Trans Africa Media Trust, the training division of Trans Africa Publishing Company Limited, publishers of Africa Week magazine, is to set up a postgraduate training school for financial and economic journalism in the country.
The school will serve the West African sub-region. Elaborate preparations, including the provision of campus and other logistics, infrastructure, accreditation, administrative and technical support, as well as engagement of faculty had been done and the school will open in September, 2007.
Trans Africa also publishes Sky High magazine, Ghana Business and Holiday Guide.
Apart from training university graduates with qualifications in economics who wish to enter journalism as professionals, the graduate school, to be located in Accra, will train graduates from other disciplines and promising journalists might benefit from the training.
A press release issued by the Trans Africa Media Trust in London and made available to the Daily Graphic said after many years of research and planning, the trust had obtained the commitment of business and industry to support the opening of the school in Ghana.
The release said the World Bank had noted that media personnel, particularly in Africa, often lacked the technical expertise to carry out meaningful economic and financial reporting.
It said many African journalists were not trained economists and therefore did not have the requisite background knowledge in economics, corporate finance and other subjects useful for an understanding of the economic and financial sectors of African countries.
“There is therefore a dire need for training African journalists who would take a more incisive look at economic and financial issues for the good of African countries," the release said.
"The media in Africa needs to play a more meaningful role in the economic development of the continent and the goal of the graduate school is to train journalists who will be able to provide credible information that would help citizens to make informed decisions and participate in the economic development and stability of African countries,” the release added.
The release quoted Mr Dominic Cooper, the General Secretary of the United Kingdom Chartered Institute of Journalists, as saying that “this is very good news for journalists in Africa.
They have not always had the opportunities available to their counterparts in other advanced countries so a school that aims to build on the skills of journalists is very timely indeed”.
According to Mr Cooper, the school would provide journalists with the relevant skills in economic and financial reporting and make the profession more attractive to other financial and economic experts in Africa.