Journalism is not just about reporting what other people have said. It has more to do with going the extra mile to report the untold stories that society needs to know.
It is about writing feature stories that would make an impact on journalism and the society at large. Such work attracts scholarships to build the capacity of the journalist to enhance their skills, the Press and Media Specialist at the US Embassy in Ghana, Joyce Okyere Asiedu told Journalists during a working visit in Cape Coast.
“Eventhough stories on ‘he said he said’ make news, the US Embassy will not sponsor such reporters because they do not bring forth happenings that paint the picture on the ground”, Mrs Okyere Asiedu disclosed.
She thus challenged Journalists and media practitioners to write impactful stories that would bring results than to report more on what people in Authority had said.
The Media Specialist at the US Embassy hoped Journalists in Ghana would step up their game and attach importance to their profession in order to become the voice of the voiceless as presumed.
“We can’t say you should specialize in one area and be out of your job but you’ll see that people are interested in areas such as Health, environment among others. They just don’t write the normal straight stories but they begin from a certain angle and support it with data and facts. These are the things that attract attention”.
” It’s not just Ghana. Sometimes you are pitching your stories against that of other countries so if we send the candidate whose works are not that competitive, you’ll get back and you’ll see that you’ve lost the slot to other countries so we will go with the best”, Mrs Okyere Asiedu maintained.
“We may want to send everybody but its very competitive”.
The Attache’ to the US Embassy, Kevin Brosnahan revealed that the US Embassy would be focusing on capacity building in areas such as the Right to Information and Climate change issues among others in 2023.
He stated that “the Embassy in collaboration with its partners intends to train about thousand Journalists and has so far trained about hundred”.
“You have to make sure we are seeing your work so that you might be considered for an exchange programme”, Kevin Brosnahan stressed.
Editor of the Central Regional branch of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Kofi Sakyi-Armah stressed that “capacity building is key to enhancing professionalism” and appealed to the U.S. Embassy to support many Journalists in that direction.
“Journalism is a development oriented area because we learn everyday. The media has become a jack of all trade and master of none and that capacity building and exchange programmes are essential for our growth”, he emphasized.