Thursday, August 20, 2009

'License journalists' – Executive Secretary of NAB

The Executive Secretary of the National Accreditation Board (NAB), Mr. Kwame Dattey, has called for the licensing of journalists as a prerequisite to practice journalism in the country.The licensing, he said, did not imply that restrictions were being placed on journalists in the performance of their legitimate duties and work but rather to inject more sanity into media practice.Making the suggestion at the first meeting of the Governing Council of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) in Accra yesterday, Mr. Dattey said the licensing would rather help to improve the media landscape as the unprofessional ones would not be allowed to operate.He said there are too many individuals in the country who carry themselves as journalists, but whose conduct is questionable and denigrate the image of the profession.Providing further justification for his suggestion, Mr. Dattey said the measure, if implemented, would contribute to eliminating “mushroom” journalism schools, most of which are operating without proper accreditation from the NAB.By his suggestion, unless one is licensed by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) or an appropriate body, that person should not be allowed to do anything as a professional journalist or be recognized as such.The Chairman of the Governing Council of GIJ, Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseni, assured the public of the council’s commitment to transform the institute to reflect the current trends in the media industry.Alhaji Fuseni explained that recent developments in the media landscape required a very high calibre of human resource to match the challenges of the industry.He said the challenge demands absolute commitment on the side of the council to formulate policies and give strategic direction to the institute to enhance the caliber of products it would turn out every year.Alhaji Fuseni added that one of the immediate tasks of the council was to help in shaping students for the job market, both in and outside the country.“To this end, our focus as council would be to update training facilities, especially in the areas of information communication technology (ICT), provision of basic infrastructure and the recruitment of seasoned staff, both teaching and non-teaching, for the institute,“ he said.He, however, expressed worry about the limited facilities in the school, saying the situation was driving away too many potential students from being enrolled in the institute.He, therefore, called for extra commitment on the side of council members to address the situation. The Rector of the institute, Mr. David Newton, in his report, gave an overview of previous strategic plans developed and what had been achieved in that direction.Mr. Newton said in 2006, another corporate strategic plan was developed, and noted that “so far, two major achievements have been recorded under the new corporate strategic plan”.The two, he said, included the passage of the new legislation, Act 717, to make GIJ a degree-awarding institution and the granting of a Presidential Charter to the institute in June, 2009.He informed the council on progress made so far on the construction of a 12-unit classroom block which was awarded as far back as 1998 and noted that only the basement of the project had so far been completed.Mr. Newton attributed the delay in the project to a lack of funds and the inability of the contractor to pre-finance the project.
Source:MacLiberty Misrowoda

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