Gayheart Mensah has taken his campaign to lead the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) as president of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).
Coincidentally, he was a member of the Board of Directors of GBC. He is a pioneering member of the GTV Breakfast Show and used to host a current affairs programme on GTV called News conference. He was also the author and presenter of a GTV Commentary Segment.
Speaking to the GJA members at GBC, Gayheart shared his vision for the GJA using the acronym POWER-UP. He stated that the next phase of the GJA will require the association to “Power Up” in all fields of endeavour in order to be more relevant to the practice of journalism, the journalist and to the development of Ghana.
He explained that POWER in his campaign slogan represents Professionalism, Organization, Welfare, Empowerment and Restoration/Respect for the journalism profession, whilst the UP is a rallying call for the association to step up its game and take up its rightful place as the Fourth Estate of the Realm, not just in theory but in a very pragmatic way.
Throwing more light on his POWER-UP message which caught on quickly with his audience, the aspiring GJA president said his tenure would see a lot more capacity building to enhance the professionalism of members. He pledged that the GJA secretariat under his leadership will be organized to improve upon membership services and effectively drive participation in critical national conversations. Welfare of members of the association was of great importance to the aspirant as well, for which he outlined a number of initiatives.
In an engagement interspersed with shouts of “Power Up” from his audience, Gayheart hinted of having had preliminary talks with fund management entities towards the introduction of a voluntary contributory pension fund for members of the association. That, he said, was to ease the challenges that confront members when they go on retirement. He shared various ideas that will empower media practitioners and restore respect, credibility and integrity to the practice of journalism.
“We must introduce a higher sense of professionalism into the practice of this profession if we want to attract the required respect. We must organize ourselves better in order to deploy our unique profession in the service of Ghana. We must keep the welfare of our members upfront on our minds and build a suite of benefit that members can point to, and that will serve as an attraction to both current and potential members.
“We ought to explore ways of empowering our membership, particularly in the context of the emerging trends within the profession and help build confidence and optimism for our members. Above all, it is imperative that we restore respect to our profession through our engagement as individuals and as an association.”
Gayheart stands tall among the aspirants for the GJA presidency and is widely considered as the front runner. He is more experienced and until two years ago, was an adjunct lecturer in Advance Journalism and Development Journalism at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).
Gayheart previously worked with the “Ghanaian Times”, “Daily Graphic” and was the Acting Editor of the “Evening News” about 21 years ago. He worked as Presidential Correspondent, Parliamentary Correspondent, Court Correspondent and Assistant to the Features Editor of the “Daily Graphic”.