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Project Fact Sheet

Title : Climate and Resource Protection for Sustainable Economic Development in Ghana
Duration : Spring 2013 – Spring 2014
Region: Ghana / NRW
Sector: Democracy Promotion

Main actors:

  • Deutsche Welle Akademie
  • Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism
  • Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia (LfM)

Funded by: State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia

Background

Promoting Young Journalists from Campus Radios in Ghana

As one of the most successful democracies in Africa, Ghana has a comparatively liberal and well-developed media system. The most widely used information medium is the radio. 90 to 95 percent of Ghanaians are regular listeners of the country’s radio stations, which currently number 250. The popularity and the wide range, however, do not reflect the great need for improvement in the quality of journalism and professionalism in reporting — especially with regard to essential ethical ground rules of journalism. A special role is played here by the promotion of young journalists — a strategy that is very much capable of expansion in Ghana. College or campus radios are an appropriate pillar of journalism education: not only do they contribute to media diversity through their own radio programs, but they also serve as a place for learning, as experience platforms and as training grounds for young journalists. In Ghana, there are still comparatively few college radio stations, and most can hardly exploit their potential due to limited technical means and a lack of journalistic know-how.

Objectives

A core objective of the project known as “Training Young Journalists from College Radio Stations in Ghana” was the promotion of junior journalism through practical traing of young radio producers of Ghanaian university radio. The necessary skills could be passed on to young journalists, with the campus radio stations served as important places of learning and experience platforms. Thus, the training of journalists in Ghana was strengthened over the long term. At the same time, the project aims to improve the offerings of the university radio itself and thus contribute to media diversity and quality, as well as promote democracy in Ghana.

The close cooperation between Ghanaian and North Rhine-Westphalian campus radio producers should also allow the NRW journalists to obtain valuable practical experience in media development cooperation and foreign journalism. In this context, the project also made a major contribution towards raising intercultural competencies in international journalism. In addition, the Project promoted networking and the institutionalization of Ghanaian university radio stations, and could draw upon the strengths and experience of the campus radio landscape of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The project was intended to strengthen the partnership between NRW and Ghana, and specifically, through the promotion of transnational networking in the media sector, to enrich it. The promotion of university radio was dedicated to the advancement of government, democracy and the rule of law as the foundation for good governance and administrative action – one of the six strategic areas of the One World Strategy of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The project not only enhances the partnership between Ghana and North Rhine-Westphalia in the media sector, but also strengthens the cooperation between universities and scientific institutions in both countries.

Activities

The core of the project consisted of two practice-oriented trainings in the workshop format, the so-called Media Labs, which took place in North Rhine-Westphalia and in Ghana in early 2013. The focus was on the production of professional radio broadcasts in which the eight representatives of the participating campus radio stations from Ghana cooperated in production tandems, each with one of eight young journalist colleagues from the campus radio station ELDORADIO of TU Dortmund.

For this purpose, the Deutsche Welle Academy and the NRW State Media provided specialist training in the necessary know-how concerning journalistic work, as well as in radio production and management. The Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism of TU Dortmund took care of comprehensive journalistic supervision. The exchange of experience and transfer of knowledge was central to a series of joint workshops with college radio in Ghana. In addition, the six participating Ghanaian radio stations – Focus FM and FM Mynd from Kumasi, ATL FM and Eagle FM from Cape Coast, Radio Windy Bay from Winneba, and Radio Univers from Accra – all received professional equipment for the production of radio broadcasts.

The joint radio productions were devoted to the thematic focus of “Environment and Energy” – a topic that is of great importance to both North Rhine-Westphalia and to Ghana. Therefore, during the NRW training, a visit to the NRW Energy Agency in Dusseldorf was included in the program, while in Ghana, a visit to Akosombo Dam – an ambitious energy policy project with hydroelectric plants — also took place.

Through the inclusion of the Association of Independent Radio Stations in Ghana (GIBA), the project activities could be harnessed for networking and exchange of experience, as well as for a stronger institutionally grounded networking of the Ghanaian university radio system going forward.

At the TU Dortmund, a special seminar on the topic of “Media in International Cooperation” was offered in parallel to the winter semester 2011/2012; it prepared the project participants for the Media Labs and facilitated specific aspects of intercultural communication.

Partners and Stakeholders

  • ATL FM Cape Coast
  • City of Dortmund (Department for Environment)
  • Deutsche Welle Akademie
  • Eagle FM Cape Coast
  • ElDoradio Dortmund
  • Erich-Brost-Institute for International Journalism
  • Focus FM Kumasi
  • Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia (LfM)
  • Mynd FM Kumasi
  • Radio Windy Bay Winneba
  • Radio Univers Accra

Funded by

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Implemented by

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Partners and Stakeholders