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African American team visits Graphic Newsroom

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo
Kobby Asmah (left), Editor, Graphic addressing the delegation from Xavier University of Louisiana and University of Southern California during the meeting. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY
Kobby Asmah (left), Editor, Graphic addressing the delegation from Xavier University of Louisiana and University of Southern California during the meeting. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY

A team from the Xavier University of Louisiana and the University of Southern California in the United States has paid a visit to the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) to familiarise itself with the operations of the Daily Graphic newsroom.

The visit by the team made up of eight Journalism and Mass Communications students and three faculty members was intended to expose the students to news coverage in Ghana and what journalism generally looks like in the country.

The team was received by the Editor of Graphic, Koby Asmah, and his Deputy, Theophilus Yartey, in Accra yesterday.

Visit

Speaking during a meeting with Mr Asmah and his deputy, the Department Head of Mass Communications at the Xavier University of Louisiana, Dr Shearon Roberts, said the visit was aimed at exposing African American students to how Africans took charge of what issues to write on.

“Being one of the 100 historically Black universities in America, we wanted to have our students learn about how news stories are covered in Ghana and how journalism looks like when Black people get to be in charge of their newsrooms.

“In the US, less than 15 per cent of newsrooms have people who are Black or Asian and they don’t get to decide which stories are important and they don’t get to write about issues that matter to Black people,” she said.

She noted that the visit was, therefore, crucial for African American students, particularly as they were future Black journalists.

“Ghana is a really a good example of a strong, stable democracy and it’s important for African American students to know that Africans actually have a lot of freedom but also have a very strong journalism tradition.

“I think that the most important thing for them to see is that Ghana and Africa in general are not what they see on TV. It is, therefore, very powerful for them to see Black people running their countries and their newsrooms,” Dr Roberts said.

Newsroom operations

Mr Asmah explained to the visiting team the operations of the newsroom and the various media brands of the company.

He said the GCGL was putting measures in place to ensure good online visibility in the media space.

He explained that whatever story was put out by the Daily Graphic had a national character, spoke for the ordinary person, ensured safety and security and freedom of expression.

“We are at the place where we consider ourselves as the conscience of the nation, so whatever we do here, we are nation-minded. Our whole attitude and approach is: the nation first,” he said.

He noted that the GCGL did not appreciate stories that were self-centred and rather produced stories focused on demanding accountability from the government.

“We write on the positive and the negative; we believe it is when we drive the two that we can also play our part in the good governance processes of the country, and that is what we do,” he said.

Online visibility

In view of the company’s online platform, Mr Yartey said, a team was in place to produce authentic, accurate and trustworthy information.

He said the company had over one million followers across social media platforms where it engaged its customers to improve its relationship with them.