A new, and the second journalists’ body in the country, christened Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), has been born to champion the welfare of its teeming membership.
The SPJ has, since April 15 2013, been duly registered with the Registrar-General’s Department, and is awaiting a certificate from the Chief Labour Officer, in line with the labour laws of the country.
The formation of the SPJ resulted from failure and alleged incompetence on the part of the leadership of GJA to seek the interest of its members. It would provide a competitive platform for Journalists to fight for better conditions of service. The new group is yet to unveil its interim executives but News Editor of Peacefm, Alhaji Abu Issah Monnie, is the most prominent person within the group. A number of journalists are also said to be interested in the project.
Alhaji Abu Issah Monnie, explained that SPJ will work hard to promote professionalism and welfare of journalists in the country. He dismissed claims in certain quarters that the SPJ is a rebellious group, borne out of frustration and disappointment, saying, “SPJ is not to fight the GJA, but mainly to champion the interest of its members”.
The fundamental objective and purpose of SPJ are the campaign promises of Alhaji Abu Monnie, who failed in his bid to become GJA vice president.
Speaking to the Publisher, President of Ghana Journalists Association, Mr Affail Monnie, said the GJA is unmoved by the formation of a new union of Journalists. He said GJA remains the umbrella body of Journalists in the country.
“GJA is tried and tested and has stood the test of time and will continue to be the main recognized body dedicated to development of media freedom in the country,” he stated.
“There have been several attempts in the past by certain individuals to form rival groups but these could not materialized,” he pointed out stressing that “the right to form association is guarantee by the constitution of Ghana”.
Mr Affail Monnie also disclosed to the Publisher that GJA is in the process of becoming a member of TUC and hoped that the unionization would enhance the living condition of Ghanaian Journalists. He said a lot of journalists in the country today engaged in unethical activities mainly because of poor working conditions and pledged his commitment to address it.
Mr Affail Monnie also indicated his determination to ensue that capacity of journalists are given the needed attention.