Journalism training schools must move away from imported curriculum – Cameron Duodu
The 13th congregation of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) was on Saturday held in Accra with a total of 1,209 receiving degrees and diplomas.
They were made up of 821 degree students and 469 diploma students who had completed various programmes in Journalism and Public Relations.
A renowned Ghanaian journalist, Cameron Duodu, in his address, said journalism had become one of the professions where practitioners were being dictated to unlike other professions whose members played an equally crucial role, but were not dictated to.
He said most culprits of these acts were political parties who incite journalists to do their “dirty work for them and [these journalists] are often stirred to action by brown envelopes.”
He stated that the marks of a true journalist were hinged on reading and distinctiveness explaining that a good journalist was a person who reads.
Mr Duodu said reading would help the journalist to be accurate and have interesting facts which could help the practitioner enter the minds of readers.
“The second attribute I would recommend to you is that you must try and develop your own distinctive style and stick to it,” he said.
According to Mr Duodu, every writer is unique and this is expressed in the way one wrote saying that a journalist was no good to his or her organisation if people did not get attracted to their output and yearn after it.
“Do not let anyone suppress your personality by changing the way you write, unless they are good writers themselves,” he advised.
Mr Duodu indicated that when journalists allow their uniqueness to be taken away, their writing would be “as dead as the formula pieces offered by the professional letter-writers who used to ply their trade, in years gone by, in the precincts of the central post office in Accra.”
The veteran journalist called on journalism training institutions to move away from imported curriculum evolved for communication studies and devote their time to tuition by specialists in developing the country’s economy and politics so that journalists can educate the citizenry on issues affecting the economy.
“When our people fully understand these things, then they will regain the self-confidence which would enable them to have a fair share of their country’s resources,” Mr Doudu stated.
The Rector of GIJ, Professor Kwamena Kwansah Aidoo, said the new site for the school at North Dzorwulu would soon be operational although there were some infrastructure to be worked on.
He said the issue of understaffing was of grave concern to the institute and that there was the need for radical improvement in staff numbers of the institute adding that “we are yet to secure the various levels of clearance that will enable us undertake the needed recruitment.”
Touching on the recent violence perpetuated against journalists in the country, Prof. Aidoo said, “state institutions and civil society must not allow this canker to fester, this scourge must not be allowed to derail and denigrate more than it had in the country.”
Deserving students were honoured with Mr Reuben Tetteh going home with the overall best student award.
JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU