Veteran Catholic journalists with different communication expertise in Ghana are among members of the press selected to serve on various committees of the West African country’s association for journalists as Ghanaians head to the poll slated to take place in December.
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has set up the committees and a council to help strengthen the association and to promote high standards of professionalism in the country ahead of the general elections.
Addressing members of the press at the inauguration of the committees at the Ghana International Press Centre Wednesday, February 5, GJA President, Roland Affail Monney urged Journalists to exhibit professionalism in their reporting by not yielding to the temptation of changing facts to satisfy anyone’s parochial interest, especially politicians.
“We are in an election year that may be characterized by a lot of tension. Stand by what our profession says. We should be objective and fair in our reportage,” said Mr. Monney.
He said that media consumers look up to the media fraternity to show the way and to feed the public with correct, unbiased, untainted, pure and unadulterated information, underscoring the need for reporters to live up to this expectation.
The GJA Ethics & Disciplinary Council (EDC) has been put in place to promote high ethical standards among members of the association and also to enforce the GJA Code of Ethics.
The committees, which have varied functions, include the Constitution Review Committee (CRC), the Membership Vetting Committee, Professional Development Committee and the Social Affairs Committee. Others are the Finance and Resource Mobilisation Committee and the International Relations Committee.
Members of the Catholic Association of Media Practitioners, Ghana (CAMP-G) nominated include Samson Lardy Anyenini, a private legal practitioner and broadcaster, who now chairs the 11-member Constitution Review Committee (CRC).
Dr. Anthony Bonnah-Koomson, a media consultant and former Editor of The Catholic Standard, the only National Catholic Weekly Paper in Ghana, has been appointed Chairman of the Research Committee and member of the Professional Development Committee within the association.
Other Catholic journalists are Rebecca Ekpe of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation who has been appointed member of the Membership Vetting Committee; Dave Agbenu, Editor of Ghanaian Times, appointed member of the Professional Development Committee and John Vigah of the Ghanaian Times, member of the Social Affairs Committee.
Others are Regina Asamoah of Atinka Media Village, member of the Constitutional Review Committee and Peter Agbeko of the Ghana Standards Authority, member of the Social Affairs Committee.
Speaking on behalf of the members of the various Committees, Dr. Anthony commended the leadership of the Association for the confidence reposed in them.
He pledged to work effectively as expected of their mandates and promised “our sincere commitment to serve the GJA in our various roles.”
He added in reference to the members of the association, “We hope that with their help we will deliver as it’s expected.”
Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere, a former President of the GJA and former Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), urged Journalists in Ghana to be more responsible in their reportage as eligible Ghanaian voters prepare to go to the poll expected to take place December 7.
He said that journalists have a duty to be objective in whatever they write or broadcast in order not to bring the noble journalism profession to disrepute.
The mandate of the Ethics and Disciplinary Council of the 71-year-old Association, includes the promotion of high ethical standards among members of the Association and the enforcement of the GJA Code of Ethics.
The Membership Vetting Committee has the mandate to vet applications for membership and streamlining the procedure for such applications.
The Professional Development Committee is in place to promote capacity-building and professional development of members of the association. The Social Affairs Committee has the duty to manage social events and the welfare fund of the Association.
The International Relations Committee has a mandate to promote cordial relations between the GJA and its international partners, and also explore international opportunities for the professional development of members.
Meanwhile, the Finance & Resource Mobilisation Committee was created to mobilize and manage resources for the activities of the Association.
As per Article 30, which mandates the National Executive to establish other committees apart from those specified in the GJA Constitution for the benefit of members, the Research Committee is to use research as an underpinning for professional training of members, promotion of welfare of members and the development of the media in general.