GJA to sponsor private members Bill – Dave Agbenu

Tema, Oct. 6, GNA - Mr David Agbenu, an aspirant for the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) says when voted as the association’s president, the GJA will sponsor and initiate a private members’ Bill to parliament to criminalize assaults on media practitioners.

He said it was about time to put an end to security personnel and politicians heckling and beating up of journalists during the discharge of their official duties.

Speaking on the Ghana News Agency-Tema Office and Tema Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service Road Crashes Prevention Campaign, on the topic, “Effects of road safety on journalists and media houses,” Mr Agbenu said media practitioners have suffered a lot of accidents and assaults.

Mr Agbenu who is also the Editor of the Ghanaian Times, who was accompanied by Mr Norman Cooper, Deputy News Editor, stressed that for issues such as these and many, he would ensure that touching journalists became a custodial offence.

He also said there was the need for GJA to be transformed into a union to give it the bargaining power to negotiate salaries and other important things including safety on behalf of reporters.

He stated for instant that even though Ghanaian Times was a member of the Industrial and Commercial Union (ICU), when the Ghanaian Times lost its staff, Mr Samuel Nuamah, who was a Presidential Correspondent in 2015 on the line of work, “we did not hear from ICU which we belong to, and they give us nothing when we are beaten or are involved in accidents”.

He said he will ensure the process of the GJA unionization was completed and therefore asked members to weigh their options of joining a regular union or a specialized one for the profession to champion their specific needs.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, Tema Regional Manager of Ghana News Agency, said it was about time the media changed the dynamics and the way people look at practitioners, stressing that “We must be received and treated as the fourth realm of the estate”.

“Our salaries are bad but we fight for the course of others who may have good salaries than ours, we fight for them and when they get it they forget about us, let us also fight for our own interest too,” he noted.