Although some group of people do not see Journalism as a profession, its framework and how its being operated clearly indicates that journalism is a profession. According to the Oxford dictionary, a profession is a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolong training and formal education.
Though some people do the work of a journalist, they cannot be classified as journalists because they have no long training and qualification. Some sociologist claim that journalism is a craft not a profession but a craft and anybody can be taught and practice the act. This cannot under rate the fact that journalism is a profession. Just like the teaching profession and any other profession in Ghana like doctors, accountants etc, there is the requirement for one to gain qualification before one can be called by the name of the profession.
A teacher who has not gone through all the requirements to become a professional teacher teacher cannot uphold a public service in the governments administration or any high position in the private administration. Such a person would be relegated to the far back this is same with the profession of Journalism. Every profession has its related issues where unqualified people find their way into the system, with the issue of journalism, it is no different. The bigger difference is that the journalists works in the open and accounts to the society hence when there are unqualified people doing the work, its brings up lots of errors and unprofessionalism this is what has accounted for the numerous noise that journalism is not a profession.
In Ghana, just like any other profession where the profession is guided by rules and other bodies, the profession of journalism is no exclusion where the Ghana Journalist Association regulate and control the well trained profession. The regulation entails, social responsibility, professional integrity, respect for human right and privacy, code of ethics etc, which makes the act a profession not a craft. Also, an institution was established to purposely train people to the profession of journalism and that is the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
in conclusion, journalism reaches beyond writing and speaking. in countries where democracy is well practiced, journalism is the fourth arm of government. The establishment of an institution (Ghana Institute of Journalism) to train people to the profession and the regulatory body that (Ghana Journalist Association) regulate and controls the activities of journalist proves that the profession cannot be compared to a craft and hence all claims that journalism is not a profession are false. Anyone who practice journalism as a craft is practicing a wayside journalism which is not recognized like any wayside profession. To be recognized, one must attain the needed qualification and training. Journalism will always be a profession.
published by enoch tetteh quaye.
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