Journalist in Ghana had their day last Saturday when some members of the inky fraternity were rewarded for their exceptional work in the past year.
The event was marked on the theme: “State of Investigative Journalism: Boundaries of Privacy and Borders of the Public Interest”.
The Daily Graphic considers the theme insightful and appropriate, especially at a time when citizens are divided on the role of investigative journalism, in the aftermath of especially Anas Aremeyaw Anas’s exposé on football activities in the country.
But we are of the view that inasmuch as journalists must respect the privacy of individuals, the media are duty-bound to expose wrongdoing and corruption in society.
Thus, despite people’s views on investigative journalism, society generally has a responsibility to contribute its quota to ensure that investigative reporting is strengthened to hold individuals and institutions accountable by uncovering that which others wish would remain hidden.
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Indeed, investigative reporting has suffered from inadequate resources, as many media owners feel the area lacks profitability and eats up funds.
It is in this vein that the Daily Graphic urges media owners and managers to endeavour to adequately resource their outfits for them to be able to concentrate on exposing corruption, exploitation and illegal practices that are harmful to individuals or society.
In this connection, we join the Minister designate for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, to ask media owners to consider it as urgent, important and a national duty the need to improve the conditions of service of journalists and the environment under which they work.
It is a piteous sight to see journalists trekking long distances to cover assignments. Many a journalist, regardless of the invaluable services they render to society, can hardly boast of a place to lay their heads after years of working.
We believe media owners have the singular responsibility to make life a little bearable for journalists and it is the least they can do to contribute to the development of the country.
We wonder how society would turn out to be if the media, the fourth estate of the realm, succumbed to monetary influence to publish for the highest bidder.
We agree that there are some elements in society, and for that matter in the media, who would, no matter what, be corrupt, yet there are others who are influenced by monetary considerations as a result of necessity.
While we urge better conditions of service for media personnel, we congratulate those who won awards last Saturday and remind them that the prizes are a challenge to them to excel in the profession.
We are happy to note that since the awards were instituted in 1971, all award winners, especially those who had taken the ultimate, have carved niches for themselves in the communication sphere and have become reference points for good and professional journalism practice in the country and around the world.
And this is the charge we urge this year’s winners to keep.
We reason that there are more unsung heroes of the profession who could have won laurels had they entered for the competition.
There are also others who entered for the competition but their works were not chosen.
To all such professionals, we extend our congratulations and entreat them not to give up but strive on, as at the right time their works will be recognised and duly rewarded.
We commend the executives of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the awards committee for the good work that made this year’s event a success.