#Article (Archive)

Knowledge is Power

Oct 31, 2008, 6:46 AM

About five of our colleagues will be leaving soon for the Ghanaian capital Accra to undergo a three-week training course in parliamentary reporting. They are Abba Gibba of The Point newspaper; Alhaji Jobe of the Daily Observer; Mama Gaye and Famara Fofana of the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS); and Nuha Badjie of Radio Gambia. For three weeks at the prestigious Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), these young journalists will study the basics of parliamentary reporting.

IT is clear from the course content that they are in for some serious stuff. The course content include general principles of journalism; critical thinking, the legal and ethical implications of media coverage of parliament; models for journalistic writing; precision journalism. Others are investigative reporting, news analysis, working knowledge of English grammar, interviewing, and introduction to online journalism as well as feature writing.

The participants will also take courses reporting from parliament for state print media, reporting from parliament for state radio, reporting from parliament for state television and reporting from parliament for private print media.

We understand that another batch of journalism will leave for the same training when this batch returns. Continued training is the lifeblood of a journalist. When a journalist stops improving him or herself, he or she gets rusty. It is for this reason that we would like to thank the Office of Speaker of the National Assembly and the UNDP for making this training programme possible.

This is a manifestation of the improved relations between the media and the state, spearheaded by the Gambia Press Union (GPU). To consolidate this new development, we urge the state to help set up a full-fledged school of journalism in the country so that we can receive our journalism training right here.

We also implore the participants to steep themselves in knowledge during their stay Ghana so that they will return home to be more effective journalists. Their beat is important in that they report on the activities of the representatives of the people - the legislators. They need to be sound professionally in order to deliver the goods.