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‘Make Professionalism A Social Responsibility’   
 
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14-Nov-2019  
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A former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and Head of the Communications Department of Wisconsin University, Dr Kweku Rockson, has urged media practitioners to see professionalism in their work as a form of social responsibility.

He said journalism, as a social institution, required practitioners to exhibit professional qualities, and that anyone who found himself in the profession ought to be guided by its ethics.

Social responsibility 

Dr Rockson made the call in a lecture organised by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) as part of activities to mark the association’s 70th anniversary celebration in Accra last Tuesday.

The lecture was on the topic: “Aligning journalism practice with the social responsibility initiative: the role of media practitioners, media institutions and the Ghana Journalists Association.”


He explained that “for the media institution, social responsibility, particularly corporate social responsibility or sustainability, should be a deliberate performance which depicts the integration of the social and environmental prerogatives into the country’s activities.”

He added that the GJA and the National Media Commission had for a long time been committed to some of the major imperatives of corporate social responsibility (CSR), pointing out that “the notable ones are the commitment to professionalism and a publicly ascertained code of conduct.”

Remuneration

Dr Rockson said currently the level of social responsibility being exhibited in the media showed that there were challenges, citing incidences where media houses engaged interns or newly graduated journalism students for a very long time without pay.

According to him, it was a corporate social responsibility breach on the part of media institutions to fail to hire qualified people for their services and instead engage interns and other unpaid staff for such works.

“If you don’t have money, don’t establish a media house,” he stressed.  

Dr Rockson urged GJA to work closely with the Trades Unions Congress (TUC) to deal with the challenges of poor remuneration and other labour practices that affected media practitioners.

He explained that social responsibility covered both the individual and corporate entities, urging the GJA to institute award categories to reward individual media practitioners and media organisations which were doing well in social responsibility.

He said journalism as a social institution went beyond entertainment, education and information, arguing that the media was far bigger than how some people perceived it to be.

Recommendation

Dr Rockson urged media entities to continue to be creative in introducing standalone social responsibility initiatives or collaborate with state institutions in that direction.

He further implored media training institutions to take corporate social responsibility or social responsibility as a multidisciplinary investment very seriously.

He encouraged media houses to “endeavour to learn about the discipline (social responsibility) in order to have a discerning mind and orientation when confronted with requests for coverage.”

Law School

Dr Rockson also called on President Akufo-Addo to look into the issue of the mass failure of the law students who took the entrance exams of the Ghana School of Law.

According to him, there was no need to put impediments in the way of people who desired to study law, arguing that producing many lawyers did not mean the quality would be compromised.

Other issues

On the sidelines, Stanbic Bank presented a cheque for GH¢20,000 to support the 70th anniversary and awards ceremony of the association.

The GJA President, Mr Affail Monney, commended the bank for its continued support to the association.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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