Friday, April 28, 2006

ICT, Vital Tool For Journalists

ICT, Vital Tool For Journalists
By Yaw Owusu
Friday, 28 April 2006

INFORMATION and Communications Technology (ICT) expertise is a must for everybody in journalism, says Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, outgoing President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).

She said that once ICT had become a driving force in every country’s development, journalists need to be equipped with the requisite knowledge to be able to explain ICT issues more appropriately to the public.

Ms Yeboah-Afari was speaking at the opening of a three-day ICT workshop for about 40 journalists in Accra on Wednesday.

It was organized by International Institute of ICT Journalism Penplusbytes and sponsored by the French Embassywith the aim of building the capacity of journalists in the use of new media technology to improve the quality of journalism and also to enable them to understand and report on ICT policy issues.

Ms Yeboah-Afari said in most cases, media houses had made the training of journalists on ICT issues their priority but lack of funds hindered the effort.

She said the GJA will therefore welcome any effort to use journalists to help in the development of ICT, noting that a well-equipped modern newsroom makes it easier for the practice of the profession to grow.

The French Ambassador Pierre Jacquemot, said the media in Ghana had a crucial role to play in the development of ICT which had become a powerful means for change and “the media cannot help in the promotion without funds and support.”

He promised that the French government would collaborate with other organizations to develop ICT in Ghana.

Mr D.A. Kwapong, Chief Director of the Ministry of Information, who spoke on behalf of the Minister, said: “ICT is a priority area of government’s policy and any effort to develop it will be appreciated.”

He said currently, government could not continue to rely solely on cocoa and gold for development and was exploring the potential that ICT had.

Mr Kwame Ahiabenu, President of Penplusbytes said the workshop would help journalists to use ICT to improve the level of journalism for accelerated growth and development.


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