Our Media Is Free – GJA President

GJA Executives and dignitaries cutting the birthday cake

Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA), Dr. Affail Monney has emphasized that the
media in Ghana is “reasonably” free.

He said: “To say
that Ghana is bereft of press freedom is to ditch the fact that our media space
is reasonably free. And to claim that there’s nothing wrong with our
environment is to play the ostrich.”

Speaking at the 70th
anniversary celebration of the GJA, established on August 15, 1949, Dr. Monney commended
former President John Agyekum Kuffour for creating conducive environment for
media practice in the country, describing him as the “Champion of champions” of
press freedom in Ghana.

“In the struggle
for press freedom, the names of certain brutal leaders who kept the media in
fetters and enveloped us in silence, continue to elicit bile, long after they
are out of office.

But the name of
former President John Agyekum Kuffour, the Champion of champions of press
freedom in Ghana, would eternally ignite pride for repealing the Criminal Libel
and Sedition Laws and creating the best environment for media practice in the
country,” he said.

He also lauded
President Akufo-Addo for passing the Right To Information (RTI) bill into law.

“Current President,
Akufo-Addo, will also occupy a special place in history for giving us the Right
To Information (RTI) Law which we cherish as our greatest platinum anniversary

He said the GJA is
“overly worried” and “deeply concerned” about the increased attacks against
journalists in recent times.

He therefore called
for “radical steps” to be taken to deal with the phenomenon, so as to prevent
it from getting out of hand.

“While we await the
birth of the proposed Safety Mechanism for Journalists, the laws must be made
to bite and bite hard at all offenders, regardless of their social status,
political connections or spiritual anointing.”

Delivering the
keynote address, Chairman for the Center for Democratic Development (CDD),
Professor Kwasi Prempeh said it is the duty of journalists to uphold the
responsibility of accountability of the government to the people of Ghana.

“The Ghanaian journalist must work in the interest of the people, helping them with information to enable them hold the government to account,” he noted.

By Nii Adjei Mensahfio

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