Former President Jerry John Rawlings has stressed the need for the protection of journalists in every way possible.
He said the profession was saddled with many dangers, especially at the time that truth had lost its value and had been replaced with vain threats from higher authorities. “Without truth we can’t develop and we can’t move ahead. Idealism would be partially crucified,” he said.
The Former President made the remarks when the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) paid a courtesy call on him at his office in Accra. The call was to invite the Former President to the GJA Awards slated for Nov 23, to draw from his rich experience and counsel, and to solicit his support against the assault of Journalists. He urged Journalists to display a positive defiance even in the face of present hard times, adding that they should find a way to collaborate amongst themselves to derive strength so that they won’t compromise.
He urged journalists to report on issues with integrity, which is in line with the Ghanaian culture and tradition. He said the culture and language exalted integrity and such high values should be reflected when communicating in English. Mr. Rawlings expressed worry over the absence of transparency in the education system where females often fell victims to sexual advances from lecturers in return for good grades.
“Destroy merits means killing idealism in the youth and giving high grades to undeserving students means lowering standards,” he said. He called for the creation of an external body to verify the grades of students at the tertiary level to make sure that students were awarded degrees based on hard work and not personal influences.
Mr. Afail Monney, the President of GJA, said journalism in the country had been instrumental from pre-colonial, colonial and the present era and that all government who had ruled benefited from the works of Journalists. He said Journalism was a call and it was the fourth valuable profession in every society following the clergy, lawyers and doctors. “Therefore, an attack on Journalists was a direct attack on our democracy,” he added. He said the Award was to honour Journalists who had worked tirelessly over the years for the growth of the nation. He thanked the Ex-President for his reception and all individuals and corporate bodies who had supported the GJA in diverse ways toward the 70th Anniversary Celebrations
Story : Michael Okyere