Improve conditions of service of media personnel - CJ

The Chief Justice, Mrs. Justice Georgina Wood, has called for the improvement in the conditions of service of media personnel to enable them perform creditably.

"Well paid media practitioners cannot easily yield to manipulation or other forms of temptation," Mrs. Wood said when swearing-in the 18-member National Media Commission (NMC) in Accra on Monday.

She pointed out that the alarming rate of infractions and the level of mediocrity in some sections of the media placed a challenge on them to explore all avenues to ensure qualitative improvement in the performance of the fourth estate.

The Commission has a three-year mandate and representatives of various institutions including the Presidency.

The members are Mr Anthony Akoto-Ampaw, Ghana Bar Association, Nii Laryea Sowah, Publishers and Owners of Private Press, Mrs. Valentina Bannerman, Ghana Association of Writers and Ghana Library Association and Reverend Dr. Fred Deegbe, representing the Christian group.

Others are: Dr. Audrey Gadzekpo, Training Instructions of Journalists and Communicators, Mr. Noor-deen Saeed, Federation of Muslim Councils and Ahmadiyya Mission, Mr. Sil Kuwornu, Ghana Advertising Association and the Institute of Public Relations of Ghana, Mr. Sam Kofi Ahenkorah, Ghana National Association of Teachers, Mr. Berifi Appenteng and Mr Kabral Blay-Amihere representing Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr. Fritz Frederic Baffour, Mr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan and Mr. Joseph Ampoma Bosompem representing Parliament.

The rest are Mr. Samuel Kaku, National Council for Women and Development, Mr. Pius M. Quainoo, Ghana Trades Union Congress, Mr. Alhassan Haruna, Association of Private Broadcasters, Mr. Elvis Aryeh and Mr. Opoku Ampofo, nominated by President John Evans Atta Mills.

Mrs. Justice Wood congratulated the members in their determination to serve the nation in "this critical area," because their worth of experience would help immensely the development of the media in the country.

She commended the out-going NMC chaired by Mr. Paul Adu-Gyamfi, for their excellent performance as they played their role as gatekeepers, which made Ghana to champion press freedom in Africa.

"The out-going members have indeed left a legacy which strikes chords of appreciation not only nationally but also internationally," she said.

Mrs. Justice Wood noted that the media's unfettered freedom which had enhanced Ghana's democratic values and practices with her positive development however, did not affect the concerns about low standards of journalism in some sections of the media.

She urged the NMC to take all appropriate measures to ensure the establishment and maintenance of the highest journalistic standards in the country.

Dr. Fred Deegbe, a member of the Commission, gave the assurance of their commitment to live up to expectation as they performed their constitutional duties.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, Dr. Deegbe said: "it would be interesting to serve on the Commission which has some distinguished journalists and communicators in keeping the independence of the media".