Eliminate charlatans from the profession – Minister tells GJA
Alhaji Alhassan B.A Fuseini, Deputy Northern Regional Minister, has called on the leadership of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to find lasting solutions to problems facing the group before transforming it into a trade union.
He asked the GJA to as a matter of urgency tackle the issue of poor conditions of service and to eliminate charlatans from the profession, seeking to become a trade union, as is currently on the drawing board.
Alhaji Fuseini, who made the remarks at the inauguration of the Northern Regional GJA executives in Tamale at the weekend, observed that journalists were often apathetic to finding solutions to problems that affected their profession but were quick to help others.
The executives were sworn into office by Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, the Presiding High Court Judge in Tamale.
They were Mr Caesar Abagali, Chairman and Acting Regional Manger of GNA, who takes over from Mr Alidu Baba of the Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation, Mr Abdul Majeed Yakubu, Vice Chairman, and a Reporter with the New Times Cooperation, who replaces Mr Paul Osei-Tutu, formerly of the GNA, and Mr Nurudeen Salifu Mohammed, Secretary and Reporter with the Daily Graphic, who takes over from Mr Abagali.
The position of Treasurer was declared vacant since at the end of nominations no one contested.
Alhaji Fuseini said the 1992 Constitution recognizes the media as an important institution of the state and had arrogated to it rights and responsibilities, which needed to be exercised effectively to strengthen and promote democracy.
“Society expects the media to perform such a huge task, including the watchdog role among others, yet most media institutions do not have full complement of tools and resources to execute this job”, he said.
Alhaji Fuseini cautioned journalists against bribery and should report the truth.
Justice Mensah urged the media to redirect their focus from reporting on politics to reporting more on social and development issues such as girl child education, child labour, access to potable water, sanitation and the elimination of alleged witch camps in the region.
“The media is the torch bearer of the nation so it is important to bring out developmental challenges to the attention of authorities for them to address them. This will facilitate the development we are all looking for”, he said.
Mr Philip Assibit Akpeena, Group Chairman of Discovery, said the media was an important developmental partner, which needed to be supported to facilitate economic transformation.
He urged the media to be pervasive and diligent in discharging their duties to help in promoting peace and unity for development.
Mr Alidu Baba, out-going regional chairman of the GJA, said that despite financial difficulties the group was able to organise capacity building programmes for members.
He asked the new executives to lobby the national executives of the GJA to allocate part of monthly dues of members, to the regional office for its operations.
Mr Abagali promised to work hard to unite members to make the association formidable to promote the development of the region.
He asked media practitioners to be responsible, conform to their professional ethics and avoid insults to ensure peace and development.