Lay-offs in some private media organisations

News about lay-offs in some private media houses either because of financial crisis or as part of moves to restructure their organisations is quite worrying, coming almost at the same time of the collapse of certain banking institutions in Ghana. It is believed that this development is taking place due to certain reasons.
Many of the owners of such media houses seem not to fully understand what it means to set up media institutions to operate in the country. Many of them appear to be influenced by the mere desire to be media owners without really understanding the nature of media management for different media outlets. They rush into acquiring transmitters in the hope that with the employment of a few people as managers and operating staff, the sky will be the limit as far as effective media management is concerned. It is equally important to note that some of the media owners resort to poaching people from well-established media houses instead of gradually training and grooming them up to levels of excellence in media work. The poaching usually goes with fantastic promises and enticing offers.
Unfortunately, many a time, the promises are not fulfilled and this leads to frustrations on the part of the poached media staff. Disagreements then begin to emerge during which the media owners decide to lay them off to avoid what they perceive as harassment. Fundamental to all this is inadequate knowledge on the part of many of the media owners who have hastened slowly to consolidate their positions as media network operators before taking on more hands. Very often, the new hands brought in are given unrealistic targets which they are unable to meet, resulting in a call for lay-offs and restructuring. Successful media houses are not necessarily based on the number of people employed in such media outlets but based on competence and skills displayed by the employees of such media houses.
In the light of all this, it has become clear that any person or group of people interested in setting up media houses ought to think through the plan but not necessarily to expect high returns within a short time by involving in cheap media politicking without proper training of their personnel to perform creditably. Journalism is a noble profession that must be upheld by those who really understand it but not those who have seen it as avenue to make money for themselves and sometimes engaging in unnecessary vicious attacks against political opponents.
The issue of opening up to new regulations for media houses is also important because, as new networks are established, we need to have adequate laws, the enforcement of which will protect the interest of workers in such media organisations. Relevant institutions and stakeholders will have to pay great attention to these developments before they get out of hands. The role of the media in informing, educating and entertaining the public ought to be carried out in the most sacred, truthful and effective manner so as to inspire confidence and thereby, promote healthy relationship among people.
The situation where some media outlets lay off workers anyhow without recourse to the law must stop without further delay so that the dignity of all affected workers in such media houses will be seen to be respected by owners of media houses.


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