Friday, May 26, 2006

Training Ghanaian journalists for the Information Society, a personal experience

Training Ghanaian journalists for the Information Society, a personal experience

Ruby N. Amable, one of 30 Ghanaian journalists who attended PenPlusBytes’ latest ICTs training programme for media practitioners shares her experience

When a group of media practitioners from across Ghana gathered at the Busy Internet premises in Accra for a three-day training workshop organized by PenPlusBytes, an International Institute of ICT Journalism, it was clear from the initial posturing of most participants that it would be a waste of time because they all use the Internet to send and receive mail as well as for research.
Matters were not helped in the least when on the first day participants had to look at definitions for news, information, communications and technology. The definition of news which makes it a commodity did not sit well with some of the participants who asked colleagues what they were really up to at the workshop.
Things went into high gear on the second day and funnily, a lot of people including those who already use the Internet could not be differentiated from the novices.
I must confess that my head was full and so were those I spoke to. We could not believe there was so much to do on the net: so much information and above all the system teaches you.
For a while we forgot about the ICT word which had been used to bamboozle Ghanaians for so long.
The Google search engine became so much more. “Wiki” became Wikipedia. Instantly, the normal Ghanaian “burger” became a blogger.
One thing that I would never forget was the outburst of joy from Enoch Darfah Frimpong, Daily Graphic reporter from Kumasi, who posted pictures on his blog page within minutes. According to Frimpong, he had been trying it for six months and was amazed how easy it was afterall.
I have a dream that one day the Ghanaian journalist would really become an international one while still at home, information and data on Ghana would be current and easily available to the whole world, while Ghana would draw instantly on the experiences of others as well as new products because the Ghanaian media would get it first.
Thanks PenPlusPytes for caring to share your knowledge with us and demystifying all the ICT jargons and technologies which once scared us to death.
But wait a minute; can someone please advise President Kufour to use www.tinyurl to name his newly created ministries?

see blogs some of the participants created durint this workshop at

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