The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has appealed to government to consider media houses in the stimulus package announced for frontline workers.
The Association indicated that journalists should also be provided with PPEs and free transport services by the Ayalolo buses and be given topmost priority.
GJA President, Affail Monny, made the appeal when he addressed executives of the various unions under the GJA.
The Media, he said, has constitutional, professional, ethical, moral and godly responsibilities to champion the national interest in these critical times.
He noted that journalists should therefore disincline to be deflected from aiding the COVID-19 war maximally with all the arsenals at their disposal.
Mr. Monny, however, condemned what he described as scramble for recognition by various professional groups as frontline workers.
He argued that the endless working hours media practitioners endure and the exigencies of the assignments they undertake do not need any redefinition or classification as frontline workers.
“It will be superfluous to do so,” he stated.
The GJA President admitted that many media houses are financially disabled and logistically handicapped.
The situation, he lamented, is worsened by a dwindling revenue stream and swinging expenditure cuts and debilitating job losses.“As of now, many journalists have not received their meagre pay.
“Indeed, it will take a miracle for their next salaries to come.“Notwithstanding the formidable challenges, journalists continually face life threatening risks as they interview infected people, follow contract tracers, publicize frontline workers, intensify public education and amplify the drumbeat on the dangers of the pandemic,” he said.
Mr. Monny argued that the success of the leadership of President Akufo-Addo in terms of the public health support could not have been accomplished without the needed publicity and education the media provides.
This naked truth, he observed, explains the simmering discontent in certain media circles over the lack of recognition of the media by the presidency for their inestimable and immeasurable contribution to the fight against the coronavirus.
He expressed profound gratitude on the media for impressive work done and expressed hope journalists will continue to accelerate professional coverage of the pandemic as the nation braces for the critical phase of the fight.