Mr. David Andoh, President of the Ghana Photojournalists Network(GPN), has called for increase protection for photojournalists.
Whilst photojournalism is indispensable to journalism especially in current times, photojournalists often risk all forms of abuse ranging from getting manhandled to even death in the course of their duties.
Mr. Andoh said this at a day’s workshop, organised by the Ghana Journalists Association(GJA)for Photojournalists on safety during election coverage.
“Photojournalists are always the target of antagonistic attacks because of the power of photography. A photojournalist taking pictures of violent scenes at a political rally or a demonstration will therefore not be spared,” he said.
Mr. Andoh noted that “it is unfortunate works of Ghanaian photojournalists are not recognised as compared to their foreign counterparts.”
He said the Ghanaian photojournalist, therefore, continued to face marginalisation and discrimination, which made the profession less attractive in Ghana.
“If care is not taken to correct that, there will come a time when no photojournalist would take pains to cover critical happenings to inform the public,” Mr. Andoh observed.
He urged the government, corporate Ghana, and all other stakeholders to invest in photojournalism.
Mr. Andoh noted that photojournalism had the potential to immensely contribute towards socio-economic growth, adding that this could only be done with the right motivation and support.
“It is my belief that given the needed support with the right investments, photojournalists can contribute their quota to the development of our dear nation Ghana,” he said.
The GPN President thanked the leadership of the GJA for organising the ever workshop saying, “we hope this would continue and also commend you for giving some of our members honorary awards, which would motivate them and others to do more.”
Mr. Roland Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists Association noted that in media work, the photojournalists were one of those most at risk of getting attacked physically.
He said that made it crucial for them to be well trained on their safety needs, to enable them to detect danger spots in time, and avoid getting caught up in them.
Mr. Monney said the workshop marked a new beginning, where the welfare of the photojournalist would be well attended to.
The GJA President reminded journalists in the country of the fact that the conduct of the elections was of concern to the entire global community, which enjoined them to be as professional and ethical as possible with their reportage.
“We are being watched by the world. Let us journalists do a good job. Report objectively. It is based on what you report that people would decide and act,” he said.