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GJA marks 75th anniversary, vows to uphold press freedom, professionalism amidst challenges

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The Upper East Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), William Nlanjerbor Jalulah, has commended journalists for their commitment toward furthering the course of democracy, improving accountability, and bringing human rights issues to the fore in Ghana.

Mr. Jalulah explained that while journalists have contributed massively to Ghana’s development, there have been serious challenges, as highlighted by press freedom rankings.

“We know that though we have challenges as far as press rankings and such are concerned, we also have to appreciate the gains we have made, especially in the areas of democracy, accountability, and human rights issues. Journalists have contributed greatly. We can pat ourselves on the back and say that we have done well.”

Mr. Jalulah made these comments on A1 Radio on the back of the 75th GJA Anniversary Launch. The launch was anchored on the theme, “75 Years of Excellence in Journalism; Honoring the Past, Embracing the Present, Shaping the Future.”

The Upper East Regional Chairman of the GJA mentioned that the celebration would also be used as a basis to redefine the course of journalism in Ghana.

“We can shape the future. The way we want the future of journalism to be, this anniversary would be used to have lectures across three zones of the country. These lectures would be used to highlight the gains and challenges, the present state of the media in Ghana, and how we can shape the future for a better Ghana.”

In the coming days, celebrations would be decentralized to the various regions, Mr. Jalulah said.

At the launch of the 75th anniversary celebration in Accra, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Albert Dwumfour, spoke about media prosecution and the steps the Association has taken to deal with the situation.

“The GJA continues to make positive strides in the country’s quest for national development. However, unlike the persecution that our pioneers faced, including the pain of imprisonment and human rights violations, today, the media face prosecution from inimical laws that criminalize freedom of speech and expression, as well as assault, which is a deviation from the rule of law. In recent times, journalists and media outlets have been targeted by political hoodlums while on assignment. The GJA has no choice but to take aggressive actions to combat this breach of media rights. We were forced to blacklist two important political figures whose followers attacked journalists who were performing their routine duties. Let me point out that the ban on Farouk Mahama, the MP for Yendi, is still in force. There is also a worrying trend of unprofessional practices by a section of the media due to many factors, including a lack of appreciation for professional ethics and media ownership. We will use this anniversary celebration to address some of these critical matters. I must emphasize, however, that the GJA will not tolerate any acts of unprofessionalism as we approach the vital election time. We shall try our best to maintain better levels of professionalism to protect our democracy,” he said.

Mr. Dwumfour reminded journalists of the need to ethically integrate emerging technologies into their work.

“I am happy we have a large number of students in this hall. The future belongs to you. And it is our responsibility as an Association (of course, with the support of the training institutions) to prepare you for the future. We need to guide your ethical upbringing in the profession. We need to offer you the needed support to navigate emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is taking or has already taken center stage of global affairs in journalism practice in the future. That is why we have scheduled a symposium on AI for the youth as part of the anniversary activities. We believe the future is bright for the media landscape in Ghana,” he said.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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