Eastern GJA Marks Press Freedom Day

R-L Dept. Regional Minister, Mavis Aka Frempong; Emmanuel Safo; Regional Minister, Julius Debrah; E/R GJA Chairman, George Larbi

The Eastern Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA) has organised a day’s seminar to mark the World Press Freedom Day in Koforidua, the regional capital.

The occasion, which was marked under the theme, ‘Media Freedom for a Better Future,’ was also used to honour four past Chairpersons of the association namely, Ransford Tetteh, Editor of Daily Graphic; Amoadu Christian Ohene, Head of News and Current Affairs of TV Africa; Edward Quaynor, Acting Regional Manager of Ghana News Agency (GNA) and Emmanuel Kwasi Safo, formerly of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).

The four were presented with citations for the various roles they had played in the growth of the GJA in the region.

The Regional Minister, Julius Debrah, asked journalists not to be discouraged by the erroneous impression created by some people about their profession, but rather see it as a rare opportunity for them to build their individual capacities.

He mentioned Kwaku Sakyi Addo amongst other top journalists who had branched into other professions after achieving so much for the nation through journalism.

He was happy that journalists in the region had been cooperating with the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to accelerate the development of the region.

Chairman for the occasion, Mr. Emmanuel Kwasi Safo, called for the dissemination of true and accurate information for the public to make informed decisions.

In an address, Mr. Edward Quaynor called on journalists not to focus on only political stories, but also look at environmental, economic and welfare issues in order to help make Ghana, and for that matter the world, a better place to live in.

A.C. Ohene, who was the guest speaker, advised journalists to always endeavour to put Ghana and Africa first in their reportage. ‘Above NPP, NDC, Hearts and Kotoko, let us work for Ghana. Now more than ever Ghana needs the unbiased services of journalists.We all need to play our professional roles very well,’ he urged.

Admitting the fact that the journalism profession is a stressful one, Mr. Ohene admonished media practitioners to take some time off for recreation.

A representative of the Women’s Department, Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, Madam Jane Kwapong, pleaded with journalists to be cautious of how they report on abused persons such as defiled and rape victims.

She was quite happy that the media had been very supportive of her Ministry.

The investigator for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Isaiah Oduro, called for media collaboration to protect the right of the individuals in the country.

EPA Regional Director, Felix Addo Okyireh, called for more concerted efforts to deal with the ‘galamsey’ (illegal mining) menace in the region so as to save the environment from further degradation.

He also urged the media to highlight the use and the harmful effects of agro chemicals like pesticides and the need to sell them at the right places.

The regional GJA Chairman, George Larbi, said journalists should use the day to improve freedom of the media for a better future.

May 3 each year has been set aside as World Press Freedom Day.

The day is not only to celebrate the work of journalists world-wide, but to commemorate those journalists who have lost their lives in the course of their duties.

It is also to serve as a reminder to governments across the globe to strengthen those structures that ensure freedom of the press.

From Rocklyn Antonio, Koforidua 

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