Mr. David Agbenu, General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has asked delegates to renew his mandate to take the association to another level.
He said the GJA was at the cross roads, needing competent executives to address new challenges confronting it.
Mr. Agbenu said the GJA constitution, which was drafted in 1994 was meant to cater for only four media houses at the time- Graphic Communications Group, New Times Corporation, Ghana News Agency (GNA) and Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), but the advent of more than 800 electronic and print including social media presented new challenges to the journalism profession.
Those challenges, he said required professionals with the right acumen to address them and to reposition the association.
In the early days of the GJA, the umbrella organisation operated as a welfare body for journalists, but Mr. Agbenu who is also the Editor of The Ghanaian Times believed that a unionised GJA would better address the challenges of low remuneration, unpaid salaries, and ensure bargaining power for the GJA.
Mr. Agbenu told The Ghanaian Times in an interview in Accra yesterday that he had served the GJA well and hoped delegates would renew his mandate to continue with his good work.
Currently, he said the association was having discussions with insurance companies to get group insurance for journalists who might be involved in accidents in the cause of their work.
That aside, he said it was important to amend the GJA constitution to resolve present day concerns and challenges that hindered the practice of journalism in the country.
Touching on the revised GJA code of ethics launched in Accra three days ago, Mr. Agbenu said it would help address all ethical breaches in the practice of journalism.
He noted that challenges in the traditional and social media do not allow the association to promote accountability, build trust, and ultimately raise the image of the profession.
The GJA, through the instrumentality of Mr. Agbenu, for the first time rewarded the Journalist of the Year with a brand new car in the last awards.
Additionally, he said the second phase of the Ghana International Press Centre Project had been completed.
Mr. Agbenu said he had always defended the rights of journalists and urged them to vote massively for him.
By Malik Sullemana