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21.02.2005 General News

Highlight ethics in media training - NMC

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Accra, Feb. 21, GNA - The National Media Commission (NMC) on Monday urged media training institutions to make media ethics a priority subject in the studies of students before they graduate. The NMC said when that was done, journalists who graduated from such institutions, would be ethically responsible, thus improving standards in the country.

Speaking on behalf of the NMC, Mr Kingsford Amoah, a Member of the Commission, expressed worry over the current low standards of journalism and urged all journalists to adhere to high ethical standards. Mr Amoah said this at the launch of the Accra Business News (ABN), a newspaper produced and published by the African Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC), a private journalism school. He commended the institute for producing the newspaper, expressing the hope that it would stand the test of time. He urged the management of the Institute to continue to be "a creative leader" in offering communication and journalism training in the country.

The eight-page newspaper, which would come out monthly for the first six months after which it would be produced fortnightly six months and then come out weekly, is to be produced by students of the Institute.

The first three copies were sold at one million cedis each during the launch. It would be sold at 2,000 cedis a copy.

Mr Ekow Afedzi, General Manager, Ghana Stock Exchange, who launched the paper, asked the editorial team to do critical analysis of financial issues before they were published to enable the paper to earn credibility, which would ultimately attract more patronage.

"Most journalists lack the requisite financial training, so they either misinform or misrepresent financial issues to the public," Mr Afedzi noted, citing the recent increase in the price of petroleum products and the transportation fares. He said radio presenters monitored for instance were found not to be able to educate the public well about it.

He gave assurance of his company's willingness to offer training in economics and financial reporting to members of the ABN editorial board. Mr Bright Blewu, General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), who chaired the launch, said the Association would come out with a training manual that had been drafted out of a training programme organised for financial and economic journalists last October. The manual, which is currently under review by various media organisations, including the Ghana Institute of Journalism, School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana and the AIJC, was expected to be ready by April to serve as a guide to reporters.

Mr Kojo Yankah, President of AIJC said the ABN, which would initially be distributed in the Accra metropolis, would compete actively with all the private papers on the market and would live up to its name of reporting for socio-economic development.

He said it was sad that 70 per cent of the space of mist private newspapers was devoted to political news, although financial news stood a "better chance of enhancing our socio-economic development". "This is a sad state of affairs, considering that it is only an in-depth understanding and analysis of our economic and social affairs that can guarantee economic and social freedom." 21 Feb. 05

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