Pay journalists well – Dan Botwe
He said if care was not taken it could affect the professional standard of journalists, which would not augur well for the country’s democratic practice.
Mr Botwe has therefore appealed to owners of private media houses and board and management of state owned media houses to ensure that as a matter of urgency proper and adequate remuneration was paid to journalists to enable them to come out with their best.
The former Minister of Information expressed the concern in an interview with Ghana News Agency, after he had addressed journalists in the Eastern Region at a forum to commemorate World Press Freedom Day in Koforidua.
Mr Botwe said if journalists were not paid well the possibility that some of them could be influenced by high profile personalities in the society to “cover” their misdeeds was high.
He said he was surprised to learn that some reporters of radio, television and news papers in the Region were not on the pay role, meaning that they were not receiving salaries at the end of the month and only depended on “soli” (tips) to survive.
The MP observed that even those who received salaries at the end of every month, were on low remuneration and therefore had to device means of surviving.
He called on the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to as a matter of urgency review the matter and ensure that they impressed upon the media houses to pay their employees well.
Mr Botwe said in spite of the challenges journalists were going through, they should not compromise their professional ethics and rather work hard to promote the current democratic dispensation.
He urged journalists to see themselves as important stakeholders in the democratic process and development agenda of the country and play their watch dog role effectively.
Mr Botwe said that was the only way that corruption could be eliminated from the society and ensure that public officials lived up to expectation.
Mr Affail Monney, Vice President of GJA, gave the assurance that the Association would take the matter seriously and visit the various media houses and discuss with owners and management to see how best the issue could be tackled.
Dr Bonnah Koomson, formerly of the School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana Legon, cautioned journalists against taking money or any form of inducement before or after performing their duties.