The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cushion 500 journalists that will be assigned to cover the December 7 elections with GH¢20 Million insurance packages.
The MoU was signed in Accra on Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 by the President of GJA, Dr Rolland Affail Monney and the SIC General Manager – Operations, Faris Attrickie.
The ‘Group Personal Accident Cover’, the first of its kind in the country will support the journalists incase of injury, theft, disability and or death whiles covering the elections.
The package is effective from November 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021, and up to GH¢40, 000 would be given to the family of an accredited journalist in the event of death while GH¢300 would be paid per month, for up to 12 months, if the journalist suffers a permanent disability.
Speaking at the event, Faris Attrickie noted that the package was the company’s support to the media fraternity in undertaking the national assignment, which is deemed as high-risk as it may involve accidents that can result in injury, death and damage of equipment.
“Our plans is that while we may not be able to prevent [accidents or attacks during the election], we can prepare because the journalist may have a child or other dependants,” he said.
He said the GJA would make claims on behalf of the affected journalists and payments would be made promptly after all documentations had become intact.
As reported by Ghanaian Times, Mr Attrickie explained that the package was capped at 500 beneficiaries because the company was optimistic that even if harm would befall journalists, it would not be in high numbers.
He announced that the company would soon underwrite a comprehensive package to cater for destruction of equipment, including phones and cameras, and urged other corporate entities to support journalists in similar ways.
For his part, Mr Monney thanked SIC for the package, saying “it would motivate journalists to work harder towards the maintenance of the democratic gains over the last 28 years.”
He advised journalists to heighten their sense of security when covering political events although the GJA, through its Legal Committee, would take on anyone who would assault a journalist during the elections.
“We are going to maintain an obsessive focus on the safety and welfare of journalists. This means that if a single journalist is attacked in the line of duty, we will rally forcefully and furiously to the defence of such a journalist because an attack against one journalist is an attack against all journalists,” he said.