The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Roland Affail Monney, has appealed to journalists to exercise good judgement in choosing between “competence and pretence” as they go to the polls to elect officers to steer the affair of the association.
He told journalists at the New Times Corporation in Accra yesterday that, he has demonstrated competence as the president of the association over the past years and that he was the right person to take the association to the next level.
Mr Monney, the former Director of Radio at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, who is seeking re-election, said the status of GJA under his stewardship has been elevated and become “attractive” and appealed to the electorate to give him another mandate.
He expressed concern about journalists’ remuneration and conditions of service, assuring that when given the mandate journalists would be unionised to effectively bargain for better conditions of service.
The GJA president enumerated a number of projects that he would seek to implement when given the mandate, including the reconstruction of the GJA office complex with 80 per cent commercial component to generate funds to reduce the over reliance on corporate bodies for sponsorship.
Mr Monney said when re-elected he would establish the GJA fund, insurance cover for journalists, enhancement of GJA awards to include award of a house, professional development through training programmes, awards of scholarship to journalists to develop their skills and competencies and upholding of high ethical standards in journalism practice in the country.
He said for the first time in the history of the association’s awards scheme, two cars had been sourced from corporate bodies and presented to deserving journalists at the previous awards night.
Mr Monney rejected claims of lack of transparency in the financial management of the association saying that the association had presented three audited accounts of its activities for scrutiny and assured that the audited accounts would be published on the website.
Answering question on the problems associated with the GJA election that had occasioned the indefinite postponement of the election, originally scheduled for March 31, Mr Monney rejected accusations of interference in the election processes, saying that he was prepared to step aside or withdraw his candidacy, if he was found culpable of any offence.
By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman