The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has secured insurance packages for journalists who will cover the upcoming December 7, 2020 elections.
The insurance packages which cover the equipment being used by reporters include their cameras, recorders and phones.
This was made known by the President of GJA, Dr Roland Affail Money at the 25th GJA Awards held on Saturday, October 24th 2020.
The 25th GJA Awards which recognised deserving journalists and media houses was held on the theme,” COVID-19 and Credible Presidential and Parliamentary Elections: The Media Factor”.
Speaking at the event, Dr Affail Monney noticed when journalists are attacked, their gadgets are also affected, adding that in situations where there is chaos and journalists have to run, they sometimes lose their equipment, therefore the need to insure such equipment aside insuring the reporters.
The insurance package, he said is a collaboration between the Association and the SIC Insurance Company Limited to cushion hardworking reporters during the elections.
Dr Affail Monney urged reporters to be conscious of their personal security in their quest to break news.
He advised reporters to take their lives more seriously when they are on the grounds to gather news, although getting the news is equally important.
“If you are invited to an assignment which you think can be a threat to your personal security, do not go. Your life matters and therefore you should put your lives first irrespective of the monies involved,” he said.
For those who attack journalists on duty, the GJA President cautioned them to put a stop to it and urged them to report journalists who offend them with their reportage to the National Media Commission or the GJA for further investigation and punishment and not take the laws into their own hands.
Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayebofoh urged the media to use their platforms to inform voters about the competing parties and candidates, campaign issues and arrangements governing the electoral process in the absence of mass rallies because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the political Campaigns this year, in the absence of mass rallies because of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have an onerous obligation to inform voters about the competing parties and candidates, campaign issues and arrangements governing the electoral process. We should offer access to the parties to enable them proffer what they have to the people and help our people to evaluate and assess each of them before casting their vote,”he advised.
Mr Boadu-Ayebofoh again said,”The South Commission maintains that ‘politics in the management of development cannot be wished away. But if it is to be creative politics must be the servant of social sympathies. It must be an instrument for purposeful social change rather than a ticket to power and privilege or another lucrative profession'”.
For his part, the PAV Ansah Journalist of the year, Samson Lardi Anyenini of Joynews expressed gratitude to the GJA for recognizing his hard work.
He urged journalists not to hand over their gadgets to the police, military officials, politicians or anyone who demands them to delete visuals or audios taken by them while covering events.
Schooling journalists on such instances, he said the laws of the profession and that of the country as a whole does not allow persons to intimidate reporters in such manner, adding therefore that journalists should not succumb to such orders.
“Most of the the times it is clear that such people who demand journalists to delete recordings do not know it is unlawful and the journalists on the other hand are also not aware that it is unlawful to be forced to delete recordings by such people. The laws does not allow that and no Journalist should succumb to it,” he said.
Ghana|Atinkaonline.com| Porcia Oforiwaa Ofori