly elected executives of the Ghana Journalists Association, this morning at the Ghana International Press Centre.

While he expressed worry over the poor conditions of service of journalists, he encouraged journalists also to be innovative with content generation.

He underscored the need for practitioners to move away from sensationalism and focus attention on content and publication that could serve as archival documents for serious academic exercise.

Mr. Abdul- Hamid reiterated the ministry’s commitment and his determination to ensure the Right to Information (RTI) bill gets passed.

The Information Minister ceased the opportunity to remind the media fraternity that Ghana would host the World Press Freedom Day slated for May 3-4, next year.

On his part, the Deputy Secretary General of the TUC, Mr. Joshua Armah who reechoed the sentiments shared by the information minister, entreated media practitioners to ensure their rights were respected.

He challenged them to ensure their employers paid them according to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) agreed minimum wage.

He said that his outfit was ready to support the GJA to fight for better working conditions for its members.

For his part, the Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC) Nana Kwesi Gyan Appenteng, who was the chairman for the occasion congratulated the newly elected executives and advised that unity of purpose should be the hall mark of the GJA after what he described as “bruising elections”.

“We have to purposefully come together as one body after elections”, he added.

Nana Gyan Appenteng encouraged media practitioners to take advantage of technological advancement and freedom of the media to develop their institutions as well as build their capacities to stay in tune with current trends in the industry.

He underscored the need for the GJA and its institutions to be strengthened to deliver since the NMC depends on the GJA to help raise the standards of journalism in the country.

He appealed to the GJA to be proactive and not wait to be heard only when there was crisis.

“We, journalists must tell the presence of our association every day”, he added.

The president of the GJA, Roland Affail Monney, on his part, disputed any claims of 419 dealings in the Association and assured members of a transparent administration in his second term.

Mr. Monney also added his voice to the call for better conditions of service for journalists, indicating that it was worrying to know that some journalists were not paid at all.

He, however was optimistic the trend would change.

As the newly elected president of the Association, Mr. Monney promised to work in harmony with all members of the Association.

He noted that none of his contenders in the election would be sidelined, rather they would play key roles in the administration of the Association under his leadership.

Source: MOI (Munira Karim)

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