The Ghana Journalists Association, GJA will today, November 2, 2022 launch the Journalists Support Fund, to provide care to journalists who suffer attacks in the course of their work. The Fund will among other things provide legal aid services to journalists to pursue cases of abuse perpetrated against them.
Public Affairs Officer of the GJA, Rebecca Ekpe, who disclosed this in an interview with GBC NEWS, noted the fund which is a novelty of the new GJA executive will support journalists who get injured or suffer any loss in their line of duty.
International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists:
Ghana joins the global community to commemorate Day of Ending impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.
This is a day which draws the attention of UN member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. Ending impunity for crimes against journalists is one of the most pressing issues to guarantee freedom of expression and access to information for all citizens.
In many cases, threats of violence and attacks against journalists are not properly investigated. This emboldens perpetrators of the crimes and at the same time has a chilling effect on society, including journalists themselves.
Reports indicate that threats of violence and attacks against journalists, creates an atmosphere of fear for media professionals, which impedes the free circulation of information, opinions and ideas for all citizens.
A surge in disinformation, online bullying and hate speech, particularly against female journalists, is contributing to the stifling of media work around the world, especially as abuse of legal, financial and other means undermines efforts to hold the powerful accountable. These trends threaten not only journalists, but society as a whole.
It is against this background that the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists, was created in 2012 with the aim to have a safe and free environment for all media practitioners.
In Ghana concerns have been raised over arbitrary arrests of journalists based on false publication which is becoming rampant. The cold murder of Ahmed Suale remains on the minds of many Ghanaians. Other cases of impunity include, the storming of the offices of Modern Ghana, arrest and confiscation of equipment of the arrested journalists by national security officers; storming of the offices of Citi FM/TV by national security operatives, as well as an attack on Radio Ada.
This year’s commemoration of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists is themed “Protecting Media to Protect Democracy”, and will host a High-Level Multi-Stakeholder Conference on the Safety of Journalists in Vienna, Austria. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO, says although some improvement has been made in ending impunity against journalists, almost nine in 10 journalists killed, remain unresolved.
UNESCO says this year’s commemoration must therefore be the rallying point to renew commitment to protecting journalists everywhere, all the time.
In a statement to mark the day, Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, said it is time to step up efforts online, where new forms of violence have emerged, especially towards women. The statement said three in four female journalists have experienced online harassment, adding cooperation and synergies have to be replicated to improve monitoring and information sharing to better tackle the challenges.
On the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, UN Secretary General, António Guterres is also calling on governments and the international community to take necessary steps to protect journalists.
In a statement, Mr. Guterres calls for efforts to end the common culture of impunity to enable journalists to do their essential work. The statement in acknowledging the invaluable contribution of media practitioners to development, says the world must honour media workers, and stand up for truth, justice and human rights for all.