The Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, has indicated that the school is in a good position to lead research to guide media policy in Ghana.
According to him, having a media policy to guide media use, particularly on content, required good research, hence the need for the country to have such a research-based policy guide.
Professor Kwansah-Aidoo made the remarks when he paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, at her office in Accra on Tuesday, February 19, 2019.
The Rector was in the company of the Head of Research and Acting Head of the Department of Communication of the school, Dr Lawrencia Agyepong and Mr Yaw Odame Gyau, a Senior Lecturer.
The visit was to enable the institute to deepen its relationship with key stakeholders, as well as find possible areas of collaboration.
Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo said he had personally conducted a lot of extensive research in digital communication and that looking at the mandate of the institute, it would welcome any initiative by the government to conduct research into media use in Ghana.
He also informed the minister of the institute’s upcoming 60th-anniversary celebrations, saying “We need to work with the people that deal with the media.”
The Minister, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said although the institute was no more under the direct supervision of the Ministry, it had shared responsibilities with it.
She said the Ministry was willing to partner GIJ in the digital migration of the country’s media space, adding that the Ministry would partner to establish a digital media hub that could help train first-class journalists and media practitioners in the country.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful also urged the institute and academia to design programmes to help protect ordinary citizens against the ills of social media, expressing worry about the misuse of the platforms.
She said fake news, for instance, was fast becoming a threat to many countries in the world and thus Ghana needed to position itself well in combating such developments.
“We have to balance social media with our culture”, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said, adding that although social media offered various positive uses, many people were rather dwelling on the negatives.
She also urged GIJ to expose its students to current technologies in media, stressing that “Exposing your students to cutting-edge technologies is critical.”
Concerning the school’s 60th anniversary, the Minister pledged the support of the Ministry, saying “Whatever we can do to support, we will.”
The Chairperson of the institute’s 60th-anniversary committee, Dr Lawrencia Agyepong said GIJ has planned to set up a GH¢100 million endowment fund to help train journalists and media practitioners in the country.
She has, therefore, appealed to corporate bodies to help raise the required money to set up the fund.
The Ghana Institute of Journalism was established in 1959 by the Kwame Nkrumah government to provide training towards the development of a patriotic cadre of journalists to play an active role in the emancipation of the African continent.