Participants and dignitaries after the opening of the workshop
Participants and dignitaries after the opening of the workshop

Give fair remuneration to media professionals — AMC

The Chairperson of the African Media Convention (AMC) Steering Committee, Churchill Otieno, has said it is imperative that journalists and media professionals receive fair remuneration for their work.

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He said the current landscape, marked by the dominance of big technological platforms, often saw media organisations struggling to monetise their content while those platforms profitted from it. 

"We must advocate fair compensation mechanisms, including equitable revenue-sharing models and copyright reforms, to ensure that journalists are adequately rewarded for their contributions," he said.

Mr Otieno, who is also the President of Africa Editors Forum (Taef), added that by championing fair compensation, the system would not only uphold the dignity and livelihoods of journalists but also fortify the foundation of a sustainable and thriving media ecosystem.

He was speaking at the third edition of the African Media Convention yesterday in Accra.

Data

Mr Otieno said in addition to fair compensation, access to data held by social media platforms must be addressed as another pressing issue.

"In the digital age, social networks have become crucial sources of information, yet access to their data is often restricted. Journalists rely on this data for in-depth reporting and investigative journalism. However, the opaque nature of social media algorithms and data policies present a significant barrier. 

"We must advocate greater transparency and accountability from these platforms, ensuring that journalists have access to the data they need to uncover stories, hold power to account, and serve the public interest," he said.

Mr Otieno explained that by advocating access to social media data, journalists would be empowered to fulfill their role as watchdogs of society and strengthen the foundations of media freedom and democracy.

AI

He further remarked that as society navigated the complexities of the digital era, it was imperative that journalists embraced the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise the media landscape in Africa. 

"AI technologies have the capacity to enhance journalistic workflows, automate repetitive tasks and personalise content delivery to diverse audiences," he said.

Challenges 

Mr Otieno, however, stressed that there were challenges and risks associated with AI. 

"These include potential biases in algorithms and concerns about job displacement. As African media professionals, we must engage critically with AI, ensuring that its development and deployment are guided by ethical principles, transparency and accountability. 

"By harnessing the power of AI responsibly, we can unlock new opportunities for innovation, improve the quality of journalism and advance media freedom and sustainability across the continent," he said.

The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, called for protection for journalists as Ghana headed to another general election in the course of the year.

"We pray that the entire nation will protect journalists in the discharge of their duties, and we also pledge to protect the interest of the entire nation with credible election coverage," he said.

Freedom Index

Mr Dwumfour also expressed his excitement about Ghana’s World Press Freedom index improving from the 62nd position of last year to 50th this year. 

"This achievement is due to a number of factors, including strong collaboration among media partners and the government to address press freedom concerns," he said.

Mr Dwumfour said this notwithstanding, there was room for improvement. 

"We need to work harder to enhance media freedom in Africa, and we can do it with innovative approaches," he said. 

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He expressed gratitude to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, partners and other sponsors for their contributions towards the organisation of the event.

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