Student journalists advised to show keen interest in education reporting
Student journalists have been advised to show interest in education journalism to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which emphasises quality education for all by 2030.
Also, they should apprise themselves of the importance of reporting on educational issues and report on them effectively to not only help achieve SDG 4 but also play a significant role in highlighting the importance of this socio-development tool in national development.
A Senior Lecturer and Dean of the School of Alternative Learning (SAL) at the University of Media Arts and Communication, Ghana Institute of Journalism (UniMAC-GIJ), Dr Stanley K.M. Semarco, gave the advice at the 10th Inter-Facult Lecture, which took place yesterday.
The seminar, organised under the auspices of the Directorate of Research, Innovations and Development (DRID) of UNiMAC-GIJ, sought to delve into the heart of education communication and schooling issues on the theme:
“Considering Education Communication and Schooling Issues: The Education Beat Terrain Reporters Wish to Travel”.
Dr Semarco said: “Education is key when it comes to societies’ development because there is no way any society can develop without education.”
The lecture was based on Dr Semarco’s research work which sought to gain knowledge from lecturers in different faculties on the topic: Share ideas, learn and give recommendations, to publish in a journal.
Speaking on what motivated his research work, Dr Semarco said he sought to understand whether journalists prioritised reporting on educational issues in the country and asked the question: “Is education the preferred news?”
He explained that it was possible to achieve SDG 4 when media houses informed the public about important issues and influence “how these topics are prioritised and understood”.
Dr Semarco said it was vital to address the relevance of the media in reporting educational stories.
However, there was a need to explore the relevance of the key human resources (journalists) in reporting education stories.
Dr Semarco indicated that for a student to acquire educational knowledge, they must observe what goes on in their educational institutions, read online educational materials, subscribe to educational journals and join associations.
“The skills taught in every journalism institutions can be applied in every career route.
Students should use their institution as case studies and write stories about the institutions as freelance journalists and create education news blogs,” he added.
A barrier to publishing educational stories, Dr Semarco noted, was that heads of education institutions were reluctant to grant interviews or allow students to grant interviews.