Media Capacity Enhancement Programme will help raise journalism standards—GJA

Kumasi,– The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Monday lauded the Government for being a worthy partner of the media by rolling out professional improvement initiatives like the Media Capacity Enhancement Programme (MCEP).

“The GJA is profoundly grateful to the Government of Ghana as an indispensable stakeholder in the media, for its staggering sponsorship package,” Mr Roland Affail Monney, the GJA President, said.

The Media Capacity Enhancement Programme was happening at a time when confidence in the media was waning, and perpetration of mediocrity on the rise, he said.

“In terms of professional standards, many journalists are stuffed to the gills, others are rotten to the core,” he said

“While some display innovative spark and distinctive qualities, many operate in stagnant pools, which reflect hackneyed styles and immanent output.”

The finest opportunity, therefore, beckons to move the paradigm and change the narrative of journalism practice in Ghana.

The training series were expected to sharpen the reportorial flair, editorial craftsmanship, analytical power and creative thinking of the 250 participants from across the country “so that they will not only operate to make a living, but they will be living to make a difference,” Mr Monney said.

The GJA President, addressing the opening ceremony of the MCEP at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, said research had shown that the average engineer lost 20 per cent of his or her knowledge if not updated.

“Journalists are not immune from this reality.

The logical response, therefore, is to train and retrain all journalists as resources will allow.”

“This should be complemented by using empirical means to achieve overall quality in media output.”

The programme is being organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Information and its principal objective is to enhance the existing knowledge base, skills set and qualitative output of media personnel.

It will also help to develop a deep understanding of socio-economic and nation building issues and the forces that shape, influence and constrain nation building.

It is further expected to help the participants, selected from across the nation, to appreciate the role of investigative journalism within the framework of institutionalizing efficiency, accountability and transparency in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to aid in nation building.

Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, Chair of the Working Committee implementing the programme, said the four-day training sought to address the capacity deficit challenges the media faced in performing their socio-economic development roles.

“What the MCEP seeks to do in terms of objectives, methodology and intended impact is unprecedented in our nation’s history,” he said.

The media was confronted with multi-faceted problems, key amongst them being capacity challenges, declining professionalism and increasing disregard for ethics, affecting the quality of media outlets, he said.

This has a detrimental effect on the media’s ability to effectively play the watchdog role and to help generate transformative change through facilitating appropriate and credible information.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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