General News of Thu, 5 Apr 20186
GJA disowns deported ‘journalists’
The Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA) has stated that it does not know the 50 persons purporting to be Ghanaian journalists who were deported by Australian authorities ahead of the Commonwealth Games in that country.
The deportation, according to reports attributed to Australian authorities, became necessary following the inability of those affected to make a convincing argument about their mission to Australia.
Even though the deportees reportedly had genuine visas, many of them did not carry with them equipment like recorders and recommended mobile phones for coverage of the event.
In a statement signed by its national president, Affail Monney to distance itself from the deportees, GJA indicated, “The GJA wishes to put on record that it does not know the identities of the so-called journalists; neither is it aware of their mission in Australia.”
It continued, “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 identities of the deportees, including the media institutions they claim to represent.”
The GJA noted 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, we call on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the police and other relevant institutions to thoroughly investigate the matter in order to establish the true identities of the deportees for the purposes of redeeming the image of Ghana and Ghanaian journalists,” according to the statement.
The association has, therefore, advised Ghanaian media practitioners 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.
It underscored, “Furthermore, they may seek the assistance of the GJA to facilitate their assignments.”