‘Soli’ Is Wrong – Kwaku Sakyi Addo

Ace journalist, Kwaku Sakyi Addo has said it is wrong for journalists to take monies [soli] from organisers after covering events. His comments come days after intense debate in the country over the impact of ‘soli’ on the work of journalists. Soli is a term used to describe monies that are given to journalists after covering events, ostensibly to cater for their transportation. The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin has also condemned the practice and said taking soli undermines their integrity and credibility. Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Mr. Sakyi said that “it is not the job of the organization that is organising the event to pay for the transportation of the media organisation.” According to him, “If an organisation whose job it is to send reporters out to gather information cannot afford transportation , it cannot be in the business of news gathering and dissemination.” Mr. Sakyi, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications recalled that his outfit has “never paid journalists” when it organized an event. “When we invite journalists, …we get the three or two people, or one person, who are interested in the news not in the money that we will give out.” He warned that “if we make it our culture that before you your voice can be heard, you’ve got to pay for airtime, you have to exchange gifts with journalists, you shut the door to those who cannot afford it.”