Participants at the Review Meeting on Media Support Programme have called for a comprehensive review of the course content in order to align it with the specific needs of media organizations in Ghana.
The current course outline, being implemented by the Ministry of Information under its Media Capacity Enhancement Programme, was deemed in need of tailoring to better serve the unique requirements of both state-owned and private media entities, as they play distinct roles within the media landscape.
The gathering was held to assess the impact of the Media Support Programme three years after its initiation and to gather feedback and suggestions for making it more effective and responsive to the evolving media landscape.
Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Dean of the School of Information and Communication Studies at the University of Ghana chaired the meeting and emphasised the importance of authenticating information sources before publication to prevent misinformation.
She proposed a “Trainer-of-Trainers” approach for the programme, where senior media practitioners or journalists would receive initial training and then train their colleagues in their respective media houses.
Prof. Gadzekpo also stressed the need for adequate funding from the government to expand training across the country and urged the retention of trained individuals in their respective media organizations to share their knowledge.
Since its inception in 2019, fewer than 100 journalists have undergone training under the Media Capacity Enhancement Programme.
The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, expressed his commitment to institutionalising the programme to promote professional and ethical journalism in Ghana.
He explained that the Ministry's mandate includes supporting the public communications ecosystem in the country, and this necessitated building the capacity of media practitioners to enhance professionalism and ethics.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah highlighted the Ministry's focus on key issues such as the safety of journalists, media practitioner capacity, and addressing egregious media content on airwaves.
He also noted that campaigns to combat misinformation and disinformation had been added to the programme earlier this year.
The Minister posed several important questions to the stakeholders, seeking their input on the awareness, impact, challenges, and institutionalization of these programmes.
Mr Samuel Nartey George, the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram and Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications, stressed that misinformation and disinformation posed a significant threat to Ghana's democracy, especially in the run-up to the 2024 General Election.
He called for collective efforts by all stakeholders to address this pressing issue.