Thursday, September 26, 2013

STAR-Ghana signs agreement with partners including Penplusbytes

STAR-Ghana on Wednesday signed a two million- dollar grant contract with 21 media organisations to strengthen media-civil society collaboration for greater transparency, accountability and responsiveness at all levels of governance.

STAR-Ghana, which is a multi-donor pooled funding organisation, partnered by the European Union, UK Department For International Development, Danish International Development Agency and United States Agency for International Development, seeks to increase the influence of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Parliament in the governance of public goods and services.

The beneficiaries are made up of seven television stations, two ICT-based organisations, 11 radio stations and the country's only wire service- Ghana News Agency.

The rest are; Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Omni Media, Skyy Media Group, Global Media Alliance Broadcast Company and International Institute for ICT Journalism.

Others are the Rural Media Network, Three Heads and a Pen Productions Limited, Gift FM, FMSL Multimedia Limited (RITE FM) and Shaft FM, Ankobra FM, Blogging Ghana, Centre for Intercultural Learning and Talent Development, Creative Storm Network, TV3, Word FM, Diamond FM, Kesmi FM and Multi TV.

Professor Akilakpa Sawyerr, Chairman of STAR-Ghana, said the organisation is focusing on certain thematic areas, including promoting quality basic education, rural health, oil and gas sector with gender and social inclusion being cross-cutting issues.

He therefore underscored the important role of the media as key stakeholders in achieving the goals.

Prof Sawyerr said the success of the programmes would largely depend on how best the media collaborate with the CSOs to provide the requisite information on the issues and a voice to the people for their welfare and development.

He said STAR-Ghana had already provided financial and technical support to the media and other CSO's to bring about change, ensure peace and transparency during Election 2012 among other things.

Mr Jens-Peter Dybark, Chairman of the Funders Committee, challenged the media to be innovative and find ways of helping the public to be better informed about critical issues that affect their development.

The media should also provide a wider platform for the public to channel their concerns on key issues on national development.

Mr Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, Team Leader of Star-Ghana, expressed satisfaction about the partnership and promised more support to make it viable.


International Institute for ICT Journalism

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

KAS Media Africa Scholarship for African Journalists

KAS Media Africa Scholarship

KAS Media Africa is offering two scholarships for
promising, young (under 30) sub-Saharan African
journalists to do a full-time Honours or Masters degree (MA or BA Hons in Journalism and Media Studies) at the University of Witwatersrand's Journalism Programme in Johannesburg.

The scholarship includes:

  • One return flight to Johannesburg
  • A monthly stipend of 7 000 ZAR
  • Coverage of study fees and health insurance costs
  • A one-time payment of 2 500 ZAR for study material
  • Candidates need to be under 30 and fluent in English.
  • For Honours, candidates must have at least three years' working experience and either an undergraduate degree or pass an entrance test.
  • For Masters, candidates must have a degree equivalent to the BA Hons in Journalism and at least three years' working experience.
  • Candidates have to work closely with KAS Media Africa during their stay in Johannesburg and write a bi-monthly narrative report on their study progress.

Applicants need to submit:
  • A motivation letter
  • A CV
  • Writing samples
  • At least 2 letters of nomination/reference by a senior journalist, publisher or academic
  • A completed Wits application form (available from

Applications via e-mail are accepted until October 31, 2013, to Candidates will have to make themselves available for a (skype) interview.

The decision on who gets the scholarship will be made by 15 Nov. The academic year starts on 10 Feb 2014, and ends with the submission of research reports at end- November.

Information on KAS Media Africa:
Information on the University of Witwatersrand 's Journalism Programme:

International Institute for ICT Journalism

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Penplusbytes to equip Liberian Journalists to play better oversight over mining, oil and gas

Penplusbytes in association with the National Black Programming Consortium and with funding from Humanity United is extending its successful African mining, oil and gas skills development opportunity to journalists in Liberia under   "Empowering the Media to Play an Active Watchdog Role over Mining Oil and Gas Revenue and Resources Project."

Liberia is endowed with a significant amount of natural resources notably iron ore, diamonds, gold, timber and rubber.  The Liberian Basin now has proven oil reserves with a number of discoveries announced. This has intensified interest in Liberia's oil and gas sector, albeit commercial production is yet to begin.  In light of this development there is an urgent need to equip Liberian journalists with the skills and knowledge they need to play a greater role in the oversight of oil and gas resources to ensure equitable benefits to the people of Liberia now and in the future.

At the end of the project, selected Liberian journalists will be provided with the skills required to undertake in-depth and investigative stories to better inform citizens and civil society organisations about pertinent issues regarding the oil, gas and mining sector in Liberia. These journalists will play a critical role in holding public officials accountable while demanding transparency in government expenditures from revenues accrued from the extractive sector.

"We have designed this project to span a period of six months with the overall objective of improving the coverage of oil, gas and mining stories by the Liberian media leading to an increase in the quantity and quality of media coverage of the extractive industry  using a combination of interactive sessions, discussions with technical experts, mentoring, field trips and interaction with civil society leaders." said Fred Avornyo, Oil and Gas Team leader.  

Michael Kleinman, Director of Investments at Humanity United said: "We are delighted to support Penplusbytes in making this learning opportunity possible for Liberian journalists as they continue their efforts to investigate and cover Liberia's mining, oil and gas revenue and resources."

The project will also aim at increasing oil and gas information and knowledge exchange between the media and Civil Society Organisations(CSOs) leading to effective opportunities for national dialogue on key oil and gas revenue management issues. Penplusbytes ( has since 2009 trained journalist from Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania on reporting oil and gas. The  ultimate aim  is to  enhance the ability of the media to promote good governance in the  extractive sector by regularly informing and engaging citizens, CSOs and parliament to effectively hold government and companies in the sector accountable. 

Editor's Note:

Penplubytes established in 2001 seeks to empower the media through the use of ICTs to advance the course of journalism in 3 areas: governance and accountability, new media and innovations and oil, gas and mining.

Humanity United is a foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom. We lead, support, and collaborate with a broad network of efforts, ideas, and organizations that share our vision of a world free of conflict and injustice. Learn more at, @HumanityUnited and

National Black Programming Consortium was founded in 1979, to develop, produce and fund media content about the Black experience for public media outlets, including television, digital radio and online. 

International Institute for ICT Journalism

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Empowering the Media to Play Active Watchdog Role over Mining Oil and Gas Revenue and Resources in Liberia Project

The International Institute of ICT Journalism ( ) in partnership with the National Black Programming Consortium ( with funding from Humanity United ( is extending its successful African mining, oil and gas learning opportunity to journalists in Liberia. The main objective is to enhance the capacity of the media to effectively report on the extractive sector.

"Empowering the Media to Play Active Watchdog Role over Mining Oil and Gas Revenue and Resources in Liberia Project", is a six month training programme starting from 30th September with a 7 day workshop, mentoring, field trips and interaction with civil society leaders.

Extractive resources are public assets and decisions about their use should be subject to public  oversight. The media is perhaps the single most important arm of society that can help protect these public assets on the citizens' behalf. However a look at the media in Liberia today, shows there is either very little capacity or appetite to cover the extractive sector.

The purpose of this training programme is to equip Liberian journalists with the necessary skills and knowledge to better inform the citizens on issues of Oil, Gas and Mining with the ultimate aim of holding public officials accountable thereby playing an active watchdog role over Liberia's extractive sector revenues and resources.

There are only 7 places available for Liberian journalists.  As a competitive process, places will be offered to reporters who make the strongest applications. Prospective applicants are required to provide the following:

1. Fill application form at  

2.  Provide examples of any stories (text, audio and Video) related to the extractive industries you have written or broadcast (clearly showing your by-line where applicable and date of publication)

4.  A short biography - no more than 200 words

3. A brief statement explaining how deepening your understanding of oil, gas and mining reporting will contribute to your professional development and that of your media house (200 words maximum)

4. Write a pitch for a story on extractives you would like to pursue – who would you interview and why, what would be the angle and focus of the story and how this relates to your audience

5. Contact information of your editor – telephone, email, postal and physical address

All applications for this program must be submitted before or on 15th September, 2013

For more information write to

Another high quality learning opportunity from   

Follow us on twitter @penplusbytes

International Institute for ICT Journalism