The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has assured media practitioners in the country of its commitment to stand by them in the course of their duty.
This follows injuries sustained by two journalists in the line of duty at a collation centre after the December 7 general election.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the President of the GJA, Mr Affail Monney, said the association strongly believed that journalists gave of their best during the elections and, therefore, deserved commendation, instead of condemnation.
He said this year’s elections were characterised by tension, challenges and enormous risks occasioned by gunshot incidents which, unfortunately, left two journalists injured.
While admitting that there had been a few instances of imperfection in the coverage of the elections, Mr Monney said that should not obstruct the fact that the media generally performed well in their reportage.
He, therefore, described as unfortunate the attacks on some sections of the media in the aftermath of the elections.
The GJA President said there was no justification for the verbal attacks, blazing threats and cyber-bullying being perpetrated against certain journalists and media houses for performing their duty.
“The GJA strongly believes that those life-threatening experiences, as well as the inestimable sacrifices, sleepless nights, reportorial skills, editorial competence, analytical power, boundless energy, patriotic zeal and projectional acumen journalists and media houses displayed deserve fulsome commendation and not outright condemnation.
“The anti-media brew which is bubbling in certain political circles is inimical to press freedom and dangerous to our democracy. This must stop forthwith,” he added.
While giving an assurance that the GJA would fully support all its members in the discharge of their duties, he also urged them to inject the highest degree of circumspection in their work in order not to inflame passions.
Mr Monney encouraged journalists to go about their professional work without fear of intimidation.
Last Friday, the SIC Insurance Company Limited paid the insurance benefit of one of the injured journalists, Mr Pius Asiedu, who suffered gunshot wounds while observing the collation of results at the Ablekuma Central collation centre in Accra on December 7.
It was part of a GH¢20 million insurance package the company provided for the GJA for its members who covered the elections.
As part of the package, the company will take full charge of Asiedu’s medical bill and also provide him with a lump sum payment after his recovery.
Mr Asiedu, who reports for a news portal, Newswatchgh.com, suffered a fracture in his left leg and other gunshot wounds and is currently receiving treatment at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.
Other victims were a reporter with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and a policeman who was on duty.