Senior journalists and editors are attending a training workshop on Strengthening media oversight of oil, gas and minerals in Ghana and Uganda at the Capital View Hotel in Koforidua.
The workshop, according to Mr Kwami Ahiabenu, a Director at Penplusbytes who organized the workshop in collaboration with Revenue Watch International, is designed to "Increase the quantity and quality of stories in" the media.
Explaining the rationale for the workshop, Mr Ahiabenu said, "Good governance of oil, gas and mining resources and revenues requires effective oversight. A knowledgeable and active media is critical to having an informed and engaged public, civil society and parliament that can hold government and companies to account. However, in many resource-rich countries, journalists often lack knowledge and skills in investigating oil, gas and mineral issues."
The workshop is therefore meant to equip journalists and editors with the requisite knowledge and skills to enable them adequately cover the sector. The objective of Penplusbytes, he said, is to offer "learning opportunities, coaching and mentoring of journalists and media organization in ICT Journalism."
The president of the Ghana Journalists Association, Mr Ransford Tetteh, and his Secretary, Mr Bright Blewu are both in attendance.
Mr Blewu said the presence of the two of them in the workshop demonstrates the importance they attach to issues relating to media coverage of oil and gas issues.
Communications Manager of Tullow Oil, one of the Jubilee partners, Mr Gayheart Mensah, reiterated the need for expectations of the citizenry about the contributions of oil to the economy to be managed. In his own words, "Our expectations need to be tempered."
While saying the oil find is quite significant and will provide Ghana with some reprieve, the point must be emphasized, he maintained, that expectations that Ghana will be transformed overnight because of oil, are unrealistic.