Beginning today, Tuesday June 25, 2013, 10 selected Ghanaian journalists from across the country will be taken through an intensive six months training to effectively report on Ghana’s burgeoning oil and gas sector revenues and resources. This training forms part of the “Empowering the Media to Play an Active Watchdog Role over Ghana’s Oil and Gas Revenue and Resources” project being undertaken the International Institute of ICT Journalism ( Penplusbytes) with funding and technical support from STAR-Ghana.
The project aims to improve coverage of oil and gas stories by the Ghanaian media leading to an increase in the quantity and quality (in terms of in-depth and investigative reporting) of oil and gas stories thus leading to the media playing an effective watchdog role over Ghana’s Oil and Gas revenues and resources.
The focus of the training workshop is learning through doing with skills modules which will offer reporting & writing tips. The training will be an interactive one which will involve reviews and assistance offered to trainees as they produce stories and explore the issues involved in reporting on the extractive sector to better educate the general public and provide CSOs and parliament with the necessary information to effectively hold government accountable over the oil gas revenues and resources.
Jeremiah Sam, Projects director of Penplusbytes said “at the end of the course, journalists will gain more knowledge about the country’s oil and gas sector, improve their news gathering skills and be equipped with the ability to analyze and interpret data from the sector. The course will also enable the participating journalists have a better understanding of the legal and policy framework governing the sector so that they are able to better inform the citizens and ensure good governance over the sector.
Albert Futukpor, a one of the selected journalists from the Ghana News Agency (GNA) based in Tamale says “this is a brilliant opportunity for me to upgrade my knowledge on the sector and to be able to write in-depth stories that will go a long way to inform citizens on the sector. It will also afford me a chance to gain actual knowledge on operations in the sector.”
Apart from this training workshop, Penplusbytes has carried out a baseline research to establish the nature of reporting and writing by the Ghanaian media on the sector. Future activities planned include a field trip to the home of Ghana’s oil in the Western region where journalist will have a firsthand experience of oil production. Penplusbytes will also organize forums across the country where topical oil and gas issues will be discussed and finally, the organisation will deploy a vibrant oil and gas website which will serve as a platform for CSOs and journalists to engage each other and also exchange knowledge and information on the extractive sector for better advocacy on Ghana’s oil and gas resources and revenues.
PENPLUSBYTES www.penplusbytes.org is a registered not for profit since 18th July 2001 with the vision of driving excellence in ICT journalism. www.reportingoilandgas.org is a project of Penplusbytes.
STAR-Ghana is a multi- donor pooled funding mechanism (Funded by DFID, DANIDA, EU and USAID) to increase the influence of civil society and Parliament in the governance of public goods and service delivery, with the ultimate goal of improving the accountability and responsiveness of Ghana’s government, traditional authorities and the private sector.