Passage of RTI: GLOMEF urges improved condition of Journalists to fight corruption

Date: Thursday April 4, 2019, 10:17 am

By: WatchGhana.Com

Photo shows CEO of Glomef, Speaker of Parliament & NMC Chairman
The Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF) has stated that it has utmost confidence in the Ghanaian media in effectively using the recently passed ‘Right to Information (RTI) law’ to fight corruption, financial misappropriation and injustices in society, if only measures would be taken by the state to address the extremely poor condition of service of media practitioners in Ghana.

According to GLOMEF, the introduction of the Right To Information law alone is not a panacea for the endemic corruption and social injustices in Ghana, unless the appropriate authorities and stakeholders such as the National Media Commission (NMC), Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Civil Society Organisations and Parliament pay special attention to the salaries of media practitioners in the country.

Speaking in an interview with WatchGhana.Com in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GLOMEF, Mr. Raphael Godlove Ahenu said that as a result of the poor condition of service, many Journalists have lost focus, put aside their professional code of ethics, and are now in bed with the same duty bearers they are supposed to hold accountable. 

He said that media owners in Ghana had taken undue advantage of Journalists and are paying them unimaginably low salaries which according to him, had compelled most Journalists including the so-called Senior Journalists to run to politicians for handouts. 

Mr. Ahenu formerly with Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) said it would be extremely difficult for Journalists who are in the pockets of politicians and other duty bearers to turn round to speak against or expose their bad deeds.    

“I don’t see how it is possible for any person to bite the finger that is feeding him or her. So, to me the only way we can empower Journalists and other media practitioners to use the RTI to expose the rots in society is when we are able to pay Journalists good salaries that will enable them to take care of their personal and family needs. But if thing continue to remain the way it is, then I am afraid the impact of RTI will not be much felt when it comes to fighting corruption”.
Mr. Ahenu said that, currently in Ghana some media owners are paying their workers as low as GhC150 for reporters, GhC250 for presenters and GcH400 for News Editors, and that sometimes the salaries are not paid for several months. He expressed the fears that many potential practitioners would lose interest in the Journalism profession if the state continued to be unconcerned about the welfare of Journalists. The CEO of GLOMEF lamented that the condition of media practitioners in Ghana had been so horrendous and that he was aware of several retired popular media practitioners in Ghana who risked their lives to serve this nation in diverse ways but have no place to lay their heads at the moment. “Some of them I know are living in their family houses in the village with their wives and children, others are in rented apartments and have no means of transport so they board ‘trotro’ to and from their destinations. Meanwhile, other professionals in Ghana like teachers, doctors, nurses and lawyers mostly don’t find themselves in these kind of situations”. On the other hand, Mr. Ahenu called for maximum protection for journalists in the country as they are more likely to step on many toes when the implementation of the RTI begins.  

Source: WatchGhana.Com

Author: WatchGhana.Com    Verified


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