Sep 11, 2009

Journalists should be research assistants for MPs'

Our political leaders and Ghanaians as a whole have not been fair to journalists in the country. Although they browse the newspapers and swap from one radio station or TV station every day for new information they have failed to acknowledge the work of the journalist since they get significant information on a silver platter.

The President of the Republic J.E.A Mills declared during the state of the nations address in parliament that he would see to it that graduates from the polytechnics and universities in the country would be recruited to serve as research assistants for the members of parliament even though they have no place they call their offices.

Well that is thoughtful of the president. Recently, an ultimatum was given to the members of parliament to choose their research assistants from the universities and the polytechnics by the end of August this year. This initiative taken by the government is acknowledged but it has sidelined the main people on which the improvement of the country depends. They are the only people who can bring what is inside out. They are the only ones who can expose the wrong things in the country to the people; the journalist.

The government has not been fair to journalist in the country, student journalist per se.

I am not taking this platform to undermine the prowess of our graduates but to say that journalists can do better!

Its time the government give the mandate to graduate journalist to also prove themselves wealthy of that position.

Journalism schools in the country take students through both theoretical and practical courses which equip them for the task ahead of them. Because the only means of getting information is basically through effective communication, the students are taken through such courses as communication research methods, mass communication, as well as news gathering and other useful causes which modes the student journalist adapt to any condition.

Student journalists because they are young and energetic can go to extreme extent to get any information for the betterment of the nation.

Various research groups that range from Journalist for Human Rights (JHR) Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) students branch all furnish the student journalist the necessary research oriented experience to expose wrongs in the country. No wonder journalists come out with invaluable project works for the progress of the nation.

These things stenciled above are not to blow the horns of journalist for them, in it obvious and I need not say much about it. Our works can talk for us.

If you doubt, you can check the archives of the journalism institutions, project works precisely.

We can risk our lives to different levels to get information since our duty is to inform, educate and entertain.

I want to take this platform to tell the President to consider recruiting journalists as research assistants for the Members of Parliament and by so be doing the National Service.

Graduate journalists are better option and journalists deserve better from Government and the dear people of Ghana.

Allotey Godwin Akweiteh