Mr Abu Kuntulo, an expert in labour relations, has called on journalists and media practitioners to be assertive and professional in their line of duty.

He said as partners in development, actors within the realm of the fourth estate, ought to develop their leadership skills in order to help them contribute effectively to the development of the nation.

Mr Kuntulo said this during a capacity building workshop for journalists and media practitioners in the Upper West Region held to bring them together for networking purposes and to share ideas on leadership development.

He said “assertive leadership skills includes respect for oneself and allows one to express his or her thoughts, feelings or beliefs in an open, direct, honest and in an appropriate manner”.

Mr Kuntulo also expressed unhappiness with the poor and unfair treatment meted out to some journalists in their line of duty saying this was a result of the poor relationship between the media and the labour front.

He urged the media actors to relate cordially with the labour unions in the region to ensure a safe working environment.

The poor relationship between the media and labour has contributed to the recent industrial unrest in the country.

Mr Bajin D. Pobia, the Upper West Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), expressed unhappiness with the influx of unqualified media practitioners operating in the region saying this has partly resulted in the falling standards in the practice of journalism.

Mr Pobia urged owners of media houses to invest in recruiting and training of their staff to help minimise unprofessionalism in the industry.

He said there is the need for the National Media Policy to be reviewed to help redefine the specific categories of people who are qualified to work in the media industry.

“The National Media Policy has opened the door so wide for all manners of people to come into the media landscape but has failed to specify who qualifies to work in the media.

“This has created a problem for the media industry and there is the need for the framers of the policy to have a second look at it to bring sanity to the media landscape”, the GJA Chairman said.

Mr Bajin said the GJA code of ethics has stated clearly the need for journalist to refuse offers that can influence their activities as professionals in the service we render to the society.

He said the GJA code of ethics, states that a journalist should not accept a bribe or any form of inducement to influence the performance of his or her professional duties”.

Mr Bajin urged all media practitioners to jealously guard their integrity, reputation and credibility.

Managers of media houses in the Wa Municipality, members of labour unions, journalists as well as media practitioner attended the workshop which was jointly organised by the Kuntulo Labour Consult and Radio Waa under the theme: “Media Relations and Solidarity”.

GNA