The President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Ransford Tetteh, has observed that poor remuneration by media houses is a contributory factor to poor journalistic practices in the country.
The other factor he pointed out is the mushrooming of journalism schools in the country. According to him, most media houses do not give their staff on the job training before unleashing them unto the public.
Speaking at a dinner dance organised by the parliamentary press corps in commemoration of their 15th Anniversary, Mr Tetteh disclosed that the GJA will dialogue with the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana and the Independent Broadcasters Association to find a lasting solution to the issue.
He said the dialogue will also examined poor journalistic practices and how to weed out the charlatans in the media. He advocated for peer reviews in the media to enable media personnel live up to expectation.
The Dean of the Parliamentary Press Corps, Andrew Edwin Arthur, noted that despite the numerous difficulties faced by the parliamentary press corps, it is a formidable force to reckon with in parliamentary affairs. He said the numerical strength of the corps keeps growing as more media houses sent their representatives to cover proceedings from the house.
He said as a human institution there has been some few negligible lapses on the part of the corps, and assured parliamentarians that "no member of the corps has any nefarious agenda to run down any MP.” He cautioned members of the corps that sanctions will be instituted to check mediocrity and un-professionalism. He said the corps will deal ruthless with any member who misconduct himself or engage in extortion.
Mr Edwin Arthur encouraged media personnel to be circumspect in their reportage to help deepen democracy in the country.
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, advised editors to allow reporters to report on exactly what transpired on the floor of Parliament. He said the work of Parliament is done in the open but that of the executive is shrouded in secrecy.
He however appealed to the media to fight anything that is shrouded in secrecy in order to hold people accountable and further deepen the country's young democracy.
Mr Bagbin said it is the duty of the media to extract information from politicians and people in authorities but not to be their Public Relation Officers.
He therefore advocated that the parliamentary press corps should not only be made to cover opening ceremonies of workshops for MPs but be part of the whole workshop in order to help them in their reportage.
He pledged the support of Parliament to improve the working condition of the parliamentary press corps.
The theme for the week-long celebration was, “The Role of the Parliamentary Press Corps in Parliamentary Democracy”. The celebration was marked with a symposium, a float, clean-up exercise, dinner dance and a thanksgiving service.
Other speakers at the function include John Dramani Mahama, newly-selected NDC running mate, Emmanuel Anyimadu, Clerk of Parliament and Christopher Ameyaw Ekumfi, the Minister for Port, Harbours and Railways.