Some Senior High students have been advised to pursue a career in journalism to create positive change in Ghana and beyond.
The General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr. Edmund Kofi Yeboah, who was speaking with students during the launch of Pen Club Ghana, at the Faith Community Baptist School, Madina in Accra, indicated that Journalism is one of the best tools for national development.
Pen Club Ghana, is a press mentoring club for Senior High Students who are close to making a career choice. It is aimed at harnessing and promoting intellectual and professional writing among students and also to create a strong community of writers that would emphasize the core mandate of journalistic writing.
Mr. Yeboah gave an account of how Journalism has played a significant role in shaping the nation, addressing societal challenges, as well as promoting development in the country. “Through the work of Journalism, now they found some solution I must say to that problem we used to have. This is what Journalism can do to us, it helps us to change lives”, he said.
He added the 1992 Constitution of Ghana has empowered Journalists to act as watchdogs for leaders to deliver on their mandate for national development. “Out of the 30 million people in this country, Journalists or the media have been entrusted with the power to make sure that the government is doing what it is supposed to do,” he noted.
A media Consultant and Trainer at the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, who chaired the event emphasized on some core mandates of the Centre, and urged students to maximize the opportunity to be active members of the club.
Mr Otufodunrin also stressed that Journalism is not just a prestigious profession, but has a role to play in holding governments accountable.
A TV personality and Broadcast Journalist at Ghone TV, Serwaa Amihere, also encouraged the students to decide on a career choice while they are still in secondary school, and ensure that they have relevant and appropriate mentors who will nurture them to become a master in their chosen profession in the future.
She said being a female broadcaster in a male-dominated profession comes with numerous challenges, but with focus and perseverance, “you will always achieve your target”.
Miss Amihere advised the club members to be abreast with current affairs, especially news content to stay on top of happenings in the country. She encouraged them to read news and its related items on various websites and social media to build themselves.
“Go to Starrfm.com.gh and go and read what is happening there. Go to 3FM, go to Myjoyonline, go and read what is happening there. As for the Instagram, the Facebook and Twitter, it will always be there,” she said.
The Online Editor of Starrfm.com.gh, Kwame Danso Acheampong, who shared similar view as Miss Amihere, also encouraged the students to inculcate the habit of reading to enrich their vocabulary, and also improve their writing skills.
He emphasized some important characteristics of Journalism is accuracy and being factual. He said there is therefore the need for the club members to prioritize professionalism as they begin to write for public consumption.
He noted since Journalism deals with people’s reputation, it is very important to always crosscheck information before they put it out there for the public. “In journalism you are dealing with people’s reputation, you do not rush to provide information about people only because you want to report first. You have to be truthful, you have to be honest, you have to be accurate and you have to be accountable”.
He added that Journalists are supposed to show signs of responsibility and humanity, and not only be interested in getting information for their reports.
The founder of the club, Josephine Asabea Akonor, expressed gratitude to the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism for their initiative in empowering women to also assume leadership positions.
She called on all stakeholders to support the club for it to stand on its feet, and make the needed impact in the country.
Source: Daily Mail GH