The Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana ( PRINPAG) has called on the government to consider media practitioners as frontline workers so they can enjoy the stimulus package announced by the President.
Their call follows the President’s announcement of some incentives for frontline health workers in his last national address on COVID-19 updates.
The President said the government is committed to ensuring that health workers are supported as they deliver essential services to the populace especially amid the outbreak of Coronavirus.
“On my part and on the part of government, we will continue to see what we can do to meet you halfway, ease the issues that you have. I think you heard my broadcast the other day, I indicated the measures that we want to put in place to support you in the work that you are doing,” Akufo-Addo noted.
Speaking at a joint press briefing with the Ghana Journalist Association and Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), President of PRINPAG, Edwin Arthur urged the government to set up a fund to cater for frontline media practitioners as well during this period.
“All media practitioners who have been lending support to the national effort also as front liners in the fight against the spread of the virus and in this sense we expect to be elevated to that status for the purpose in the ensuing argument. Apart from our frontline role in educating the general populace on the dangers associated with COVID-19 and the need to observe critically all the safety measures and protocols most of us have come into direct contact with carriers and Coronavirus patients.”
“Interviewing them as well as doctors who have been treating these patients in all our attempts to bring to our various stakeholders, credible and reliable information on the pandemic. This, we see as a critical duty in line with the constitutional mandate as the fourth estate on the realm. By providing adequate information on the pandemic, thus exposing us to the same risk, our health workers are also exposed to. This being the case, PRINPAG urges the government and corporate institutions, to consider frontline media practitioners in the provision of PPE to enable us to arm ourselves adequately to lend support to other stakeholders in our collective fight against the spread of the virus.”
President of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) Roland Affail Monney on his part said government should also provide free bus ride for journalists as they are also frontline workers.
He also said media houses should not be left out of the 1 billion stimulus package as most media houses are struggling to pay salaries.
“Media houses should be considered in the stimulus package. Provision of PPE and transport for journalists by way of Aayalolo buses and other means should be given a top most priority. We commend them highly for their frontline role. Ghana will surely win this fight.”