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Ghanaian journalists are well paid – Kwesi Twum

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Mr. Kwesi Twum - CEO, Multimedia Ghana Ltd.

The CEO of Multimedia Ghana Ltd.,Mr. Kwesi Twum says Ghanaian journalists are well paid.

He said these when he made contributions at the 5th Citizen Kofi Media Dialogue series sponsored by the World Bank in Accra Friday May 27, 2011.

The theme for the event was “Threats to Media Independence in Ghana: Poor Remuneration, National Security, Serial Callers, Governance Structures, Etc.”

Mr. Twum argued that Ghanaian journalists are paid well and that is why they ride in car models like Jaguar, Mercedes Benz and so on. In his view therefore, the challenges facing media organisations in Ghana is not poor remuneration but the unavailability of knowledgeable journalists. He said it is difficult to find and hire good quality journalists to work in the media.

Making his contribution, Mr. Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, one of Ghana’s renowned journalists and former BBC correspondent said what he sees as a major threat to media independence in Ghana today is organised religion. According to him, the fact that even national television, like GTV would allow its platform to be used by uneducated and ill-informed people parading themselves as preachers to mislead the public is worrying. Supporting his argument, he cited the example of a case where a female preacher was shown on GTV making claims about the efficacy of her grinding stone and how it could heal diseases.

He expressed concern that a national medium would allow charlatans to use it to deceive and exploit desperate and needy Ghanaians, who are genuinely seeking for help.

He also said it is surprising that GTV charges businesses to cover their events. He said  media organisations should not cover events simply because organisers can afford to pay, but instead coverage should be done because the event is news worthy.

Mr. Haruna Atta, the Managing Editor of the Accra Mail, shared his bitter experience when he decided to publish the ‘Accra Mail’. He said he was motivated by examples like the ‘New York Times’, ‘Boston Globe’ and the like, which were city newspapers to start his paper, but vendors would not sell his paper, and advertisers would also not advertise and so he went through lots of difficulties. He also complained about the poor quality of writing that is plaguing the Ghanaian media.

Other contributors shared their concerns about the low levels to which the quality of writing in the Ghanaian media has sunk.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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2 comments

  1. This is a good piece to read. I think the state media should be a worthy model that the private ones can learn. But now it is the reverse. Programmes have to be screened. GTV and others have to think about the impact those lies will have on the innocent people. I really don’t know if there is media regulatory body in the country. Always, it is the poor and innocent people that are taking advantage off. Over to you joe lartey.

  2. No surprise there.

    Be it the over 50% failure rate at the JSS final exam or nursing licensing exam or journalism, Ghana remains fraught with inferiority across all professions. Inferior products and services are our forté.

    I have yet to see one 7pm newscast on GTV that has gone without multiple glitches. It’s either the teleprompter fails or a video clip is mis-queued or the sound volume rises or falls sharply or, or, or… What a daily national embarrassment! Are these the best technicians GTV could employ? And the fact that these issues persist, is a reflection on their incompetent management.