Ghanaian Journalists train on Oil and Gas reporting

BY: Isaac Yeboah

Beginning Tuesday, June 25, ten selected Ghanaian journalists from across the country will be taken through an intensive six months training to effectively report on Ghana’s burgeoning oil and gas sector revenues and resources.

The training forms part of the “Empowering the Media to Play an Active Watchdog Role over Ghana’s Oil and Gas Revenue and Resources” project being undertaken by the International Institute of ICT Journalism ( Penplusbytes) with funding and technical support from STAR-Ghana.

The project aims to improve 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 and ultimately help the media to play an effective watchdog role over Ghana’s Oil and Gas revenues and resources.

The activity-based training workshop incorporates skills modules and will offer reporting & writing tips. The training will be an interactive one which will involve reviews and assistance to trainees as they produce stories and explore the issues involved in reporting on the extractive sector to better educate the general public and provide CSOs and parliament with the necessary information to effectively hold government accountable over the oil gas revenues and resources.

Jeremiah Sam, ProjectsDirector of Penplusbytes explains that “at the end of the course, journalists will gain more knowledge about the country’s oil and gas sector, improve their news gathering skills and be equipped with the ability to analyze and interpret data from the sector. The course will also enable the participating journalists have a better understanding of the legal and policy framework governing the sector so that they are able to better inform the citizens and ensure good governance over the sector.”

Albert Futukpor, one of the selected journalists from the Ghana News Agency (GNA) based in Tamale says “this is a brilliant opportunity for me to upgrade my knowledge on the sector and to be able to write in-depth stories that will go a long way to inform citizens on the sector. It will also afford me a chance to gain actual knowledge on operations in the sector.”

Apart from this training workshop, Penplusbytes has carried out a baseline research to establish the nature of reporting and writing by the Ghanaian media on the sector and plans future activities like a field trip to the home of Ghana’s oil in the Western region where journalists will have a first-hand experience of oil production.

Penplusbytes will also organize forums across the country where topical oil and gas issues will be discussed. It also plans to outdoor a vibrant oil and gas website to serve as a platform for CSOs and journalists to engage each other and also exchange knowledge and information on the extractive sector for better advocacy on Ghana’s oil and gas resources and revenues.