The Vice President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Mr Affail Monney has said that all is not well with the media profession. According to him, the last few weeks has seen the media set on fire by confessions of unethical behaviour made by a member of the Association and allegations of corruption made against some journalists.
“These matters appear not to have come to a conclusion yet, judging from the debate and discussions that are still ranging. It is therefore important as practitioners to acknowledge that all is not well with our profession and it is our responsibility to raise standards and live up to public expectation,” he said.
Speaking at a three-day workshop on Ethics and professional standards in Journalism in Accra in Accra, Mr Monney said the GJA is deeply troubled about these developments in the last few weeks, which have no doubt affected the image of the media profession.
He said even before the dust settles and GJA gets a clear picture of what has contributed to this state of affairs, members of the media wish to express their determination to do all they can to assure the public that journalism is a noble profession and the media are indispensable to the building of democracy.
Journalists, he stated, must attain the moral high ground that gives them the credibility and authority, both moral and constitutional right to question what they consider to be wrong in the society.
“The growing public perception in recent times of unprofessionalism and corruption in the Ghanaian media leave much to be desired and we in the media must do all we can to erase this negative perception and overcome the challenges that confront us.”
The Association, according to him, will go a long way to help raise awareness on the need for media professionals to strive without compromise and without any inducement to improve on ethics and their professionalism.
On his part, the West African Journalists Association (WAJA) representative, Mr Maigari Chamsou said the West African media scene is currently marked by the massive arrival of new actors making the exercise of the profession no longer conditioned by training in a school of journalism.
This according to him has resulted in the decline in quality of the press and with less and less respect for ethics in the exercise of the profession. The last decade has also witnessed a real media explosion in the African continent both in the print and broadcast media and the statistics are simply startling, he said.
This situation, he added requires an objective study to build on the impact of media pluralism and the tendency to disengage with unions, the quality of the press in the region and the motivation of journalists in the sub-region to form and professional regrouping into networks, and associations.
To inform the nature of future interventions, he said WAJA Capacity Building Project (CBP) in December last year launched a study on ‘IMPACT OF WEAKENED JOURNALIST UNIONS ON THE WEST AFRICAN MEDIA’, to make an inventory of fixtures of media pluralism under the ECOWAS/WAJA space, provide statistical data on the evolution of manpower and the capacity of the national trade-union organisation; identify the reasons for the decline of the trade union movement of the press and its impact and West Africa media pluralism.
The report, he said, will among other things outline the real needs of the media professionals to better satisfy the need for credible unions of media association as well as recommend urgent solutions to reverse the tendency of weak journalist unions with a view to strengthening professional capacities and to safeguard freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
Source: The Daily Dispatch/Ghana
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