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26.05.2011 Feature Article

WHO CARES ABOUT THE JOURNALIST?

WHO CARES ABOUT THE JOURNALIST?
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The desire to get something done should go beyond the mere fact of what one stand to get out it but the necessity of the need for the thing to be done.I know many people may argue about the fact that what we do should be as a result of the passion for it but the fact still remain with us that many do and will continue to do what they do due to its economic benefit and many of those in the practice of journalism are not left out.

It is important for us to note that journalism is one of the worlds oldest professions and it is based on this knowledge that everyone can pick a pen and paper and write anything and some speak into a microphone without due recourse to the law however since society does not exist in isolation,there is the need for ethics and principles to guide what we do but not to curb what the journalist does.

Many of them just like their counter parts in other professions such as law, medicine, engineering, teaching and so on have mouths to feed hence the aggravating necessity to seriously take into consideration how they feed those mouths.

Most of them spend four good years in school studying one course or the other, some two years that is when you are fortunate enough to pass through the nations biggest journalism training university that is Ghana Institute Journalism (GIJ) or better still few with elementary level certificates but don't forget some have even gone to do their masters with renowned universities such as Cardiff and Leeds in the UK but the story is still the same.

While many live on what is termed as "SOLI" or solidarity, others live solely on a minimum of 100 gh cedis to a maximum of 400 gh cedis i know that does not deserve the word maximum but that is what they call it. I know some may say it is not bad at all but i may disagree not because i belong to such a noble profession but because the fact is that for any action there should be an equal and opposite reaction.Nobody is saying or trying to insinuate that journalists should be treated like semi gods but like normal and genuine citizens who strive to make genuine earnings through their service to the nation. No matter our individual perceptions about some journalist and how they carry out their duties,we ca not reconcile it with the fact that there is a an iota of dot in every perfectionist.

The important of the media in every mechanical or organic society cannot be over emphasized and many have written to espoused their views on it and i do not want to pretend to be pouring water on a stone.The definition of democratic society can not be done well or better without the tip of the pen or the head of the microphone.

Some of us finds it very difficult to believe if indeed it is true that the media is the fourth estate or it is just a deliberate academic blunder calculated to throw dust into the eyes of the very serious studious and observers of political science.There is absolutely little or no effort by us as a country to deal with one critical arm of the state and hard i know they say always come at last.

My people used to say that when your neighbors house is on fire it is just appropriate you get water by your side.We are exposed to how through the actions and in actions of the media a once united society like Rwanda became a divided one who has to endure a civil war for some time.One does not hope for that in this country but deliberately ignoring simple and little things like how the journalist survives can lead to irresponsible media and you don't need a soothsayer to tell you what that can lead to.

The importance of the recent call by the Ghana Journalists Association to get a bargaining certificate for its members can not be ignored since that move at least would pomp some sense of serenity into the profession and it will go along way to portray a picture of decency to those who wish to join this noble profession but do not trust its economic prowess.

NATHANIEL MENSAH

[email protected]/WWW.NATMENSAH.BLOGSPOT.COM
THE AUTHOR IS THE S.R.C VICE PRESIDENT OF GHANA INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM

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