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Poor Remuneration of Ghanaian Journalists: UniMAC Lecturer Proposes Transformation of GJA to a Union

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Ghanaian journalists are poorly paid and are in dire need of better remuneration, according to a report by the Communications Department of the University of Ghana and the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).

The report also revealed that many journalists work for long periods without pay, and most media employees do not receive healthcare support. The cost of doing business, competition from digital media platforms, and the Covid pandemic are factors contributing to the financial challenges of media houses in Ghana.

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Mr Osei Kojo Addow, a lecturer at the University of Media, Arts, and Communications (UniMAC), is advocating for the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) to be transformed into a union to negotiate better salaries and conditions of service for journalists.

Addow noted that the GJA needs to be transformed because many Ghanaian journalists work without appointment letters or letters of contract, which makes it difficult for them to demand unpaid salaries when they leave their former institutions.

The financial viability of many media organizations in Ghana is threatened, as they only break even. Despite this, the media are exploring new business models, including digitization, conglomeration, events marketing, and crowdfunding, to stay afloat. However, one of the biggest threats to the financial health of the media is industry saturation.

Recruitment into the Ghanaian media is generally untransparent, and there are no established structures for promotion in most media organizations. Salaries in the media are also woefully low, and most employees work without healthcare support. Additionally, media ownership is shrouded in opacity, and there is a growing tendency towards media empire-building.

There is a growing sense of insecurity among journalists in Ghana, with violations of journalists’ safety quite common. Male journalists are more at risk of attacks than females, and investigative journalists are the most at risk. State actors, including political appointees and the police, are the worst perpetrators of attacks on journalists.

In conclusion, the report by the Communications Department of the University of Ghana and the MFWA highlights the challenges facing the Ghanaian media industry, including poor salaries, lack of healthcare support, and attacks on journalists.

It is essential for the government and media owners to take action to address these issues and ensure that journalists are well compensated for their work. The transformation of the GJA into a union could be a step in the right direction towards achieving this goal.Poor Remuneration of Ghanaian Journalists: UniMAC Lecturer Proposes Transformation of GJA to a Union

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