Poor Salary For Journalists Is Threat To National Security – CISA

Mr Rasheed Inusah, the Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Intelligence and Security Analysis (CISA), has advocated better remuneration for journalists to safeguard the peace saying, poor salaries of media personnel in Ghana, is a threat to national security.

He said the current state of remuneration for journalists was awfully inadequate, a situation that threatens the country’s security, warning that a journalist, who survived on handouts was a “ticking time bomb.”

“Journalists who are poorly paid easily become pawns in the hands of anyone willing to take care of their financial needs. They, thus, become easily pliable.”

“This makes them susceptible to corrupt politicians, business people, civil servants, armed robbers, drug lords, land guards, vigilantes, and all manner of people, who take advantage of their poverty for their parochial interests, which often are to the detriment of the national interest,” he stated in a Ghana News Agency (GNA) report.

Mr Inusah, said this at a seminar organized for selected media practitioners in Accra to deepen awareness on the security implications of their work in maintaining the peace and stability of the country.

The programme organized by CISA, was on the theme: “The Media and Security in an Election Year.”

Mr Inusah, noted that journalists and the media at large, play crucial roles in the national security architecture, as they are mandated to churn out accurate information to, among other things, inform and educate the population based on facts.

Such responsibility, he said, could be compromised if journalists were poorly paid, making them susceptible to recruitment by influential people or organizations, who may be engaged in questionable activities.

For instance, a poorly paid journalist was more likely to be co-opted by galamsey kingpins, drug lords, land guards, terrorists, or vigilantes to do their bidding by killing stories that may otherwise had exposed their nefarious activities, which may be a threat to the country’s security.

“This is a source of major threat to Ghana’s national security and political stability,” he said.

“A journalist who is willing to do anything to satisfy his belly is as dangerous as any armed terrorist. It is, therefore, important for media houses to pay their journalists well to reduce the temptation of financial inducement.”

Pay Them Well

To mitigate those threats, Mr Inusah, a former Director-General, National Investigative Bureau (NIB), urged media organizations, to improve the welfare of their staff to enable them to professionally discharge their duties.

He expressed concern over journalists, who were overly attached to political parties, warning that the situation posed a great threat to state stability, as such journalists were likely to fabricate false stories against their political opponents that could jeopardize the peace.

“They see and hear no evil about their preferred political party and, thus, would defend the indefensible and justify the unjustifiable for that party,” he said.

“At the same time, they would hide or suppress vital information about that party even if such information is in the public interest. Such journalists are also most likely to concoct false stories about the opponents of their preferred party to the detriment of national security and the stability of the state.”

Mr Inusah, therefore, urged media practitioners to discharge their duties with utmost professionalism, particularly in the run-up to the 2024 elections, to ensure peace and stability before, during and after the polls.

CISA is a non-governmental organization focused on security and intelligence, working to help address the many security challenges confronting the West African Sub region, using various tools, including systematic research.

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