Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has “distanced itself” from reports that some 50 Ghanaian journalists said to be part of the country’s delegation ahead of the Commonwealth Games have been deported.
A statement signed by President of the GJA, Affail Monney, in Accra yesterday said the Association knows none of the said persons and their media outlets.
Government has initiated a probe into the deportation of some Ghanaians from Australia who claimed to be journalists for the Commonwealth Games.
At least 50 Ghanaians were in Australia for the games which started yesterday, (April 4, 2018), but the Australian authorities were not convinced by their reasons for travelling to the country although those affected claimed they were journalists.
The GJA therefore, called on the “Foreign Affairs Ministry, the police and other relevant institutions to thoroughly investigate the matter in order to establish the true identity of the deportees for the purposes of redeeming the image of Ghana and Ghanaian journalists.”
Reports in both local and international media showed that the Australian authorities were not convinced about the mission of purported journalists in that country because although they claimed to be journalists and had genuine visas, many of them did not carry the recommended equipment for the coverage of such a sporting event.
“The GJA wishes to put on record that it does not know the identity of the so-called journalists; neither is it aware of their mission in Australia. Although Ghanaian journalists travelling outside the country for official events are not obliged to inform the GJA about their assignments, it is quite strange that the GJA is not aware of the identity of the deportees, including the media institutions they claim to represent,” the statement stated.
The GJA noted in its statement that the deportation of the alleged journalists from Australia has the tendency to soil the image of Ghanaian journalists in particular and Ghana as a whole.
For that reason, it called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the police and other relevant institutions to thoroughly investigate the matter in order to establish the true identity of the deportees for the purposes of redeeming the image of Ghana and Ghanaian journalists.
The GJA advised Ghanaian journalists travelling outside the country for official assignments to follow the requisite protocols of their host countries and the event organisers in order to avoid embarrassment.
Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH
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