Accra, May 11, GNA – Revenue Watch Institute and International Institute for ICT Journalism (Penplusbytes) in conjunction with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) would be organising a three-day retreat for Editors on Oil and Gas from May 13-15 in Koforidua.
A statement issued and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on Wednesday said the retreat was to strengthen capacity of the Ghanaian media to cover extractive industries as a whole and oil and gas sector in particular.
It said: “This retreat will bring together senior editors from print, radio and television as well as government, Members of Parliament, Oil and Gas companies, leaders from Civil Society Organisations (CSO) working in the oil and gas sector to deliberate on key areas such as the latest development in the extractive industry.”
“The role of CSOs in the oil and gas sector, status of oil and gas legislations, policies and regulations. In addition, a focus-group discussion will take place on how to stimulate oil and gas stories in the Ghanaian media and strategies for strengthening the overall capacity of the media in oil and gas reporting,” it added.
The retreat forms part of Revenue Watch Institute which promotes the transparent and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good and Penplusbytes, a registered non profit organisation with the vision of driving excellence in ICT Journalism to “Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sectors Pilot Programme” in Ghana.
The programme aims at promoting good governance and an effective oversight of the oil, gas and mining (extractive) resources and revenues.
The ultimate objective is to have a knowledgeable and active media which is critical to having an informed and engaged public, civil society and Parliament that can hold government to account.
Mr Kwami Ahiabenu of Penplusbytes, stressed the importance of the retreat that “by bringing Ghana’s leading editors together for this retreat, it will go a long way to enable the media in Ghana to effectively perform its accountability role while at the same time contributing to the improved use of oil, gas and other minerals for the public good.”
He called for the urgent need to increase the quantity and quality of oil and gas stories which “can only be achieved not only by providing training for journalists but also ensuring key editors are also part of and parcel of capacity building process.”
Currently, eight Ghanaian journalists are undertaking an eight-month capacity building process.
During this period, journalists participate in an overview course to consolidate their understanding of the oil and gas sector, followed by a more in-depth course, mentoring programme, bursaries support for stories, international field trips and awards.
Two more groups of journalists are also expected to benefit from this programme.