The General Secretary of the GJA, Bright Blewu made the revelation during discussions on the poor conditions of service of journalists in the country at the Ethical Journalism Initiative Seminar organized by the Association Monday August 23, 2010.
He said the GJA has already opened an account and would soon launch the fund raising efforts.
Mr. Blewu in an interview with ghanabusinessnews.com, said corporate Ghana should support the media to do its work through this initiative. He argued that by supporting the work of journalists through the Association “it can’t be said that the work of journalists would be influenced.” Instead, he said, “the media would be strengthened to do its work.”
During the 15th GJA Awards event last Saturday, concerns were raised by various speakers about the quality of journalism in the country, and one of the factors contributing to the situation was attributed to poor salaries of journalists. Other factors mentioned include poor training, lack of mentoring in the newsroom, media ownership and inducements by interest groups and individuals.
Speaking at the seminar, Aidan White, the Secretary General of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) called on journalists to pursue the three core values of the profession: to tell the truth, be independent and do no harm.
He urged journalists not to be “the voice box of any interest groups, but serve the people.” Mr. White told journalists to consider the consequences of their stories before they published and he encouraged the forging of new partnerships and dialogue to enable them to do their work.
There was consensus at the seminar that even though the media in Ghana is the freest in Africa, journalists have generally not lived up to expectations.
The call was made for standards that must be enforced.
At the end of the seminar a decision was reached to form a Committee on Ethical Journalism Initiative in the country.
According to Mr. Blewu, the Committee will be formed with representatives of the GJA’s corporate members. The Association has plans to embark on a corporate membership drive in 2011. Corporate membership is open to media organizations.
“This way,” he says, “ethical values of the profession can be enforced.”
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi