Pay journalists well-Information Minister designate tells media owners at GJA Awards

The Minister of Information designate, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has expressed concern about low remuneration and inadequate welfare packages for journalists in the country.

He has, therefore, called on media owners and managers to pay more attention to their journalists than they did in the past, since low remuneration can negatively affect the integrity of their work.

“The opening up of the media landscape in Ghana has been characterised by the growth of media houses with various interests.

The expansion and improvement in the sector has not translated into a corresponding improvement in the welfare of a lot of media practitioners,” Mr Nkrumah said.

23rd GJA Awards

Addressing the 23rd Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards in Accra last Saturday, Mr Nkrumah said: “Practitioners are some of the least paid professionals in Ghana today. This is not good enough.”

The ceremony was held to recognise and celebrate the excellent contributions of media practitioners to the development of the country.

The event, which was on the theme: “State of investigative journalism: Boundaries of privacy and borders of public interest”, drew participants from across all spheres of human endeavour.

It was a night of glitz and glamour, as 36 journalists, media organisations and other persons who had contributed immensely to journalism in various ways mounted the stage to be honoured.

The Morning Show host of Accra-based Citi FM, Mr Bernard Avle, was crowned the 2017 PAV Ansah Journalist of the Year.

Mr Nkrumah, who is also the NPP Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi, said a better paid journalist was “necessary to get and to keep the best and to preserve the quality of the profession”.

Power of the media

On the power of the media, he asked the Ghanaian media to add to their investigative journalism and exposure of nefarious acts agenda the need to build the country’s psyche for excellence.

“You are the ones who determine whether Ghanaians will hear stories that will inspire us and challenge us to do better; stories that determine the sort of psyche we express as a nation. You have the power to determine if the next generation of Ghanaians will grow up believing in themselves, believing in their nation and believing in their ability to change the world.

“You also have the power to determine if they will grow up believing that nothing can ever work in Ghana and nothing works in Ghana.

I want to encourage you to take this responsibility seriously,” he said.

Mr Nkrumah said the reinforcement of positive lessons “generates the snowball effect and gradually it will urge more people towards excellence”.

Inaccurate reportage

Turning his attention to what he described as increasing cases of inaccurate reportage in the media, the Minister of Information designate said the media thrived on accuracy, arguing that “the time has come for us to take a second look at how much of our work is a fact that we report, how much of it is opinion and how much of it is spin, so that we can preserve the integrity of the profession that we practise”.

With many blaming some of the ill-practices in media circles on.

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