At a ceremony held in Ho on Tuesday, to officially break ground for the building of a Press Center, by the Volta Chapter of the Ghana Journalist Association, Mr. Roland Affrail Monney, pleaded with media house owners to upgrade the working conditions journalists.
According to the National GJA President, journalists are expected to always deliver even in the worse circumstances, with endless working hours but are underpaid or even not paid at all in some cases.
“García Márquez once said journalism is the best profession in the World. Others may disagree, but indeed by virtue of the power we wield and the influence we peddle, we are of course the best profession in the world”.
“But the tragic irony is that the best profession sometimes doesn't enjoy the best of condition. Our working hours are endless, deadlines are incessant, but in the face of this fatigue, we are expected, and yes indeed, to give off our best”.
He noted that the life of the Ghanaian journalist is nothing to admire in some cases. A situation which needs to change immediately and hence his plea with media owners to upgrade the living condition of their employees.
“I don't know of the Volta region, but your brothers and sisters elsewhere, life is a headache to say the least. Some worse case scenarios, some are not paid at all. And as the saying goes, 'man must survive', and sometimes, the survival instinct pushes them to do something untoward and even criminal”.
“So if the best profession is indeed journalism, then you start to reason that the best profession should also enjoy the best of condition. My appeal to media owners, people in government who can help to upgrade the conditions of journalists should not hesitate to do so”, he shared.
The first phase of the Volta GJA Press Center, which is expected to be completed in May this year, would contain a pavilion, bar/restaurant, a store, and a washroom, estimated at a cost of Sixty Thousand Ghana Cedis (Ghc60,000).
The second phase would include a modern conference facility, an e-library, a guest room, and additional offices.