The Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, has stated that the country needs ethical communicators to help achieve its development agenda.
He said ethical communicators played a fundamental role in decision-making towards nation building for which reason media institutions must take particular interest in it.
Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo made the statement in his address at the 4th congregation of the GIJ’s School of Graduate Studies and Research in Accra yesterday.
It was on the theme: “Promoting development through graduate education in media and communication.”
Two hundred and eight students graduated in four Master of Arts (MA) programmes.
They comprised eight students in MA in Journalism, 93 in MA in Public Relations, 87 in MA in Development Communication, and 20 in MA in Media Management.
The MA in Journalism programme focuses on training people from diverse backgrounds to apply and utilise concepts and models of journalism within the broad social science traditions of media and communication, while the MA in Public Relations is designed to develop the manpower potential of this brand of professionals to utilise public relations strategies in their organisations.
The MA in Media Management programme focuses on providing higher skills and knowledge for people who are managing the media, as well as the future generation of media practitioners aspiring to become media owners and managers, while the MA in Development Communication is targeted at filling an intellectual and professional gap identified in educational and national development.
Relevance of media
Reiterating the importance of the media in nation building, Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo said no country would be able to function or make progress without effective media and communication practitioners.
He said education in journalism and communication was crucial for shaping the socio-political, cultural and economic life of the country.
“Promoting media and communication education at the graduate level is crucial to the development of the nation,” he stressed, adding that media and communication constituted the backbone of democratic governance.
The Rector said the institute was thus planning to introduce new academic programmes at the graduate level to prepare its graduate students to meet industry needs.
“We are considering expanding our academic programmes to include a Sandwich programme, an MPhil programme and others,” Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo said and added: “The graduate school has sought to be responsive to the needs of both students and industry.”
Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo urged the graduating students to always apply the knowledge they acquired at the institute wherever they would find themselves.
“We need communicators who will resist the temptation of taking liberties with both the truth and their professional training,” he told the graduates.
For his part, the Chairman of the institute’s Governing Council, Prof. Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh, implored the graduates to push the name of the institute a notch higher.
He said the GIJ would continue to train professionals and academics who would meet the needs of both society and industry.
The Guest Speaker, Mr Kabral Blay Amihere, a former Chairman of National Media Commission, commended the forebears of the institute for their foresight, noting that although the pioneers of the institute had little academic credentials, they were able to foresee a brighter future for Ghana’s media industry.
He said the vision of the founders of the GIJ ought to inspire both the graduating, continuing and prospective students of the school “to aspire for higher things in whatever they do.”
Mr Amihere said the ever-changing media industry required people with the requisite knowledge and creativity to remain relevant in the industry.
He, therefore, entreated the graduating students not to be only interested in the certificates they would get after their graduation but also to strive to impact society positively and to be good ambassadors of the institute.