The Executive Director of the Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) – an environmental and human rights NGO, Daniel Owusu Koranteng, said that digital transformation in the media is inevitable and is accompanied by blessings and curses.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a two–day seminar on Digital organising, trade union reform, and youth recruitment, organised by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in collaboration with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) under the Union to Union Project (UTU) 2022, Daniel Owusu Koranteng, emphasised that though technological advancement has transformed many sectors including the media positively, it has also created a loss of jobs, especially among the older cadre. He called on the GJA to take heed to the Decent Work Agenda for journalists by building a strong union that is democratic and capable of organizing and bargaining on behalf of its members.
The GJA, he said, must “negotiate collective agreements to cover the employment conditions of members with special emphasis on those working in the digital media. There is a need for the GJA to continue to build strong alliances with trade union organizations such as the Trade Union Congress of Ghana and other regional and international organisations”.
The President of GJA, Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, said that the current leadership of the GJA is taking concrete steps to unionize the association as this is critical in providing the members with job security. The GJA has prioritised youth recruitment in its agenda and is vigorously working in transforming its programs and activities in order to ensure that young members are empowered to play a more active role in the Association.
The Director of the IFJ Africa Office, Pa Louis Thomasi, said that the recruitment of young journalists into the GJA, especially those working online, cannot be done successfully without the inclusion of the current cops of young members. He called on the GJA to organize programs and develop youth policies that will entice young journalists into the union.
GJA must be able to reform and adapt to the changing economic structures of the media and information sector”, by developing recruitment strategies that will specifically target young journalists working online, as well as engaging young journalists as the Associations’ ambassadors to recruit their peers into the GJA.
The two-day workshop which was held at the Ghana International Press Centre, in the Capital Accra from 23–24 November brought together 20 young journalists from various media houses including online and community radio stations as well as the executive members of the GJA.
The seminar dilated on various critical issues including freedom of expression and the laws that govern internet operations in Ghana, freelance journalists, and the decent work agenda, working conditions of young journalists online, gender equality and sexual harassment in the newsroom, and freedom of Association and the right to organise.