Chief calls for better conditions of service for journalists

Bolgatanga, Naba Sigri Bewong, the Paramount Chief of the Sakoti Traditional Area in the Upper East Region, has called on government and private media houses to improve the conditions of service for journalists as they play a critical role in conflict resolution.

It is a pity that the government is not giving due attention to the media, the poor remuneration which is a big challenge, should be taken seriously, Naba Bewong said at a two-day training workshop organized by the Upper East office of the National Peace Council and jointly funded by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bolgatanga.

He said you travel to conflict areas to discharge your duties, maybe you and your families are not even insured, if you travel to the place, you may have challenges and even accidents may occur, so I think government should take note of this and see how it can improve service conditions for journalists, he said.

The chief, who is also the Chairman of the Upper East Regional Peace Council, said the media has an important role, if we do not take you seriously by way of remuneration, you will not discharge your duties well, he said.

Naba Bewong said stakeholders including the media played a key role during the 2016 parliamentary and presidential elections in educating the populace on peace which saw a peaceful election process.

He urged journalists to be mindful of their reportage so as to maintain the existing peace in the region and country.

Mr Justice Agbezuge, a Peace and Governance Analyst for the UNDP-Ghana, said the programme was jointly funded by the UNDP and the European Union (EU) which seeks to strengthen the capacity of actors working in the area of peace.

He said the UNDP is a development oriented organization and we know the relationship between conflict and development, you cannot have conflict where there is development, you cannot have development where there is conflict, he said.

The Peace and Governance analyst said the UNDP supported the move that was aimed at bringing out the potentials in people and noted that the workshop was organized based on the need to sustain the peace through the training of journalists in the region.

Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari, the Upper East Regional Minister, said even though journalists have been in the forefront of the fight against corruption, harmful traditional practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) early child marriage and the ‘spirit child’ phenomenon, they needed to do more in fetching out the issues and reporting widely on them.

Through the work of the media, we have seen health services, education services and roads extended to hitherto hard-to-reach areas, he said.

Mr Eric Kwadjo Amoh, the Upper East Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), thanked the Regional Peace Council, the UNDP and the EU for schooling journalists on conflict reporting, and urged the journalists to put to practice the lessons learnt.

Source: Ghana News Agency