The Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Dr. Wilberforce Dzisah, has urged the media to lead and encourage frank discussion of national issues, devoid of partisan politics, as a strategy for forging peace, unity and national stability.
Dr. Dzisah said “the role of the media cannot be over-emphasised, and we are to let the combative spirit with which we come out with stories, inform our ultimate desire to be part of the task for construction of peace and enhancement of the process of stability and development”.
Speaking at the 9th Congregation of the GIJ in Accra, Dr. Dzisah noted that “journalism, which derives its inspiration from personal slight, sense of hurt or unsubstantiated self-importance cannot help those who indulge in it “on the community”.
“The journalist in our social context must also learn the virtue of humility, a virtue once learnt should not make the possessor so proud as to become a curse to society. The arrogance that comes with the power of the pen can be more deadly than the one that accompanies the sword”, he stated.
He said as an Institute training media professional, it was concerned about standards and the quality of journalism.
Dr. Dzisah said after over two decades of multiparty democracy, the time was ripe to consolidate the gains of the country’s democracy, and called for a national discourse devoid of hatred, personal attacks and acrimony, a path that he believed could be led by the media.
In order to achieve the above, Dr. Dzisah said a number of policies had been introduced, including compulsory internship programmes for the students, in order to better prepare them for their practice.
Touching on the future of GIJ, he said a new four-storey building, comprising lecture theatres and a modern library, was being worked on to take care of the growing student population.
On the intention to review the organisational structure of the institute, Dr. Dzisah said the management and the board had reviewing the law setting up the institute and forwarded it to the National Council for Ttertiary Education (NCTE) for the consideration.
That would lead to the redesigning and expansion of the existing faculties and departments, including a possible change of name to reflect its status as a fully fledged university.
He advised the graduates to see themselves as the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators to move the country forward.
The Chairman of the GIJ council, Mr. Berfi Apenteng, in his address, noted that the institute was facing the problem of residential accommodation for students, and hinted that it was going into a Private-Public Partnership arrangement to help address the accommodation deficit.
The ceremony was on the theme,“Media and Communication: A Tool for Promoting Unity and Stability”.
In all, 529 students, comprising of 179 males and 340 females, graduated with honours in Journalism and Public Relations.
By Julius Yao Petetsi