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14.04.2009 General News

Be Professional In Oil And Gas Reporting - Journalists Told

By The Statesman
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Business and Finance Journalists have been admonished to guard against comments by politicians and so called concerned citizens that tend to heightened tension in certain areas of the country that are rich in natural resources.

Delivering a paper on best reporting approaches on the oil and gas industry, Ebow Haizel Fergusson, Corporate Affairs and Community Relations Director of Sigma Base Technical Services in Takoradi regarded the oil and gas industry as a new phenomenon to Ghanaians, "therefore the more information we seek about the industry the more assertive we can become by doing right and avoid chaos in our country".

Mr. Fergusson made this known at a two day workshop attended by members of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists at the Busua Beach Hotel, Princess Town, in the Western Region last week.

 The event, which was sponsored by Goil Ghana Limited, Tropical Cable and Conductors Limited, GNPC among others sought to enhance the knowledge of the journalists on the emerging oil and gas industry to help them file accurate reports.

Mr. Ferguson believes that the media has the ability to either unite or break the country apart depending on how they educate and enlighten the Ghanaian public about the new industry in relation to the host community issues.

He urged the media to do well and encourage issues that make the oil find a blessing to the country instead of a curse which Ghana's neighbour, Nigeria is grappling with.

According to Mr Ferguson, recent reportage on the industry in the region have been raising tension in the area and if not controlled could get out of control.

He advised journalists to conduct their own independent investigations into complaints that are made to them to ascertain the real truth.

Giving his experience from the Niger Delta, where he worked as a journalist reporting on oil and gas for over 20 years, he attributed the disturbances in the area to the unguarded statements of politicians and reports filed by journalists who lack the knowledge to accurately discern the facts.

 He told Ghanaian journalists to use the Nigerian situation as a guide to avoid repeating the same here.

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