The Editor of the Ghanaian Times, David Agbenu, yesterday filed his nomination forms to contest for the position of President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in the upcoming national elections.
Mr Agbenu, who is a former General Secretary of the Association, presented the completed forms alongside bank draft for GHC 3,000; the filing fees, and copies of his passport pictures.
Accompanied by some editorial staff of the newspaper, he was received by the GJA Election Committee chairman, Osei Kwadwo Adow and Mr Peter Agbeko Jnr, a member of the committee.
After inspecting the documents, Mr Agbeko said the calendar for the election would be announced in due course, but hinted that there would be presidential debate for the contenders.
“As part of this year’s election, we will organise a presidential debate so sharpen your skills,” he said, and wished Mr Agbenu all the best in the imminent election.
In an interview, the presidential hopeful who has over 20 years’ experience in journalism, said his transformational agenda for the association was hinged on 10 thematic areas.
He said it included leading the Association to assume its strong power of unionisation to bargain for better salaries and conditions of service for its members.
If elected into office, Mr Agbenu said, he would introduce measures to make the 70-year-old association capable of supporting its own activities instead on relying solely on corporate organisations.
He said the regional chapters of the Association, would be supported, and revived, to stand on their feet and operate effectively for the benefit of members and the greater society.
To immortalise veteran journalists for their contribution to the attainment of press freedom in the country, he said memorial lectures and hall of fame, would be instituted for their induction, in addition to a museum where their works could be kept for references, research and academic work.
He said apart from the introduction of a newsletter to disseminate news , training and retraining of practising journalists would be introduced to bring members up to speed with contemporary trends and practices.
“I will encourage training of stringers, especially in the rural areas, to enable their voices to be heard, by this the entire country would be covered, professionally,” he said.
On the observance of the ethics and practices of the profession, Mr Agbenu, promised to champion the use of decorous language and the avoidance of sensationalism in reportage.
He indicated a plan to re-develop the Press Centre to have facilities such as conference centres, hostels, meeting rooms and a library, to serve its crucial role as the home of all journalists.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR
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