Journalists schooled on investigative reporting

Ransford Tetteh, GJA President

A seminar has been held for some selected journalists across the country aimed at enhancing their capacity in their reportage.

The event which was under theme “National seminar on the programme for African Investigative Reporting,” was attended by practitioners from all walks of life on the continent in Accra last week.

The seminar was organised under the auspices of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and the Danish Association of Investigative journalists.
The Coordinator of Danish Association of Investigative Journalists (PAIR), Anne Lea Landsted, said PAIR was established in 2003 in Eastern Europe and has been running in Ghana for three years now.

She said the programme, which is currently running in five African countries, namely: Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana, aimed to support African journalists financially especially those with interest in investigative stories.

Ms. Landsted said to apply for financial support, the applicant should submit a project and fill an application form, stating the details and budget for the project through the Media Foundation for West Africa, adding that when the story or project is approved, the journalist will receive fifty percent of the total grant to start work with and the remaining fifty after the story is done and published.

The Director of Radio at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Mr. Yaw Owusu Addo, in his remarks, urged the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to speed up the process of unionization and insist on a minimum standard of education for the practice.

Mr. Owusu Addo also added that the media in Ghana did not exist in a vacuum as it takes the intervention of chapter 12 of the 1992 Constitution.

Mr. Owusu Addo, who spoke on the topic “The media situation in Ghana and the challenges journalist face,” noted that due to the unavailability of a broadcasting law to regulate media programming and contents, most electronic media have moved from their roles as creating a civic forum, mobilising agents and watchdogs into concentrating on politics.

He also noted that a lot of charlatans have invaded the media system, portraying the vocation as a profit-making avenue and called on the GJA to organise workshops to train such people as well as check the low remuneration of the practice.

He advised the media to educate themselves on the code of Ethics of the GJA, report on factual issues as well as social issues and avoid reporting on insightful issues, especially during this election year in order to have a peaceful election.

Mr. Owusu Addo commended investigative journalists for the good work they are doing and urged them to continue to unravel such social cankers to help develop the country.

Some investigative journalists like, Ms. Karimatu Anas, who exposed massive fraud at the Rent Control Department, Mr. Adu Koranteng, who exposed the existence of Ghost names at the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department and Mr. Benjamin Tetteh of Bloody Salt shared their experiences and the challenges they faced with participants of the seminar.

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