The Krontihene of the Sunyani Traditional Area, Oboaman Bofotia Boamponsem II, made a strong case for better remuneration for journalists in the country.
He indicated that as forth estate of the realm and considering the huge contributions they make to national development, especially their watchdog role, it was important that employers took the welfare of journalists seriously.
He said for journalists to provide the best of their services and win the confidence of the community they served, it was only fair that they are given deserving and good motivation in the production of news through uncovering the ills and needs of society.
The Krontehene made the advocacy when he chaired the launch of the Brong Ahafo Regional Awards of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in Sunyani, the regional capital.
The launch which had as its theme: promoting responsible mining; the role of the media, is an initiative by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the GJA to decentralize the award scheme to give journalists working in the regions the opportunity to be recognized in their regions and still have the opportunity to contest at the national GJA Awards competition.
According to the Krontihene, the phenomenon of poor remuneration including underpayment, non payment and poor conditions of service of journalists at their work places held a huge potential for them to be pushed with rewards intermittently to get them coiled to conceal the ills in society.
He noted that an unmotivated reporter could easily fall prey to accepting bribes to refuse to publish serious concerns in society, ignore the ills happening in the community within which they serve, and protect perpetrators of wrong doing in society.
Oboaman Bofotia Boamponsem II called on the GJA Executives in the region to encourage their members to stand by the truth, work from the truth and always present balanced sides to the issues to continue to build the confidence in the residents of the region.
He promised unflinching support for the work of journalists in the region and recognized the media as a strong tool for social change which should be embraced and used to turn the fortunes of the region.
The Brong Ahafo Region Chairman of the GJA, Mr Larry Paa Kwesi Moses, welcoming the guests to the occasion, remained resolute on the role of the media as vital for the drive and sustenance of the region's development aspirations.
He indicated that the theme was apt as it focused on the clarion call from the citizenry for responsible mining to save the country from depleting its forest and degrading its environment.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Evans Opoku-Bobie in a speech read for him underscored the role of the media in development and promised the Regional Coordinating Council's readiness to partner the media in the region for the development of the area.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.