Koforidua (E/R), Oct 30, GNA - Mr Baba Jamal, Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, has advised journalists to perform their duties devoid of personal biases to ensure the development of the country.
He said the media is regarded as the Fourth Estate of the realm, explaining that, just like the other three arms of government, a lot is expected of media practitioners to ensure that the country attains her socio-economic and political objectives.
Mr Jamal said this at a workshop for journalists on: "Gender Discrimination and Violence against Adolescent Girls", organized by Plan Ghana, an international child-centered community development non-governmental organization, at Koforidua, in the Eastern Region.
The four-day workshop, which brought together about 30 journalists, formed part of the NGO's "Girls Making Media" project, aimed at eliminating gender discrimination by helping talented adolescent girls to enter the journalism profession. It also aims at improving the quality of media reportage on adolescent girls.
In all, 140 adolescent girls have been selected from senior high schools in the Hohoe Municipality and Sogakope in the Volta Region and Asesewa in the Eastern Region to benefit from the programme.
Mr Jamal expressed worry about how some journalists cover news events by sensationalising or blowing issues out of proportion. "This does not augur well for national development."
He suggested that every media practitioner must undergo a formal training at an accredited journalism institution before being engaged to work in the industry.
He commended Plan Ghana for its initiatives at bringing relief to deprived communities as well as assisting and empowering girls in deprived communities to realize their full potentials.
Mr George Yorke, Southern Sector Manager of Plan Ghana, expressed optimism that the programme would enable the beneficiaries to become professional journalists and help champion issues of community development.
Mr Yorke said depending on the success of the pilot, Plan Ghana would replicate the programme in other parts of the country.