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General News Sun, 20 Jul 2008

Veep decries inadequate training for journalists

Accra, July 20, GNA- Vice President Alhaji Mahama at the weekend noted that inadequate training of Ghanaian journalists in the midst of rapid political and socio-economic development is affecting the practical demands of the media.

"This is a challenge, which offers many exciting opportunities for training institutions," he said at the fourth graduation ceremony of the African University College of Communications (AUCC), at the new campus of the academic facility at Adabraka in Accra, on the theme: " Communicating Africa's Potentials: The Role of African Universities." Vice President Mahama said the media wielded an enormous power that could shape society negatively and positively, stressing: "Misuse of the power of media communication has been known to start genocides and other conflicts.

"Media power has been known to ruin reputations and collapse business empires. But it has also exposed injustices and projected the marginalised."

Vice President Mahama said, although journalists were enjoying a liberal environment to carry out their professional duties, they owed it a duty to society to be responsible.

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He observed that a functional and effective system of self-policing ethics is of utmost importance to the practice of journalism. He appealed to the graduates to be agents of change and let their training inspire and encourage them to stand up and fight for the common good, values and ideals of society. Vice President Mahama emphasised: "Challenge yourself to rise to a high level of professionalism where ever you are called upon to serve. "We have no excuse to encourage mediocrity. Mediocrity will limit the aspirations of our people and reduce us to mere consumers of what we are told and taught."

Mr Kojo Yankah, Founder and President of AUCC, said although the university was maintaining Media and Communications as its flagship, new programmes in Business, Hospitality, Management, Africana Studies and Information, Communication and Technology were being introduced in September, 2009.

He noted that Africa is yet to gather the confidence to reject the worldview that tends to denigrate the way of life of Africans. Professor Kwesi Yankah, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon and Chairman of the Governing Council of AUCC said students pursuing Diploma in Journalism could continue to attain Bachelor of Arts degree in the discipline.

Professor Kofi Asare Opoku, Vice President of AUCC called for an educational system that would not make Ghanaians strangers in their own environment. Miss Yolanda Della Tay emerged as the overall best student out of the 113 successful students, comprising 82 females and 31 males.

Source: GNA
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