All eyes will be on the Presidency of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) today, as members of the ‘fourth estate of the realm’ hold their much-anticipated elections.
The presidency would be at the centre of attention due to its status, the calibre of personalities slugging it out for that office and the controversies that have characterised the elections themselves and some of the campaigns.
It promises to be a fierce contest between the Editor of the Ghanaian Times, Dave Agbenu; Gayheart Mensah, a communication consultant and Albert Dwumfour, the Head of Communication of the Tobinco Group.
Mr Agbenu, the only practising journalist amongst the trio, wields 30 years of journalistic experience and is a management member of the New Times Corporation (NTC), publishers of the Ghanaian Times and the Spectator.
Having served in various capacities in the GJA, including being General Secretary and Organising Secretary, he promises to bring on board lessons and experiences to seek the welfare of journalists.
Mr Agbenu holds Masters in Communication (Media Management) from the Ghana Institute of Journalism, a degree in Communication Studies, a Professional Master’s in Alternative Dispute Resolution and a Certificate in Online Journalism (Germany).
Mr Mensah, the Chief Executive Officer of Koms Kraft Consult, honed his journalism skills at Ghanaian Times, where he worked as Presidential, Parliamentary and Court Correspondent among other roles.
He joined Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) later as News Editor of the Graphic Showbiz and moved on to become Assistant Features Editor of the Daily Graphic.
Mr Mensah has been in communications and Public Affairs for the past 34 years and built a reputation in areas, including media relations, reputation and stakeholder management, personal branding, and content development.
Mr Dwumfour, the incumbent Organising Secretary of the GJA, is the Head of Corporate Affairs of Tobinco Group of Companies and former Managing Director of Atinka Media Village.
He is also the CEO and Managing Director of De Westend Communications and Media Consultancy, publishers of the Daily Analyst and Business Analyst newspapers.
In deciding who should occupy the highest office of the inky fraternity, a number of arguments have been adduced based on the abilities and excesses of the candidates as well as allegations.
While some believe that a practising journalist should be given the nod, others opine that the Association needs a fresh face.
There are those who would choose capability over vote-buying allegations yet to be substantiated and against the tendency of giving the mandate to certain candidates who are likely to sell off the GJA or hand it over to an arm of government.
The elections should have been held about two years ago as the three-year tenure of the Monney-led executive expired in November 2020, but their inability to supervise a new election set the stage for controversies, petitions, and counter-petitions.
Barring any last-minute hitches, more than 800 members would decide the fate of 46 candidates, out of which 11 are contesting six national executive positions, with the rest going for regional positions.
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