Eighty-eight media practitioners yesterday graduated from the Bloomberg Media Africa Initiative (BMIA) Financial Journalism Training (FJT).
The graduands including two reporters of the Ghanaian Times, Kingsley Asare and Jonathan Donkor, comprise 58 males and 30 females.
Launched by Mike Bloomberg in South Africa in 2014, the BMIA FJT, is pan –Africa programme designed to accelerate the development of a globally competitive media and financial reporting sector to promote transparency and accountability in Africa.
Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, with support from Ford Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos, the BMIAFJT programme is meant to develop skilled financial journalists and analysts embracing data-driven journalism culture across Africa.
The Minister of Information, KojoOppong Nkrumah, who was the guest speaker, said the government would continue to provide funding for the training of media personnel through the Media Capacity Enhancement Programme in the 2023 fiscal year, Minister of Information, Mr KojoOppongNkrumah, has assured.
He said the programme could not be started this year due to funding challenges.
The Media Capacity Enhancement Programme was introduced this year and sought to enhance the skills of media practitioners and provide training on emerging issues such as digital journalism, media introspection and media management.
Mr Nkrumah said journalism was important to society as it helped promote democracy and provide equal access and space for people to “participate in discourse that promotes best values of the country.”
He entreated stakeholders to take keen interest in the capacity building of journalists by providing funding to that effect, stating that the Media Capacity Enhancement Programme, demonstrated the commitment of government to build the capacity of media personnel to execute their job effectively.
“Can you imagine a moderator of a discourse who is not able to tell the inter-relationship between the demands of the public and a low tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio?This requires that the society that claims that it wants a strong democracy and high quality journalism to sell it must be interested in funding the capacity enhancement of journalists”, Mr Nkrumah said.
The minister urged the graduands to make an impact and transform society to help improve democracy through the enough knowledge they had acquired from the training.
The Provost of the College of Humanities, University of Ghana (UG), Professor, Daniel Ofori, said there was the need for institutions to collaborate to build the capacity of their staff.
He stressed that the UG would continue to collaborate with other institutions as it had done with Bloomberg to train media personnel in Africa.
The Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Prof.KwamenaKwansah-Aidoo noted it was important for financial reporters to report in a simple and clear language, adding “training programmes such as BMIA FJT, will help improve financial literacy”.
The Dean of University of Ghana Business School, UGBS, Prof.Justice Bawole said his outfit recognised the media as a key stakeholder and therefore decided to partner Bloomberg in organising the training programme.
He said the six months training programme had two intakes.
He appealed to the government to fund the programme for it to be sustained.
Prof.Bawole, the UGBS was working to upgrade the programme from short course to a Master’s Programme.
Training Editor of Bloomberg News, Mr Cherian Thomas, said curiosity was a cornerstone in journalism and as such urged journalists to be curious in order to obtain credible data.
BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY