Story by Frederick E Aggrey
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), yesterday launched its ‘One Journalist, One House’ program, dubbed the ‘GJA Media Village Project’ at the International Press Center, Accra.
The GJA Media Village project is aimed at helping accredited members in the Fourth Estate of the realm, to own houses, either before or after their retirement.
The GJA President, Roland Affail Monney, in his address decried the poor condition journalists live in, saying “Most journalists in Ghana continue to live in poverty, due to the poor remuneration and conditions under which they work, thereby making it virtually impossible for them to own houses.”
Chairperson for the Project Committee, Dr Doris Yaa Dartey, said the houses would be strictly sold to only journalists, but she was clear that no journalist would be allowed to own more than a house.
Managing Director of Koans Building Estates, which is partnering the GJA to put up the houses, Kofi Anokye, noted that owning a house must not be the sole preserve of the rich, hence his outfit’s partnership with the GJA to ensure that the average journalist owns a house.
The Chairman of the National Media Commission, Kwesi Gyan Apenteng, on his part, called on the government and policy makers to enact legislation on the remuneration of journalists.
He indicated that the condition of service of journalists is nothing to write home about, in spite of the fact that quality is demanded from journalists by their employers.
He admitted that the journalism profession is very sensitive and key to nation building, and so its quality and professionalism cannot be over-emphasized.
“This high demand by the employers of the journalists should commensurate with a better remuneration. What is due Ghanaian journalists must be given to them,” he made a case for journalists.
The Media Village would be sited at Pampaso in Nsawam, Eastern Region, and a journalist would have to part with GH¢60,000 for an affordable house.
As one of the lead sponsors of the 22nd GJA Awards, Koans Estate Limited awarded Kwame Sefa Kayi of Peace FM, 2016 Journalist of The Year, with a three-bedroom house worth GH¢200,000 at the Media Village as his prize, making him the first journalist to own a house at the village.
Yesterday at the launch, Roland Affail Monney, on behalf of the GJA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Koans Estate.