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Blogging: The Ghanaian journalist's experienceThere are few bloggers in Ghana, including some few committed journalists who are proud to flaunt their newly acquired competence in Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) publicly.
They comprise Emmanuel Bensah, a web journalist with the Third World Network, Isaac Tetteh of Radio Gold, Enoch Darfoh Frimpong of the Daily Graphic and Rayborn Bulley of Radio Ghana.
His blogs, which goes by the addresses: http://ekbensahinghana.blogspot.com and http://ekbensah.blogspot.com.
Mr Bensah is among just about 10 journalists in Ghana with knowledge about blogging.
An executive of penplusbytes, an international institute for ICT journalism based in Ghana, Kwame Ahiabenu II, has blamed the lacklustre attitude of Ghanaian journalists to blogging on what he called practical challenges such as the lack of skills, access to ICT facilities and time constraint.
All the 10 regional capitals and some districts have Internet facilities, yet a number of journalists lack the basic skills to take advantage of the service.
Despite these efforts, journalists in Ghana still find it difficult to create and manage blogs. Interestingly most of the journalists who go through training on blogging end up forgetting the processes involved. One of such training sessions was organised in April 2006 for 20 journalists.
In the face of the numerous challenges inhibiting the Ghanaian journalist from blogging, Ahiabenu believes there can be a way out.
Ahiabenu says the local Ghana Association of Journalists on ICT (GHAJICT) can collaborate with the umbrella association-the GJA, to design guidelines that would protect journalists from interferences that could occur when they seek to give their opinion through blogs.
Ahiabenu says the benefits of blogging far outweigh the reasons for non-blogging.
Journalists in Nigeria are reported to be far ahead in blogging within the West African sub-region even though Ghana is more advanced in the establishment of ICT infrastructure with teledensity penetration of both rural and urban communities reaching 25 per cent at the end of 2006.
Penplusbytes is inculcating the culture of blogging among Ghanaian journalists and to Ahiabenu journalists can allow the process to thrive by asking their editors to edit their stories in order to ensure that there are no excesses that would bring about sanctions from higher authorities.
Author : Emily Nyarko
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