Mr.Frank Owusu kojo Asiamah,popularly known as FOKA a versatile broadcast Journalist and a former News head at Asuogyaman fm in the Eastern region of Ghana , has stated that the
poor remuneration of Ghanaians Journalists and presenters leads them into taking,’Payola’, ‘soli’,bribes etc.
‘Soli’ (short form for solidarity) is the practice
in which journalists, who cover programs and
events are given money, apparently to “cover
the cost of travel to the event”.
Speaking on Majesty Fm with host Daakye Hemaaa , Mr.FOKA said nothing justifies taking of soli but most journalists have no choice because of their meagre salaries.
He added, during my investigations I realised most chief executive officers(CEO’S) who owns Media houses don’t encourage their General managers to pay their workers so politicians have also started using the unpaid journalist/ presenters for their political ambitions ,just 3 years ago a presenter called muagbe who work with an Accra based Fm station muntie fm started promoting the ruling government and defaming the leading opposition party NPP which is against the ethics of journalist but he has no choice than to follow his stomach,during our 59th independence day journalists were packed into a truck to transport them from the black stars square to an office for just a token called ‘soli’,also in the same year NPP also accused Adakabra Frimpong Mansa and Kwame Nkrumah tiekese of Neat fm and Okay fm respectively both defaming their flagbearer Nana Akuffo Addo . “I don’t want to be holier than thou, I
understand why my colleague journalists take soli, it’s not
justified even though I understand and the
reason is that they are poorly paid,” Mr Owusu Asiamah said.
“But it’s not justified because one of the
principles of journalism is to be balance,accurate fair and independent
from political persuasion…so in order to do
your work well and live in that cardinal
principle you cannot be taking money in such
He added that the working conditions of
journalists in the country must be improved so
they don’t become vulnerable to people who will pay them to write and cover stories.
Mr.Asiamah challenged the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA),Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) and other stakeholders in the Journalism field to implement laws and measures to push CEOs and general managers of media houses in Ghana to pay their workers and pay them well because our work is very dangerous..