The premier communication school, the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) last Saturday held a dinner and gala night in Accra to climax its 60th-anniversary celebration, with a call on media organisations to make room for interns from communication institutions.
The Director-General in charge of Operations of the Ghana Police Service, Commissioner of Police (COP) George Alex Mensah, said the media organisations would be the beneficiaries if communication graduates were better equipped with practical skills.
COP Mensah, who was the guest of honour at the event, acknowledged efforts made by the GIJ with regard to providing practical training for students over the years and urged other communication institutions to follow the institute’s example.
"I commend the GIJ for its efforts at ensuring practical training for students. One reason is because these days we find many college graduates who struggle to get experience and find jobs.
"I encourage practical training because I believe there are many industry leaders who can help. May I humbly appeal to media and industry leaders from corporations, institutions, advertising and marketing firms to make a commitment of collaborating with the institute to create space, so that students can learn their chosen craft well and put their theory into practice," he said.
He gave an assurance that the Ghana Police Service was ready to receive students who would like to do their internship at its Public Relations Directorate.
The dinner brought together media practitioners, staff and alumni of the GIJ, members of the Diplomatic Corps, including the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Mrs Stephanie Sanders Sullivan, and representatives from stakeholders, such as the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the National Media Commission (NMC).
Patrons were treated to live band music by the Ghana Police Band, with performances from Amandzeba Nat Brew and Okyeame Kwame.
COP Mensah commended the GIJ for its achievements over the years, adding that it had made an immense contribution to national development through communication.
"With the theme of the 60th anniversary being ‘Celebrating our past: Inspiring our future’, I look at GIJ’s output over the past 60 years and I say the institute has made great contribution to the development of Ghana.
"For six decades, GIJ has been educating and training people to become journalists, specialists in public relations, advertising and marketing. Over the years, these trained communicators have boosted the country's professional workforce, contributed to the industry and made a positive impact on our national development," he added.
He urged all stakeholders to contribute to the GH¢100 million Endowment Fund launched by the institute.
Digital Media Hub
The Rector of the GIJ, Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Addo, explained that the fund would be channelled into the establishment of a Digital Media Hub to serve both local and international students, faculty and communication practitioners.
"Ultimately, we need your support. The institute has many urgent needs. As the student enrolment is growing at an exponential rate, we need to expand facilities to offer adequate teaching, learning and research resources.
"Raising money for the fund will help secure the future of the GIJ by pursuing its mission in the long term. Proceeds from the fund’s investments will support pressing needs,” he said.
Prof. Kwansah-Addo paid tribute to a former Editor of The Mirror and the Ghanaian Times, Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, for her many years of dedicated service to journalism in the country.
He commended her for her inspiring column in The Mirror: ‘Thoughts of a Native Daughter’.
He said growing up, ‘Thoughts of a Native Daughter’ was his favourite newspaper column which he always looked up to read every week.
"Every week, I looked forward in anticipation to reading the column and I give credit to Ms Yeboah-Afari for igniting my interest in communication," he said.
Watch images below: