General News of Friday, 12 October 2018
Ghana and Africa as a whole have unlimited potential in the journalism profession and the future would be built by new generation of leaders who will assume responsibility to practice accountability, Public Affairs Officer, United States Embassy in Ghana, Roberto Quiroz has predicted.
According to him, the media in Ghana is a vanguard for freedom and at the heart of democracy, most nations look up to Ghana as benchmark, added.
“I have been around the continent and one of the highlights and the successes of Ghana is the fact that within a 20-year period there has been a miraculous change. There has been a great change of strong democracy, great elections and transition of power and yet at the heart of it all stands the media.” He said.
Roberto Quiroz was speaking at the West Africa Media Excellence Conference and Awards (WAMECA) which features conference sessions and awards for journalists in the region.
The theme for this year’s edition is “Impacting lives through media excellence.”
Addressing participants from various West African countries, Mr. Quiroz stated that journalism is more than a vocation or a profession. He reiterated to the journalists that media practice is a call to tell the story how it needs to be told, give a story to the voiceless as well as advance equality and justice.
On his part, Chairman, National Media Commission, Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, said regulatory standards and guidelines are needed to stimulate the aspiration to do better and improve all the time.
To him, however, there is a pertinent challenge facing the media which has to do with code of ethics.
The former Director of the Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation (GBC) pointed out that although a good number of media houses are performing creditably within the guidelines and ethics of the practice but many still languish far below on the quality skill.
He added, “We need to set benchmarks within the practice that are exciting, that motivates us, that challenge us, that are visible and understandable to everybody.”
Lauding the awards initiated by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Gyan-Apenteng said the concept provides the framework for the exciting challenge for all practitioners to aspire.
He was of the hope that awards such as WAMECA will be reechoed in all “our (African) countries within the international frameworks so that it truly becomes a benchmark event.”