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Sports journalists in Ghana deny taking money from government during world cup

November 10th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Press freedom and ethics

A group of sports journalists in Ghana have denied allegations that they received money from the Ghana Football Association or Ministry of Youth and Sports during the World Cup earlier this year.

According to a report by Citifmonline, the ministry has said it spent $50,000 on media relations during the competition, which was given to the Ghana FA and distributed to journalists.

Full story on Ghanain news site Citifmonline at this link…

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Ghanaian investigative reporter wins health journalism award for undercover work

Ghanaian investigative reporter Anas Aremeyaw Anas has been awarded the 2010 Excellence in Journalism award by the Global Health Council, in recognition of his undercover work in a psychiatric hospital.

Disguised as a mentally-ill patient at the Accra Psychiatric hospital, Anas exposed the neglect and abuse of other patients by nurses.

Global Health Council President and CEO Jeffrey L Sturchio said Anas repeatedly risked his own life to help others.

“In selecting Mr Anas for this award, we were awed by his courage and persistence ― often at great personal risk ― in exposing the most vile and degrading treatment of human beings.” he said. “We celebrate everything Mr Anas has done to rescue and care for the most vulnerable among us.”

Last year, Journalism.co.uk reported that US President Barack Obama had praised Anas in his speech to the Ghanaian Parliament.

Read more about Anas’s work here….

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Public Agenda: Private newspapers in Africa hit by advertising slump

August 18th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Job losses, Jobs, Newspapers

Newspapers across the world are in trouble, and private newspapers in Africa have been hit particularly hard, writes Amos Safo for Public Agenda. Using Ghana as an example, he reports that many newspapers are being suffocated out of the market:

“[T]hanks firstly, to the increasing price of newsprint and associated costs. Secondly many newspapers are being denied adverts not only by private companies, but state institutions. As you read this article, The Statesman has folded up temporarily to regroup. Other newspapers, including Public Agenda are heavily indebted to their printers to the extent that some have not paid their reporters for three months.”

Full story at this link…

(also at AllAfrica.com)

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AfricaNews: Obama praises Ghanaian investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas for risking life to report the truth

“US President Barack Obama paid tribute to Ghanaian ace investigative journalist and AfricaNews’ reporter Anas Aremeyaw Anas for his selfless work towards humanity. Obama said the democratic dispensation in Ghana is worth emulating across the continent to boost press freedom and governance,” Africa News reports.

Full story at this link…

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Reportr.net: Innovative funding led to ‘Ghana:Digital Dumping’ film

June 25th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick, Training

Alfred Hermida comments on the ‘innovative funding approach’ that led to this: a documentary on the global traffic in e-waste. He says:

“Among the headline-grabbing findings, the students bought a hard drive in Ghana which contained sensitive US Homeland data about military contracts.”

The film was produced by students at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism and aired on FRONTLINE/World on June 23.

Hermida, who is assistant professor at the UBC School of Journalism, writes:

“The work was produced as part of an new course in International Reporting run by my colleague, Peter Klein.

“But it was only possible due to an innovative funding approach that combines social entrepreneurship, journalism education and professional partnerships.”

Full post at this link…

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AllAfrica.com: ‘Mushrooming’ Ghanaian journalism schools must be checked, says Press Corps dean

June 5th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism, Training

The dean of the Ghanaian Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC), Andrew Edwin Arthur, recommended that the Ghana Journalist Association work with the Ministries of Information and Education ‘to help streamline’ journalism training institutions in Ghana, reports AllAfrica.com.

“This, according to him, would help raise journalism standards which for some time now have been on the decline. Mr. Arthur’s argument was against the backdrop of falling standards of journalism in the country which he partly attributed to the influx of ‘mushroom’ journalism institutions that have not been accredited and recognized by the National Accreditation Board (NAB).”

Full story at this link…

(Hat tip to @JoshHalliday: http://www.joshhalliday.com/)

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Peaceful elections just ain’t news – the dire state of world reporting on Africa

Yesterday I picked up a discussion on Facebook, via a friend, about media coverage of the Ghanaian elections (voters went to the polls yesterday, and votes are being counted now, if you missed it, by the way) why had there been so little election coverage on the Western networks? Very little on CNN; very little on BBC.

“I was hoping, only hoping that for just a fraction of a moment the media cameras and the pens will slip from Mugabe’s Zimbabwe onto Ghana. Just a bit of positive reportage on Africa! That’s all I was hoping for. But I guess that’s not sensational enough for the Western media. ‘Ghana peacefully elects a new President’… that’s not headline stuff! It simply does not sell,” wrote Maclean Arthur.

Meanwhile, Oluniyi David Ajao rounds up the poor global news coverage here, on his blog. ‘Does Ghana exist’ he asks? He finds it ‘interesting that many of the leading Western media outlets have not made a mention of Ghana 2008 Elections.’

“Perhaps, Ghana does not exist on their radar screen. Ghana, like the rest of black Africa will only pop-up on their monitoring screens when over 1,000 people have butchered themselves or over 300,000 people are dying of starvation, or over 500,000 people are displaced by a civil war,” Ajao writes.

Over on Facebook, others were quick to join in the criticism and call for more African specific coverage, in the form of an African television network.

That’s exactly what Salim Amin wants to set-up, in a bid to counter existing coverage (or lack thereof) with a proposed all-African television network, A24, as I have written about on Journalism.co.uk before. Amin told me in September:

“Everything we get is negative out of Africa. 99 per cent of the news is genocides, wars, famine, HIV.

“We’re not saying those things don’t occur or we’re going to brush them under the carpet, but what we’re saying is there are other things people want to know about. About business, about sport, about music, environment, health…

“Even the negative stuff needs to be done from an African perspective. African journalists are not telling those stories – it’s still foreign correspondents being parachuted into the continent to tell those stories. We want to give that opportunity to Africans to come up with their own solutions and tell their own stories.”

However, Amin is still searching for suitable investors that won’t compromise the ideals and aims of the channel. In the meantime, A24 exists as an online video agency.

The pitiful global coverage of the Ghanaian election reinforces the need for better and wider spread African news coverage, that isn’t just the stereotypical coverage we’re so used to, as Maclean Arthur referred to on Faceboook as ‘the usual images of dying children with flies gallivanting all over their chapped lips.’

Yes, some websites are bridging some gaps (for example, New America Media for the ethnic media in the US, and Global Voices Onlinewho wrote about Twittering the Ghanaian elections here), but there’s still a heck of a way to go. BBC World Service may have a Ghana Election page, but it’s not quite on the same scale as you might see for a European election is it?

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Google News launches for nine African countries

August 15th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Online Journalism, Search

Further to its addition of a Turkish version, Google News has launched English-language editions in nine African countries.

Sites for Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe have been set up, according to the Google News Blog.

Google News now has 52 editions worldwide.

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