I’ll fight for good conditions of service for journalists – Dave Agbenu

An aspirant forthe Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Presidency, Dave Agbenu, has reiterated calls for journalists and media practitioners in the country to be paid well.

He said owners of media organisations should ensure that the journalists they engage are paid decent and appropriate salaries to enable them to deliver professional and ethical work.

Interacting with some journalists in Accra yesterday, he said media practitioners did not deserve to be paid pittance due to the sensitive role they play in national building through information dissemination.

Mr Agbenu, the Editor of the Ghanaian Times and a former GJA Secretary, said his call was based on observation during his campaign tour last year, that the welfare of journalists in some media houses was getting worse.

He said unlike the olden days when media houses were used as tools to fight for independence, it had now become a business venture, thus, people who work to make the money should be duly compensated.  

“Media owners must ensure that they do not pay their journalists below the minimum wage. It is not only wrong to deny them what is due them, but it is inhumane and against best labour practices,” he said.

As to what he would do when voted into power, Mr Agbenu saidhe would use advocacy to cause change by engaging media owners and other stakeholders on the matter until there is a change.

He said the danger of paying journalists low remuneration was that they could be compromised and induced by some individuals and groups for their personal interests and agenda.

“The poor conditions of service of journalists in the country has been a burning issue for so long and it is about time that fire is quenched to bring some dignity to this important practice.

“We cannot discount the importance of paying journalists well. If you want the best as media owners, you should be willing to pay them decent salaries,” he said.

Mr Agbenu said his pursuit for better conditions of service for journalists was in line with his plan to promote the welfare of journalists and undertake income-generating activities to support its operations if elected.

In furtherance, he promised to complete the process of turning the GJA into a labour union to enable it fight for better conditions of service for journalists.

Also, he pledged to set up a solidarity fund that would cushion members of the association who lose their jobs, and also provide some package for retired members of the association.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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