Friday, April 23, 2010

Volcanic Ash "Misbehaved" Strands INWENT Lecturer and Counsultant

- But Training In Progress with Help of Others

News Banjul The Gambia(MB)- Fourteen West African journalists that are currently undergiong for two weeks intensive training at the Ghana International Press Centre from the 19th -30 April 2010, could not get proper due to the misbehaved volcanic ash that strands the course trainer and counsultant in German.
The International Institute for JournaLISM (IIJ) of InWent Capacity Building International, Germany organised the training for fourteen journalists drawn from Ghana, Nigeria,Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
The theme for the two weeks training " The Media's Role in Conflict Transformation and Peace Building West Africa" with the objectives to seeks to strengthen accurate and responsible journalism and to increase the awareness for the media's contribution to the escalation of violence as much as to rewconciliation and under standing among journalists in West Africa.
Conflict itself is natural in any society. Disagreement and resolution is the essence of constructive change. However, a dash of intrest, values, actions or directions often sparks a conflict which becomes violent, at cost and losses for the society.
Wolf Zunzer, a trainer, facilator and conflict transformation specialist for a diversity of European development coopearation organisation including InWent and for respective ministeries, who is stranded in German but send presentation via email to all the participants, this was contained in the presentation on Basic Conflict Threory that conflict is a (perceived) incompatibility of intrests between two parties.
Non- Violent conflict a is "fact of life", yet can be addressed constructively or destructively and understanding differences in perceptions and differences in position/intrests// values of parties to a conflict are key influencing conflicts constructively.
Conflict transformation , he defines as actions and processes which seek to alter the various characteristics and manifestations of conflict by addressing the root causes of a particular conflict over the long term. He continued, it aims to trasnsform negative, destructive conflict into positive constructive conflict and deals with structural, behavioural and attitudinal aspects of conflict.
As the lecturer and the course counsultant are both stranded in German, possiblitities were put in place to keep the participants busy, in making them busy Mr. Kent Mensah the participants lectures on Monday 19th April at the said centre focusing his presentation on "blogging and mobile communication", Web Editor of Africa News.
Accoording to Mr. Mensah, blogs are use to expresse views been it individual, networks or groups sharing information adding that as journalists " we need to have our own blogs to express our veiws, comments, ideas etc by blogging".
He said that one can aosl be blogging, if one is maginalised in the society, " you can use your blog to critised what is wrong and adovacate for the good", use it as a platform.
To him, blogs for the past years three to four years blogs are not famous but today , he diosclosed that many people are blogging today and making a lot of money and securing jobs through their blogs advertisments.
He told West African journalist to be blogging as their are lots of opportinities but puts to them to stick to the ethics of the noble profession when blogging.
" As journalists today we need to have our individual blogs, community, office, and even departments blogs to expresse views."
He also puts to journalists to make best use of twitter and facebook for giving ionformation to each but not only lodging on for charts. According to him with twitter one can many messages with 140 chracters to many people like breaking news.
Mr. Mensah stated that it is high time that journalists to use moiblie phone that are connected to the internet with many features like camera, video, recording ect for using it to send stories.
"But using mobile phones does not means you but expensive mobiles but simple nokia with N70, N73, N93 marks".
He further advised journalists to be internet wizard saying that there a lots of information avaiable in the internet. He also encourage journalist to venture in online journalism adding that sooner or later all those who are not practising online journalism will be found wantind.
On 20th April, second day, participants have the opportunity to visit Graphic Communication Group Limited headquarters in Accra.
At the Graphic, participants were welcome by Public Affairs Manager Albert Sam, who told journalists that their vision is to be the biggest, most infuential and reliable multi-media organisation in West African sub region, which generated general laughter.
Going into history, Sam stated that Graphic Comminication Groups Limited(GCGL) was formed in 2nd October 1950 as the West African Graphic Comppany limited by the Daily Mirror Group of newspapers in the United Kingdom, headed by Ceci; King Jr.
Accordin g to him it was in 1962, the government of Ghana acquired the company by an act of parliament and turned it into a statutory corporation in 1971 by the Graphic Corporation Instrument, 1971, LI 709, in accordance with the Staturoty Corporations Act, 1964 (Act 232).
Sam explained that since its inception, built and maintained a reputation for credible in quality news presentation to the extend that in Ghana, newspaper is simply refered to as the "Graphic", the name he went on readers affectionately call Daily Graphic, the company's flagship newspaper.
He disclosed the Daily Graphic published two hundred thousand to two hundred fifty thousan daily copies (200,000-250,000) saying that it is the largest newspaper in Ghana.
Public Affairs Manager pointed out that the company currently publishes seven newspapers and an advertising newspaper, which are all market leaders in the industry adding that it has the largest circulation and readership.
On the subject of conflict tansformation and peace building, Sam advised media practitioners need to demonstrate some caution in the use of language when reprting on conflict situation.

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