The Editor of the Spectator, Mrs Augustina Aforo-Yeboah, has declared her intention to contest for the position of Vice President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).
The seasoned journalist with over 30 years of experience said her intention to contest was to bring her experience on board to reform, revive and revitalise the association.
“The interest of the rank and file has waned. They complain they don’t benefit from the association. Indeed, as a body, the association has to take the lead in providing and ensuring professionalism. That is also virtually dead,” Mrs Aforo-Yeboah said.
She lamented that, apart from organising awards, the GJA did not have any meaningful programme to train and help build the capacity of journalists.
“We all know that the GJA is gradually dying and it will take a more dynamic leadership, direction and commitment to wake up the sleeping giant among the professional bodies in the country” Mrs Aforo-Yeboah said.
Outlining her vision for the GJA, she said there would be regular training and workshops for journalists, especially in specialised reporting.
Mrs Aforo-Yeboah said she would also help address challenges at GJA regional branches to help create a vibrant association.
“The Annual General Meeting must be held regularly for the Executive to give an account of their stewardship. It provides a platform for suggestions and resolutions for the way forward,” she said.
Concerning the annual awards scheme, Mrs Aforo-Yeboah, a former acting Managing Director of New Times Corporation, said it would be made more attractive and the Awards Committee would also be made to function better.
That, she said, was to cure the perception that the GJA gave Awards to favourites.
Under her leadership, Mrs Aforo-Yeboah said the Media Encounters would be revived to help journalists have better understanding of the issues concerning various sectors of the economy.
“It also provided a platform for senior journalists to share their views, concerns and make suggestions on national issues.” she added.
Concerning the welfare of journalists, Mrs Aforo-Yeboah said the association would show support during the time of bereavement, weddings and other occasions.
“We do not bond as members of the association, so such events would go a long way to get journalists attracted to the activities of the GJA,” she said.
Mrs Aforo-Yeboah also talked about her desire to bring on board an insurance package for journalists, adding “the association can work out a group insurance scheme to ensure the safety of the journalist and a back-up cover for our families, in the event of accidents”.
Touching on the press centre, she said it would be moved to another level by “adding on more facilities like a hostel, a bigger conference hall which were all part of the original drawings of the centre”.
“If you give me the mandate, I will work with the other Executives to seek partnership to expand the Press Centre,” Mrs Aforo-Yeboah added.
She, therefore, called on members of the GJA to rally behind her to gain the needed vote that would enable her to get the vice president position.
Mrs Aforo-Yeboah holds a Master degree in Governance and Leadership from Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Diploma in Journalism from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).
She has held several position, including, News Editor of the Ghanaian Times; Foreign Desk Editor, Regional Diary Editor; News Editor, the Spectator; Acting Features Editor; Women and Children’s Page, Editor; a Reporter, Senior and Chief Reporter respectively.
The one-time chairman of the New Times Chapter of GJA was the acting chairman of Local Union of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) of New Times Corporation (NTC), Assistant Secretary, Association of Women in the Media (ASWIM); Co-ordinator, Ghana, West Africa Media Network (WAMNET).
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