At our regular Wednesday lunch-time Kumasi East Rotary Club meeting, we had the pleasure of receiving an officer from Accra. Following his presentation, the floor was opened for comments and questions and one member asked whether rotary clubs in Accra had to pay for press coverage to celebrate their clubs’ humanitarian acts.
The officer confirmed that they did have to pay and suggested that it was a result of the extensive coverage accorded politicians and their activities. He said there were few reporters left to cover other stories. You can comment on this if you so wish…you may think of other reasons for this sad state of affairs…
In the meantime, this article appeared and it’s got me thinking that maybe the officer is right!
What a powerful combination politics and commerce makes in compromising the freedom of the press. Is this article really news? Maybe newspaper editors should identify such articles as “This is an advertisement”.
Anyways, getting back to Rotary, I believe that all 23 Rotary Clubs of Ghana should take a stand and refuse to pay press outlets for publicity. Of course, this begs the question, “How would Rotary Ghana make this new policy known….the Rotary Clubs of Ghana would probably have to pay a lot to have their position published if they carried the story at all….
Whatever, one would think that media outlets would recognize they have a social responsibility to carry stories about the good selfless acts of Rotary and other humanitarian agencies <strong>free of charge. The money allocated to publicity budgets then would go directly to projects to better the quality of life of those most in need.
ROTARY and other N.G.O.s are non-profits. They are not working hard in Ghana to be elected like Samia or to make profit like MELCOM and media houses should be able to make the distinction.