A workshop purposed to sharpen the skills of practising financial journalists in the country has taken off in the Western Regional capital, Takoradi.
On Monday, this week, selected journalists who participated in the opening ceremony of the program were told at the Akroma Plaza Hotel where they are being hosted that there is an urgent need for reforms in the reporting culture on the financial sector.
Private Newspapers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) collaborated with the Bank of Ghana to put together the workshop with the aim that practicing financial journalists can update and hone their reporting skills on the sector, which is extremely sensitive.
“In Financial Journalism, we don’t have the luxury of playing with the facts,” Mr. Bernard Otabil, head of Communications at the BoG, said in a keynote address. The fixture, he said, is so because of the exactitude of financial situation and the dangerousness of speculation to the sector.
Because financial issues are very sensitive, he said, speculations about the performance of a bank for instance can lead to dire consequences, including a lineup of customers to withdraw their deposits.
He added that the need for accuracy in financial journalism, which is quite lacking in Ghana, is very imperative because of the fact that the financial sector has very serious implications to the security of the country.
This, according to him, was the reason that the BoG had accepted to partner PRINPAG in organizing the workshop.
The workshop is on the theme: “Role of the media in monetary policy and financial stability reporting.”
Kenteman Nii Laryea Sowah, Acting President of PRINPAG, buttressed the point that the workshop had been organized to help hone the skills of financial journalists in response to overtly poor standards of reportage.
According to him, the whole idea of the workshop had budded in 2013, after former Governor of the BoG, Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah, had complained at a Monetary Policy Committee with the press about very poor standards of reporting on monetary and financial issues.
Consequently, PRINPAG had proposed the training workshop and patiently followed up until all the groundwork was finished leading to a takeoff this year.
He said, the Takoradi version is just the first in a series of workshops that will be organized for financial reporters in all the regions of Ghana, apart from Greater Accra, which he said has over the years been privileged with many suchlike workshops.
The welcome address for the program had been given by the Metropolitan Chief Executive for Takoradi, Hon. Anthony K.K. Sam, who also emphasized the need for accuracy in reportage on financial issues to keep the citizenry abreast of developments in the sector.
For instance, he said, the 2018 budget that was recently presented by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, contains a lot of laudable programs that the ordinary people need to know about, but that it will take accurate financial journalism to properly inform the people on the policies to enable them to contribute to successful implementation of such programs.
Following the short opening ceremony, three resource persons from the Bank of Ghana had taken participants through three key areas of reportage in the financial sector. Mr. Eric Loloh of the Research Department of the BoG had lectured on Inflation Targeting policy, Dr. Kwesi Osei-Yeboah of the Macroprudential bank sector of the BoG lectured on Financial Stability, while Mr. Eric Agyapong lectured on regulations.
This maiden edition of the workshop is for the Western and Central regions and is scheduled to run for two days. The Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions will be next workshop.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Fiifi Samuels