Neglect the journalist to your own peril

One important issue often neglected by society is the need to pay journalists well and ensure that their conditions of service are very enticing.

Attractive conditions of service for journalists in this country will be most welcome for a number of reasons. In the first place, it will make journalists more confident and also encourage them to go about their duties more professionally – and thus preventing them from being influenced in any way to become “bad boys and girls.”

Secondly, attractive conditions of service can encourage many journalists to give off their best and stand for what is truthful at all times.

Many journalists are committed to integrity and professionalism, and are also willing to pursue nothing but the truth in what they do.

However, somewhere along the line, they fall into temptations with monies offered by certain individuals and organisations to pursue a certain path of duty, even if, they find it unethical and unprofessional to do so.

It is quite worrying that for many media houses, the salaries offered are far below what is satisfactory, and, therefore, cannot take the journalists far into the month. To be able to live decent lives, therefore, many journalists resort to accepting money from people whenever they go for assignments.

The Times is of the view that media houses should strive to pay their journalists high wages, so as to prevent them from falling prey to all temptations as they go about their duties.

Many people keep accusing journalists that they accept money from individuals and organisations to turn a blind eye on dangerous practices that would affect the welfare of society.

Others share the view that with money, you can influence some media personnel to do whatever you want them to do for you. This is very unfortunate because it tends to undermine the integrity of the journalism profession.

Journalism is a noble profession aimed at serving the interests of society. Journalism speaks for the voiceless, and ensures that fair play and truthfulness prevail in society to ensure justice for all. If this is the case, then journalism should be seen as a profession that stands for the truth and also needs the support of every well meaning persons in society.

It is in the light of this, that the call by the Minister-designate for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, that journalists should be paid well, ought to be taken seriously by all media houses as well as those who employ such people.

All Ghanaian media houses and managers ought to reflect on this and do all they can to ensure that the journalists they send on assignment are adequately catered for, and also insured against risks that may befall them in the course of performance of their duty.

Journalists can do well and perform better if and only if they are given adequate remuneration to ensure that they put in their best and achieve their best for the principles they stand for.

If journalism is classified as a noble profession, then we need to do all we can to ensure that practitioners in the field are supported in every way to give off their best for society. The profession is very risky as shown by occasional killings or murder of some of them who stand for nothing but the truth.

The call by the Minister of Information-designate for journalists to be paid well should not fall on deaf ears, but embraced by all, and made workable in the interest of all journalists in the country. This is how journalism can be moved forward in this country.

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