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A significant portion of Ghana’s budget is funded by proceeds from the oil and gas sector, the onus is therefore on the Ghanaian media to constantly demand transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector.
It is for this reason that Penplusbytes with support from Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth (GOGIG) is training 10 vanguard journalists from leading media houses in Ghana in a 10-day intensive training from 24th September till the 3rd of October 2017. The training is intended to bring about a paradigm shift in the way the media covers the sector from mere reports to investigative pieces and in-depth reporting to have an informed citizenry and promote good governance in the sector.
The training forms part of activities under the 6-month “Enhancing the role of the Media in promoting Oil and Gas sector transparency and accountability” project Penplusbytes is implementing.
The ten (10) including journalists from Multimedia Group, Graphic Communications, The Finder Newspaper, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and the Business and Financial Times, will be taken through topics such as budget tracking, project tracking, analytic story writing, forensics, data journalism as well as investigative journalism.
The training programme is designed to provide a holistic and comprehensive support to the selected journalists through specialized knowledge and skills modules; professional mentoring; field trips; innovative use and application of data journalism skills; access to sources and vital information. A key activity will be a power reporting series and networking session which will bring together peers, experts, policy makers, and oversight actors in the oil and gas sector to interact and network with the selected journalists. In addition, the journalists will be provided bursaries to undertake individual field trips to oil and gas funded projects to generate impactful stories aimed at promoting transparency and accountability in the sector.
According to the Executive Director of Penplusbytes, Kwami Ahiabenu II, the project is aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in the sector through effective public oversight on oil and gas revenue management and the media plays a leading role in making this possible.
“The oil and gas sector is often perceived as a very technical sector but this can only be debunked if the media simplifies and gives prominence to the sector issues. Penplusbytes, with its years of experience in media training is poised to deliver this training to reflect our key goal of promoting good governance”, he added.
By the end of the project, it is expected that oil and gas issues will become a headline topic in the media landscape and journalists will be at the forefront of providing relevant content for civil society and citizens to hold duty bearers to account in the advocacy towards good governance in the sector transparency, accountability and good governance over the oil and gas sector revenue would have increased for the development of Ghana.
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