It will be unthinkable on the part of anybody, especially the Electoral Commission (EC), to ask journalists to pay for covering the 2016 general elections, president of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), Mr Affail Monney has said.
There are reports that the EC has directed that journalists pay to cover the elections scheduled for December 7. Reacting to the report in an interview with Class News on Tuesday November 1, Mr Monney clarified that from their meetings with the EC, the fee was to cover the cost of accreditation and not the coverage of the election.
According to Mr Monney, no price tag can be put on the job of journalists during elections.
“Our initial reaction (when we heard the news) was that of dismay so we quickly went back to the EC to clarify what they meant by journalists should pay. We had met the head of Public Relations Department and our understanding is that the fee which is yet to be determined by the EC is to cover the cost of accreditation and not the fee for covering the election because the service we are going to render on 7 December is so invaluable that nobody can put a price tag on that,” he stated.
“As of this morning, we are told the producers of the accreditation cards were yet to determine the unit price for the ID cards and once this was determined, they will relay the information to us and we will also ask our people to effect payment for the ID cards,” Mr Monney added.
The EC has set Monday November 7, 2016 as the deadline for submission of request forms for accreditation. The EC has explained it will give out the accreditation at a fee due to budgetary constraints.
Meanwhile, renowned constitutional lawyer and former deputy speaker of parliament Professor Mike Ocquaye has questioned why the EC didn’t alert parliament about its lack of funds.