Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Empowering Media With New Skills

Highway Africa News Agency (Grahamstown)

By Emily Nyarko

About 20 editors and senior journalists in Ghana have undergone training in web 2.0 publishing and distribution technique as part of the drive to equip journalists with ICT skills to improve the journalism profession in the country.

The journalists drawn from different media houses were taken through the various aspects of the social network tool Web 2.0 at a two-day workshop facilitated by the International Institute of ICT Journalism (PENPLUSBYTES) in partnership with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the French Embassy.

Mrs. Francine Meyer, deputy head of the French mission at the French Embassy, expressed the commitment of her government to equip the Ghana International Press Centre with modern equipment to help journalists in the country to further develop their skills.

"The process of empowering the media with new skills is very important because the media play a crucial role in developing informed citizenry," she said. Over the years the French government had remained committed in the training of Ghanaian journalists especially in the area of ICTs. In 2005, journalists from selected media institutions were trained in on-line journalism and in 2006 another training programme was organized for a group of journalists out of which evolved a network known as the Ghana Association of Journalists in ICTs. The workshop organized on the theme; "Improving the quality of journalism using Web 2.0" was also organized on the premises that most journalists in the country lacked the requisite skills to apply basic ICTs in their work.

Major media institutions currently have ICT facilities but lack of knowledge in the basic uses has rendered the facilities idle with some journalists giving constant excuses that their offices lacked ICT equipment.

Mr. Ransford Tetteh, President of the GJA, welcomed the workshop and said it offered participants to learn more about the powerful tools of ICTs, including editing and publishing on-line.

He expressed the hope that the workshop would help spread the use of ICsT and make it an important feature and function of the Ghanaian media.

Mr. Frank Agyekum, Deputy Minister of Information and National Orientation (MINO) said it was important for the developing world to bridge the widening ICT gap between the developed and the developing world.

He however warned that whilst making efforts to learn and apply ICT tools such as web 2.0, journalists should guard against using web content posted by quacks who paraded as journalists.

Kwami Ahiabenu II, President of PENPLUSBYTES said there was a growing need for training journalists in ICTs for them to become more functional in the evolving information age.

No comments: