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Yankah Deplores Poor Standards In Journalism

By James Harry Obeng

 

THE mushrooming of journalism training schools across the country coupled with the infiltration of charlatans who posed as journalists has caught the attention of Mr Kojo Yankah, President of the African University College of Communications [AUCC].

 

Mr Yankah, a one-time director of the Ghana Institute of Journalism [GIJ] and a former minister of state cum parliamentarian, said there have been genuine concerns about falling standards of journalism in Ghana and Africa, a development he attributed to the numerous number of journalism schools replete with the country.

 

Mr Yankah made the observation when he addressed a dedication ceremony to mark the relocation of the AUCC from Accra to a permanent city campus, named ‘Discovery House’, at Adabraka. The event also saw the matriculation of the first batch of degree students admitted in the school to pursue various four-year programs in communications, including journalism, strategic communications, development communications, visual and digital communications, among a set of refresher and newly introduced short courses.

 

 

He said in a pan-African research effort undertaking in 17 African countries, including Ghana, by the BBC World Service Trust, in collaboration with the Rhodes University of Southh Africa and Ahmadu Bello University of Nigeria in march 2005 indicated that the quality of radio programming was low in Ghana, due to lack of trained journalists.

 

He noted with grave concern the development where politics have inundated radio stations in the country, saying ‘political communication is so charged on our radio stations that you sometimes get the impression that we do not even appreciate our own collective achievements as a people’,

 

In addition, Mr Yankah  noted in reference to the report that, apart from the low quality of some newspapers ‘the freedom gains made possible by the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law in 2001 are in some respects being undermined by irresponsible journalism’.

 

‘On television, the report said that locally produced information programming was of poor quality’, he added, calling for a concerted collective effort to address the development to salvage the image of journalism as practiced in the country.

 

He however prevailed on practicing journalists and communication practitioners to avail themselves of opportunities provided the school to upgrade their professional performance.

 

For his part, Dr Mensa Otabil, Chancellor of the Central University College (CUC), challenged politicians and political office holders to stand firm by their resolve to develop the country, especially when they peter out of the political scene.

 

He observed most politicians failed to commit and channel individual resources and intellect towards national development immediately they retire from politics, adding “it becomes over for some whilst others also die mentally”.

 

He added the future of the country lied on her ability to develop effective and transformational leaders who applied the principles of value-centred leadership to the challenges and demands of modern times.

 

He however charged Ghanaians, especially students in the country’s universities, not to dissipate their energies on narrow and petty squabbles of society to blind their minds of the enormous opportunities available to them.

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May 23, 2008 - Posted by | News

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