General News of Wednesday, 7 November 2018
Maverick politician cum media owner, Kennedy Agyepong has no moral right to talk about meagre salaries of journalists when he himself pays his workers a pitance, General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Kofi Yeboah suggests.
The owner of the Ken City Media, has for some time now been on the case of journalists, calling majority of them corrupt, and making mockery of their takehome pay.
Disappointed in the MP for Assin North, Kennedy Agyapong’s comments, Kofi Yeboah charged him to pay his reporters well.
“[He] should pay his workers very well so that he would use his workers as a basis for his comments and make references to other media organizations that do not pay well,” the GJA General Secretary told Winston Amoah on 3FM’s Sunrise.
He reiterated that the MP’s comments were “baseless” because the salary of employees at Ken City Media is nothing to write home about.
Mr. Kofi Yeboah assessed that poor remuneration of journalists could be a reason why journalists demand money and engage in corrupt activities.
According to a report by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), some journalists are paid outrageous amount, as low as 200 cedis a month, which Kofi Yeboah said is “not something to be proud of”.
Mr. Yeboah lamented that if media organizations can pay journalists well, it would go a long way to address the issue of corruption in the media. The fundamental issue of opening the space up for everybody to operate a media organization is also a contributing factor which makes it free for all, he noted.
Mr. Yeboah said it is against this background that the GJA is moving towards unionization of the association that would help them address some of these issues, by engaging media owners to pay their staff well.
Speaking on the issue of reporters being given money for transportation by event organisers, which is termed as ‘soli’, Mr. Yeboah said it is the responsibility of media organizations to transport reporters to and from event grounds. Event organizers are under no obligation to offer “soli”, likewise, media organizations are “under no obligation to publish your story” unless it has some news value, which is at the discretion of the media organization.