Journalists Support Fund must be eternal

The Ghanaian Times congratulates the Ghana Journalists Association on launching the Journalists Support Fund under the presidency of Mr Albert Kwabena Dwumfour.

The objectives of the GH¢2 million support fund, including supporting journalists who have been attacked in the line of duty to cover medical bills; and others to pay legal expenses, are tremendous.

The Dwumfour administration deserves all the commendation because the fund was long overdue and its launch exemplifies the administration’s care for the welfare of journalists.

As Mr Dwumfour said at the launch of the fund, journalists face various challenges in the course of their work which result in some of them suffering physical, psychological and emotional harm.

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Some journalists are put in jail whereas others are even killed.

In all such situations, journalists need assistance and even where journalists die in the course of duty, their families must be given a token to give them some solace and as a way of commiserating with the bereaved families.

There are journalists support funds all over the place, some regional, others national and the rest international.

An example of the regional ones is the Journalists Support Fund for the Punjab region of India; GJA Journalist Support Fund is national and the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund operated by Google is international.

These funds provide various forms of support to journalists to improve their work,

Due to their role in the growth of democracy, good governance and getting the citizenry informed about all the happenings in society, journalists everywhere need all manner of support, which can only be made possible with funding.

With the ambitious objectives of the GJA’s Journalists Support Fund, the Ghanaian Times believes the Fund can only survive with support from journalists themselves, corporate bodies, religious bodies, the government and even willing individuals.

Thus, even though the state is in a precarious situation, it should show the way by giving a token now to encourage others to follow suit.

This will not be strange though because some governments have funds to support journalists.

For instance, the US provides new funding dubbed “liability fund” to support reporters and news organisations targeted with litigation as a result of their reporting.

The GJA journalists Support Fund must surely be propped to grow in order for it to be used to support journalists of this country to discharge their duty as perfectly as expected.

We urge that the Fund will prudently be managed so that contributors would always want to give their widow’s mite to ensure its growth and survival across generations of journalists and until the end of time.

It should never be said that following the end of the Dwumfour administration, the GJA Journalists Support Fund collapsed.

We would like to a have a fund whose record is akin to that of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, for example, which was created in 1911 in the US and is still in existence headquartered in Washington DC.

This is a non-profit foundation under the will of Caroline Phelps Stokes (1854-1909) to improve housing for the poor in New York City, and the “education of Negroes, both in Africa and the United States, North American Indians, and needy and deserving white students.

Once again, the Ghanaian Times congratulates the Dwumfour administration on birthing the Journalists Support Fund.

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