Journalists of the EIB network gathered under one roof in Accra recently to sharpen their election reporting skills – all aimed at Ghana’s crucial polls in December.
Context, gaps and best practices in media coverage, understanding the electoral process for effective monitoring and coverage, and how to monitor elections as a journalist, were delivered by representatives from the Electoral Commission of Ghana, the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) and the Ghana Police.
Day two of the training was facilitated by Johan Claasen, Lancaster University Ghana’s Foundation Programme Coordinator.
Ethics, editorial standards and journalistic loyalty vs party loyalty were issues widely discussed in this session.
Challenges faced when reporting from regions and hubs elicited insightful perspectives from journalists and editors, who also made use of the opportunity to exchange ideas, tips and advice on election coverage.
Johan advised journalists to shy away from the tendency to follow candidates like a pack of wolves, which often leads to focusing on the same events and interpreting them in a similar same way.
The training was well received.
“It will enable us to cover the upcoming elections in a more confident way”, was the word from the participants. “It was highly enlightening, as it helped us to understand fairness in the election process. It refreshed our knowledge on election reporting”, they added.
The EIB Network operates Starr 103.5 FM, Live 91.9 FM, Kasapa 102.5 FM (all in Accra), Ultimate FM and Abusua FM (Kumasi), Agoo FM (Nkawkaw) and Agoo TV, and Empire FM (Takoradi). The group also owns The Daily Heritage newspaper.
Johan worked as a print and broadcast journalist for 25 years before embarking on an academic career.