The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) has paid a courtesy call to Media General to join forces in eliminating the critical issues facing journalists in Africa.
The Federation, led by its former president, Omar Farouk Osman, and current president Al Sadiq Ibrahim together with the president of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), Roland Affail Monney, asserted that the African journalist must be supported in the face threats to freedom, poor welfare and conditions while media viability and sustainability must be given serious consideration as a result of their implications.
“We may not know what is happening in your media house but we happen to know what is happening in major media houses in Africa and across the continent in north, central, southern [Africa],” FAJ’s president noted.
“The media is having serious implications and I sit in the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Journalist for Africa but we know that governments in the European countries are providing stimulus packages for media houses to support them but it is not the case in Africa and is not because of money or resources and that is becoming a threat for the viability and existence of our news media organization,” he stated.
On his part, former FAJ president Omar Farouk said the impact of Covid-19 on the unions of journalists have seen a lot of consequence on media houses which transcend inevitably to journalists.
He lamented the absence of the independent citizen journalist and the low standard of journalism practice in Africa, calling for the need to educate and bridge the gap on poor reportage of factual and important information.
“We are here in Ghana because the world was ravaged about Covid and our union has had serious impact and GJA and our federation has also seen impact because of what is happening in the media industry and we are not immune as well.
“When media houses are financially impacted, obviously our journalist working service are also affected. We came here as leaders of journalist associations in the continent to discuss what we are after 2 years of Covid ravaging the whole world,” he said.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of Media General, Beatrice Agyemang, shared her thoughts on the need to tell the African story by African journalists as a way of staying relevant in Africa.
She spoke on the back of the Federation’s motive to eliminate some critical issues pertaining to the work of journalist and the media at large, particularly on improving and delivering quality journalism.
She called for the need to facilitate exchange training programmes for journalists and interns to explore on the job within the Africa and the West.
“Sometimes in the quest to stay ahead of competition, we don’t report factual news and that is where the GJA and the FAJ comes in for the need to train more,” she observed.
“There should be more exchange programmes and I think a lot of our members have benefitted from the training programmes and I will encourage that what we need to do more is the exchange programmes especially in Western continent for our people to better appreciate the issue and some of us had the benefit of travelling to some international media like BBC, CNN and even Kenya and what it does is that it broadens your view on issues and the different systems on what to adopt and what not to adopt.
“So we will ask that you facilitate the programme for all journalists and which will go a long way in improving the quality of our journalists. I often say that journalists have been attacked but what did they do to be attacked? We need to be factual, credible and it is important that your confidence is not doubted especially in the work we do,” she said.
The General Manager for MG News, Sedem Ofori, together with the GM for MG TV, Francis Doku, also added their voice to the campaign of journalists reporting factual news and the need for government to provide support to media houses.
FAJ is in Accra for its annual conference.
The conference is set to explore the possible and creative ways for journalists to work in the wake of the pandemic so that the impact is limited as well as curbing the issues facing the African journalist.
It takes place on Tuesday, June 1 at the Alisa Hotel at 10:00 am.
By Aaliyah Duvi-Rony|3news.com|Ghana