Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"By the Numbers: Tracing the Statistical Correlation Between Press Freedom and Democracy,

CIMA is pleased to release "By the Numbers: Tracing the Statistical Correlation Between Press Freedom and Democracy," researched and written by Karin Deutsch Karlekar, Freedom House's project director of Freedom of the Press, and journalism professor Lee Becker, director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia. 


It is generally accepted that media freedom is beneficial to democratic and economic development, but the exact nature of this relationship and the direction of causality between press freedom and general freedoms is under-researched. Rigorous and in-depth examinations of the relationship between press freedom and general democracy using the available global datasets have been limited. This study investigates the nature of that relationship using the two leading indices and is an important contribution to a subject that merits further study and analysis.  


For more information on the Center for International Media Assistance, please explore our website at, or contact us at

International Institute for ICT Journalism

Monday, April 21, 2014

Submission open for the WASH Media Awards 2014

Submission open for the 2014 WASH Media Awards

Are you a journalist covering water and sanitation issues? SIWI and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) now welcome entries for the 5th edition of the WASH Media Awards.

WASH Media Awards recognise and support the crucial role of the media in raising awareness of the importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene services (WASH). The award aims to help improve access to water and sanitation services by having a positive influence on politicians, business persons, civil society representatives, and individual citizens.
To be eligible, entries must be published or broadcast between: 15 June 2013 and 15 June 2014. Deadline for applications is 15 June, 2014.
Journalists may submit a piece within the following themes:
  • Water and Energy
  • Equity and Inclusion in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • Ending Open Defecation
  • The Human Right to Water and Sanitation
  • WASH in the Future: The Post-2015 Development Agenda
  • Monitoring WASH Commitments
Journalists may submit one piece of work using one of the following formats:
  • Print & Online
  • TV (including documentaries)
  • Radio
  • Published cartoons & photos
Prizes and Eligibility
Six prizes will be awarded, one for each of the themes identified above. Entries can come from any developing or middle-income country. Prize winners will receive a cash award and the opportunity to participate in the World Water Week in Stockholm – the world's leading water event  31 August - 5 September 2014 as special guests of WSSCC and SIWI.
Submission is made through the WSSCC website where you can download the entry form. Submit your entry before 15 June.

More information:
You can read more about the WASH Media Awards either on WSSCC website or SIWI website.
If you have questions, contact:
Sanna Gustafsson, SIWI
Phone: +46 (0) 8 121 360 36

International Institute for ICT Journalism

Monday, April 07, 2014

Forum On Data Journalism For Improved Healthcare Delivery

Each year, hundreds of women in Ghana lose their lives during child birth, leading to Ghana scoring low on MDG 5, in light of this situation, Penplusbytes with funding and technical support from STAR-Ghana is undertaking the "Open Ghana - Data Journalism for Improved Maternal Healthcare Delivery" project which will generate compelling data driven stories to support the fight against high rate of maternal mortality.

 As part of project implementation, a one day forum is being organised to bring together ordinary citizens, journalists, civil society organizations (CSOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) on the 10th of April, 2014 at the Sky Plus Hotel in Ho, Volta Region to directly engage with health officials and demand responsiveness from the District Health Services (DHSs) officials on maternal healthcare expenditure. 

The project is being implemented in four districts in the Volta region - Ho Municipal, Hohoe Municipal, Kpando and South Dayi districts since according to the Ghana Health Service report the region was among 3 regions in Ghana which were struggling to attain the 50% target for skilled delivery set by the GHS under MDG5 as stated in the 2011 Ghana Health Service Annual Report.

According to Mr. Maxwell Adu-Gyamfi, the Project Coordinator, "Since data journalism is still in its infancy we have designed this project not only to equip the media with the skills to decipher data on maternal health but to undertake in-depth and investigative stories that will best inform citizens and also draw duty-bearers attention to issues impedes effective maternal health care delivery for the necessary action to be taken to help reduce maternal mortality in the region"

The Volta Regional Minister, Ms Helen Adjoa Ntoso, and the Regional Director of Health, Dr. Joseph Teye Nuertey, will grace the occasion and Dr. Francis Zotor, the Dean of the School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) will deliver the keynote address and also double as the Chairman of the occasion.

The key objective of this project is to empower the media to use the techniques and innovations in data-driven journalism to tell impactful stories on maternal healthcare delivery; advocate for better maternal health delivery. Another objective is to provide a platform for the media and CSOs to hold responsive agencies and structures accountable in delivering improved Maternal Health.

Editor’s Note

Established in 2001, Penplusbytes is a leading organization in Africa working in 3 areas: governance and accountability, new media and innovations as well as oil, gas and mining.
It consists of a network of media organizations and journalists interested in using ICTs to effectively advance high quality journalism

Star-Ghana is a multi- donor pooled funding mechanism (Funded by DFID, DANIDA, EU and USAID) to increase the influence of civil society and Parliament in the governance of public goods and service delivery, with the ultimate goal of improving the accountability and responsiveness of Ghana´s government, traditional authorities and the private sector

Apply Now!!! Training opportunity in Oil and Gas

The International Institute of ICT Journalism (Penplusbytes) with technical support from Star-Ghana will be carrying out an intensive media capacity building programme for suitably qualified Ghanaian journalists who are interested in oil and gas reporting.
The program, will run for a period of 6 months and offer ample learning opportunity for 10 qualified journalists. The initial training workshop which includes a field trip begins from the 19th to the 24th of May 2014. The purpose of this training program is to improve the coverage of oil and gas stories by the Ghanaian media leading to an increase in the quantity and quality (in terms of in-depth and investigative reporting) of oil and gas stories thus resulting in the media playing an effective watchdog role over Ghana’s Oil and Gas revenues and resources.

As a competitive process, places will be offered to reporters who make the strongest applications. Journalists interested in this offer should apply 
All applications for this program must be submitted before or on 28th APRIL, 2014.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Develop master gas plan for Ghana

Government has been urged to consider developing a master gas plan for Ghana and also consider laying before parliament the petroleum exploration and production bill.

This, according to analysts was very urgent, because it would provide the framework for the exploitation of Ghana’s gas potential, where incentives that would attract investors to come in, explore and develop gas fields would clearly be stated.

For instance, according to the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), an energy policy think tank in Ghana, even though the first gas delivery from the jubilee fields for the Ghana Gas Company was expected in the middle of this year, there were still a number of outstanding operational steps to be undertaken with regards to who actually owns the gas.

Speaking at a roundtable meeting with some journalists in Accra on the theme, “Gas Commercialisation as a Solution to Ghana’s Energy Crisis – Myth or Reality, the Executive Director of ACEP, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam maintained that the problem of ownership of jubilee gas was yet to be resolved.

Who owns jubilee gas

He said in the contracts signed with jubilee partners, the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) owns the gas but the mandate establishing Ghana Gas gives the company the power to own gas, transport and sell it. 

“So would GNPC continue to own gas on behalf of Ghana or will it be transferred to Ghana Gas,” he asked.

“Apart from this we are yet to sign an agreement with the jubilee partners with the evacuation of gas which would govern the relationship.” 

He said the Volta River Authority (VRA) was supposed to be the primary user of jubilee gas, yet a gas purchase agreement between VRA and Ghana Gas or GNPC, or whoever the owner would be was yet to be signed.

“And these are not simple issues. If we want to wait until gas is delivered before we are running around to sign those appropriate agreements.”

The roundtable meeting was organised by the International Institute of ICT Journalism - Penplusbytes in partnership with Revenue Watch institute - Natural Resource Charter, for 32 journalists and editors who have successfully completed a “Strengthening Media Oversight over Extractive Industries” training programme.

Gas master plan

Dr Adam, an expert in energy policy contributing to the discussions at the meeting said there have been talks for some time now on the master gas plan but it was yet to be developed.

“We need it as a matter of urgency because that gives us the alternative uses of gas and how we can ensure that over a certain period gas is delivering to us what we need from gas.”

According to him, a gas poison policy for instance which was recently developed was a bold attempt but government needs to go beyond that to develop gas rules – rules for determining gas prices because it would provide some regulatory certainty to any investor who wants to come into the sector.

“If we are able to take these appropriate steps, I believe the rest of the gas reserves, which at the moment are not unplanned for commercialisation would be brought on-stream to add to the sources of fuel needed to provide reliable power to Ghanaians

Challenges in power sector

He maintained that most of the challenges in the power sector have been attributed to the inability to procure sufficient light crude oil or diesel to bring all oil fired plants on-stream

He said Ghana has become infectious with gas in recent times because for the first time, the power crisis have not been attributed to water shortage or low levels at the Akosombo Dam but as a result to shortage of gas.

He said putting up more gas plants meant the country would be vulnerable when gas was not available.

International Institute for ICT Journalism