Parliamentary reporting course for Gambian journalists opens in Accra
Friday, November 07, 2008
The three-week intensive course for five Gambian journalists began at on Monday at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).
Organised by the National Assembly of The Gambia and funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Banjul Office, the training will aimed at enhancing effective and accurate reporting of National Assembly proceedings.
According to him, since the institution was founded in 1959, it has been producing one of the greatest reporters from the continent. 'We have a good record of being among the best institution in the continent producing the best journalists. We hope therefore, to maintain our credibility and give you the requisite skills and knowledge on the field of study-parliamentary reporting, to enable you to participate in the socio-economic development of your peaceful Gambia.
The GIJ boss then called on the journalists to take the training seriously and assured them of his office continuing support. He also thanked the National Assembly of The Gambia for organizing the training and the UNDP for funding it.
Declaring the training opened, Honourable Freddy Blay, deputy Speaker of the Ghana Parliament said, Ghana has been taking the lead in parliamentary democracy over the years and therefore, choosing it to undergo such a course is no doubt a surprise. He described parliamentary reporting as very important saying "the masses are represented in parliament and needs to be keep abreast of all what happen.
So it means you are reporting for an entire nation. So the need for you to be trained so as to report accurately, professionally and effectively on National Assembly proceedings in therefore vital".
He then urged the journalist to live up to expectation, as reporting inaccurate information from parliament is the most risky thing a journalist will ever do. Journalists reporting on National Assembly matters should be factual and accurate for public interest, but also they are bound to promote democracy and good governance. "At the National Assembly proceedings, always record the proceedings for posterity" he urged.
Mr Ransford Tetteh, president of the Ghana Journalists Association and editor of the state-owned Daily Graphic newspaper, equally thanked the UNDP and the National Assembly of The Gambia for their laudable initiative. According to him, building the capacity of parliamentary reporters is of utmost importance to any nation. He then expressed hope that the Gambia-five will make best use of the opportunity accorded them.
Mr Ebo Afful, course coordinator chaired the ceremony.
Author: by Alhagie Jobe, reporting from Accra, Ghana