The Ministry of Information has launched a programme to enhance the capacity of practising journalists to boost the quality of journalism in the country.
The ‘Media Capacity Enhancement Programme (MCEP)’ was launched in Accra yesterday.
Under the programme, 250 journalists nationwide will receive annual capacity building. Aboiut 900 registered memebers of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) are expected to benefit from the programme.
Stakeholders partnering the ministry to roll out the programme are the National Media Commission (NMC), the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and the Institute of Public Relations (IPR).
A committee with representation from stakeholder institutions has been put together to facilitate implementation without any ministerial and governmental influence.
The ministry will only be responsible for raising the funds needed to implement the programme, provide technical support and coordinate the activities of the implementing committee.
The programme is designed to create a framework within which academia and practitioners will develop and execute training programmes for practising producers, journalists and editors to enhance their capacity to deliver on their mandate.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Information, Mrs. Mamle Andrews, described the initiative as a media support programme conceptualised by the ministry aimed at assisting the industry to continuously enhance the capacity of the practising media landscape.
She said it sought to bring together stakeholders in the media space, such as academia, civil society organisations and the media, to develop a curriculum that could assist practising journalists to continuously enhance their capacity.
Launching the programme, the Chairman of the implementing committee and Rector of the GIJ, Prof. Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, said ultimately, all stakeholders agreed that there were gaps in media practice and the programme was to help bridge some of the gaps.
He said the broad areas of focus under the programme included the media as a tool for socio-economic development and nation-building; ethics and the journalism mission; journalism, media personnel and the law; digital media and align journalism; impact journalism and investigative journalism.
He said one good thing about the programme was that, unlike the popular saying that the one paying the piper called the tune, the Ministry of Information was allowing the working committee to call the tune.
The Chairman of the NMC, Mr. Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, said the programme was so momentous that everyone who had the good of the Ghanaian media at heart should applaud it.
“For us at the NMC, and personally as a media person, any attempt by the state to empower and enable journalists to perform their duties with capacity must been encouraged and enhanced.
“This is because some of the time our media have erred not necessarily because they intend mischief but because of the lack of appreciation of issues and understanding; what they need sometimes is just a matter of orientation to enable them to put issues in perspective,” he said.