Penplusbytes in partnership with Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has organised a three- day refresher course for the past trainees of its “Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sector Project.
Under the Project, Penplusbytes and the NRGI have since 2009, trained more than 50 Ghanaian journalists in the knowledge and skills needed to effectively report about the extractive sector.
. The result of this training has been an increase of stories from the oil and gas sector in the Ghanaian media over time.
The workshop was, therefore, aimed at building on the training offered to the alumni to enable them keep up with events and issues in the sector, while improving the capacity of journalists in writing compelling and investigative stories from the sector.
The media training was organised under the theme: “Deep Dive/Alumni Refresher on Priority Policy Issues.”
Mr Kwami Ahiabenu II, the Executive Director of Penplusbytes, said effective media coverage of the extractive sector was important to ensure that revenue from mining and oil and gas sectors were utilised for wealth creation and poverty reduction.
“The media has a very important role to play in this direction and we are excited that we brought together alumni of our training programme to support them to continue playing their oversight role over the extractive sector,” he said.
Other speakers at the workshop were Dr. Doris Yaa Dartey, a Member of the National Media Commission, who took the participants through, “How to Interrogate Key Issues ahead of the 2016 Elections; and Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, the Director of the Centre for Public Accountability of the University of Professional Studies, Legon, who also spoke on “Transparency and Accountability Issues Surrounding the Oil and Gas Sector”.
Dr. Ishmael Ackah of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy also discussed, “The State of Oil Revenue Utilization in Ghana”, while Mr Samuel Bekoe, of the Natural Resource Governance Institute, spoke on “Tracking Oil Revenue in Ghana”.
The Journalists were also taken through Data Journalism as well as a mentoring session, where the alumni and mentors critically looked at how to improve the quality of stories on the Oil and Gas, especially in context of the general election.
Sixteen journalists from various news media comprising the Ghana News Agency, Daily Graphic, TV3 Network, Business Today, Spy News, the Business and Financial Times (B&FT), and the Finder Newspaper participated in the workshop.
Mrs Emelia Ennin Abbey of the Daily Graphic, a participant, said in an interview that: “This workshop has actually refreshed my knowledge on data journalism and spreadsheet. Also, it has given me some leads, which I could follow up to do my stories”.
Another participant, Mr Emmanuel Dogbevi of the Ghana Business News, said:” The data visualisation aspect of this workshop is very useful and handy in generating compelling stories in our newsroom.”