The 2023 edition of Ghana’s Media Capacity Enhancement Programme (MCEP) has commenced in Accra.
The programme, themed “Equipping the Media to Play an Effective Role in Our Nation Building,” aims to enhance the capacity of journalists and media practitioners to demonstrate a high level of professionalism to boost the quality of journalism across the country.
Speaking at the opening of the programme on Monday, the Minister for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, emphasized the importance of training in shaping the future of Ghana’s media industry and democracy.
He stated, “This training is not just a routine programme; it is one of the most vital investments in the future of our media industry and our democracy.”
The Minister highlighted the unparalleled influence of the media in shaping the national agenda and guiding public discourse on various subjects.
He expressed concern about the lack of formal training among many journalists, noting that while articulate and well-intentioned, a majority have not undergone formal journalistic training.
According to the Minister, this knowledge gap includes essential aspects such as ethics, responsibilities, contemporary practices and nuances of the journalism profession.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah further disclosed that the Accountability Forum of stakeholders on journalist safety would be held on Friday, December 22, 2023, in Accra.
He explained that the Forum would enable state actors to account for the status of investigations and alleged assaults on journalists.
“On Friday, December 22nd, the Police CID, the Armed Forces and the Judicial Service will join us for the maiden accountability forum of the mechanism to assess how we have handled the incidents that have occurred this year and in recent years,” he noted.
Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, Chairman of the Working Committee and Vice Chancellor of the University of Media, Arts, and Communication (UniMAC) emphasized the significant opportunities the capacity enhancement programme provides for journalists to enhance and improve their skill sets.
He highlighted the importance of journalists continuously building their capacity to address and rectify issues in the profession.
Mr. Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, President of the Ghana Journalists Association, commended the working committee for organising the training programme and expressed hope for increased journalists’ participation in future sessions.
He urged journalists to avoid partisan stunts and adhere to the ethics of the profession.
Mindful of the role of the media in our democratic dispensation, Mr. Andrew Edwin-Arthur, President of the Private Newspapers Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), advocated for increased attention and financial support from the government for the media.
He stated that the media serves as an indispensable ally for democracy, playing a vital role in informing the public, facilitating discourse and holding those in power accountable.
He, therefore, advocated for increased attention and financial support from the government for the media.
The second edition of the MCEP focuses on training 42 journalists selected from various media houses across the country.
Patience Anaadem, ISD